How Do I Become a Child Life Specialist (CCLS)?
Please visit www.childlife.org for more information about the Child Life profession and our professional association, The Association of Child Life Professionals.
Please visit www.childlife.org/certification/students to find out how to become a Certified Child Life Specialist and to assess your eligibility.
From the Association of Child Life Professionals website:
The Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential is the exclusive certification issued by the Association of Child Life Professionals. The Child Life Certification Program is a rigorous, examination-based professional certification credential. The requirements for getting certified are based on academic and clinical experiences, and successful completion of the certification exam. We recommend that all child life professionals interested in becoming certified start by reviewing the ACLP website that provides a comprehensive overview of the certification process from start to finish, along with instructions for establishing eligibility and applying for the exam.
Current Eligibility Requirements - Overview
The new 2019 standards. This recommendation is to ensure continued eligibility in case of delays completing course work, obtaining and completing an internship, or passing the exam. Please refer to the comprehensive section at Eligibility Assessment.
Currently, in order to establish eligibility for the exam, candidates must meet three requirements prior to the exam application deadline.
Course Work Review
- Minimum of Baccalaureate Degree
Applicants must have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree (in any field of study) on or before the application deadline for the exam for which they are applying.* Click here to see requirements for 2019 – 2022.
- Course Work
Applicants must have completed a total of 10 college-level courses in child life or a related department/subject* including a minimum of one child life course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). See www.childlife.org/docs/default-source/certification/2019-eligibility-details.pdf?sfvrsn=2
- Clinical Child Life Experience
Applicants must complete a minimum of 480 hours* of child life clinical experience under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist who meets specific qualifications. See www.childlife.org/docs/default-source/certification/2019-eligibility-details.pdf?sfvrsn=2
If, after reviewing the eligibility requirements, you are unsure if the course work on your transcript will be accepted to establish eligibility for the Child Life Professional Certification Examination, you have the option to request a course work review. Check for more information at www.childlife.org/certification/students/review-my-courses
Child Life Education Opportunities available in Canada:
The schools listed below do not limit where you can get a bachelor’s degree, they are only listed because they offer some courses taught by a certified child life specialist in Canada, as required by the Association of Child Life Professionals for certification.
Child life Internships may be available for students currently attending accredited educational institutions who hold affiliated agreements with corresponding health care centres. CLICK HERE
to see a list of Health Centres in Canada who offer child life internships to eligible applicants (PDF).