Recent graduates of CFLE-approved academic programs can apply for provisional or full CFLE certification.

Each CFLE-approved program has a checklist of coursework that has been approved by NCFR to meet the CFLE requirements. Students must complete all courses on the school checklist with grades of C- or better (in addition to an internship/practicum of at least 120 hours) to qualify for the CFLE-approved program application process.

Find your school's checklist

Applicants must apply online through the CFLE-approved program application process within two years of graduation, and all courses on the checklist must have been completed no more than seven years prior to graduation.

Applicants eligible to apply through the CFLE-approved program process DO NOT need to take the CFLE exam.

Find a guide to application at the bottom of this page (starts on slide 36).

Submission Requirements for CFLE-Approved Program Application

You will apply online for CFLE certification through the CFLE-approved program process. During the online application process, here is what you will be asked to do or provide:

  • Update your NCFR profile (contact, employment, and education information)
  • Select your level of certification — either provisional or full
  • Upload your completed coursework checklist from your school (filled out according to the instructions on the checklist). Find your school's checklist.
  • Submit an original, official transcript showing degree completion and successful completion of the required coursework.
    • Your transcript must have a watermark, be embossed, or have other authenticating marks as described on the document. Official paper transcripts do not have to be mailed directly from the school or be in a sealed envelope. If you would like to submit an electronic transcript it must be an official transcript and be emailed to Emily Vang from the university ("Emily Vang" and the NCFR address needs to appear as the recipient if that information is required). Please note that we cannot accept photocopies of transcripts, or transcripts faxed, emailed, or printed by the applicant.
  • Read and sign the CFLE Code of Professional Ethics
  • Pay the application feeIf you would like to become a NCFR member to qualify for the member price, please join NCFR prior to completing your CFLE application. Please note: Application fees are nonrefundable.
    • Provisional certification application fee: $155 for NCFR members; $213 for nonmembers
    • Full certification application fee: $244 for NCFR members; $333 for nonmembers
    • All applicants must pay the application fee. Scholarships are available for first-time applicants who demonstrate financial need.

In addition to the items listed above, applicants pursuing full certification through the CFLE-approved program application process must also submit:

  • documentation of relevant work experiences, including:
    • job title
    • start and end dates
    • total hours for each employment setting/activity
    • calculations showing how you arrived at those hours
    • brief description of activity, and
    • the content areas addressed.
  • supporting documentation for each work experience (examples include course outlines/syllabi, brochures, handouts, worksheets, table of contents for curriculum, publications, etc.)
  • employer verification and assessment forms for at least half of the work experience hours listed

There is no submission deadline for CFLE-approved program applicants. Approved-program applicants must apply for CFLE certification within two years of graduation.

How to Apply Online

To start your approved-program application, log in at and in the My CFLE Certification box, click the "Start Approved Program Application" button.

If you are not able to complete your application in one session, you will be able to save your progress and come back to the application later. Log back in at and in the My CFLE Certification box, click the "Continue" button under Approved Program Application to continue your application and payment.

Start Your Approved-Program Application for CFLE >>

Applying for Provisional Certification

Provisional certification is available to applicants who can demonstrate content knowledge in each of the 10 Family Life Education content areas, but who have not yet earned enough work experience hours in Family Life Education to qualify for full-certification status.

Provisional certification is valid for up to five years. Provisional CFLEs can pursue full certification as soon as they can document sufficient work experience hours in Family Life Education.

Applying for Full Certification

If at the time you apply for certification you already have sufficient work experience to qualify for full status, you can complete the application and document your work experience at the same time by completing the online work experience summary form and identifying employers who can provide assessment & verification of your work. 

Family Life Education Work Experience Table

Requirements for full certification Bachelor's degree Master's or Ph.D.
Minimum hours required 3,200 hours of work experience 1,600 hours of work experience

Please visit work experience for full certification for more information on documenting work experience.


Graduates wishing to apply for the CFLE certification through the CFLE-approved program application process must complete all coursework included on their school's NCFR CFLE checklist.

Because the approved-program application process is intended for those who have current knowledge in the 10 Family Life Education (FLE) content areas, CFLE-approved coursework must be completed no more than seven years prior to graduation.

The approved-program application is only available to graduates who complete CFLE-approved coursework after the school's program was approved by NCFR. (The program approval date is noted on the school's checklist.) Applicants can substitute up to two courses. Directions for course substitutions are included on the checklist and in the application directions.

The courses listed on your school's checklist are required to cover the content for the CFLE certification. Even though a CFLE course might not be required for your degree program, you still need to take it (or an appropriate substitution) if you want to receive the CFLE certification.

Course Substitutions

NCFR allows up to two substitute courses on a checklist. Courses used in substitution for CFLE-approved courses must cover the same content and must have been completed with a grade of C- or better. Using the FLE Content and Practice Guidelines, please refer to the information listed under each content area for guidance as to what information needs to be included. While it is not required that every component be address directly, the majority of the concepts must be included.

Substitutions must be approved by NCFR (and must fit in the allowed time frame). You can request approval of a course prior to submitting your application by sending a request for substitution along with a syllabus for the substitution course to Emily Vang. Otherwise, note on your checklist which courses are being used as substitutions and include a copy of the course syllabus (from the time that you took the course). You can do this at the time of application.

Transfer Credits

Some degree programs will accept a course from another college or university as equivalent to one that they offer. These transfer courses are still considered substitutes to the approved course on a CFLE checklist and must be approved by NCFR. There are many circumstances where CFLE requirements are not the same as degree requirements. The criteria used by NCFR to approve a course for the 10 FLE content areas is different than that used by a university department to accept transfer credit, which is why we need to review all transfer courses.


You will need to show proof of successful completion of all courses used on the checklist (including substitution courses) on an original, official transcript. If the course was taken at an institution other than the one you are graduating from, and it does not appear on your official transcript (showing course prefix, course number, course name, final grade, and when you took the course), you will need to provide a transcript from the other institution. Any course used as part of the CFLE-approved program application process must come from a regionally-accredited institution.

Start Your Approved-Program Application for CFLE >>