Child Life Professional Certification 
Examination Content Outline

The Child Life Professional Certification Examination is designed to test your understanding of the areas of knowledge and skills that experts in the child life profession deem essential to performing competently as a Certified Child Life Specialist®. Like any specialty certification examination, this examination does not presume to test all of your knowledge about the specialty. It samples the knowledge and skills a child life specialist needs to perform the tasks in each major area of responsibility, as defined through a practice analysis study. To receive certification, you must demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skill areas in this defined scope of specialized practice, no matter what your particular current job responsibilities are.

The Child Life Professional Certification Examination consists of 150 multiple choice questions. Following is a listing of the domains and tasks specific to each area of child life practice, with a notation of the percentage of examination items related to each domain. For further information on the process that was used to determine the content of the examination, visit About the Examination, or purchase the Study Guide for the Child Life Professional Certification Examination and review "How the Examination Was Developed."

You can also download the exam content outline here.


I. Professional Responsibility

- # Questions: 45
- % of Exam: 30%

II. Assessment

- # Questions: 45
- % of Exam: 30%

III. Intervention

- # Questions: 60
- % of Exam: 40% 

Domains and Tasks
(weights in parentheses)

Number of Questions

Domain 1: Professional Responsibility (30%, 45 Questions)


1. Maintain professional standards of practice through adherence to established ethical guidelines in order to provide respectful and competent care. (8%)


2. Promote professional relationships (e.g., children and families, child life team, interdisciplinary teams, community resources) in order to enhance communication and collaboration, foster child- and family-centered care, and maximize positive outcomes. (7%)


3. Educate staff, students, volunteers, and the community in order to promote greater awareness of the needs of children and families as well as the child life profession. (7%)


4. Perform administrative responsibilities. (3%)


5. Participate in selecting, training, supervising, evaluating, and retaining child life volunteers. (5%)


Domain 2: Assessment (30%, 45 Questions)

1. Identify, obtain, and use relevant data (e.g. health care, family, child) to develop a comprehensive assessment and initiate a plan of care. (10%)


2. Identify developmental factors and their implications. (10%)


3. Identify psychosocial factors and their implications. (10%)


Domain 3: Intervention (40%, 60 Questions)

1. Provide psychosocially and developmentally appropriate support that is responsive to the specific needs of children and families. (7%)


2. Empower and collaborate with children and families to develop and use advocacy skills. (6%)


3. Provide educational opportunities and resources that are responsive to the needs of the child and family in order to promote learning and mastery. (6%)


4. Facilitate preparation (e.g., psychological, educational) with the child and family in order to minimize fear and anxiety and to promote mastery of their experience. (7%)


5. Facilitate the utilization of effective coping strategies by the child and family in order to minimize distress and promote empowerment. (7%)


6. Facilitate play in order to encourage expression, process information, and promote development and normalization. (7%)