Candidates who have not recently graduated from a CFLE-approved academic program can take the CFLE exam to become certified. To qualify to sit for the exam you need at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university.

You can apply for either provisional or full certification.

  • Provisional certification is available to those who have at least a bachelor's degree and can demonstrate knowledge in each of the 10 Family Life Education content areas, but who have not yet had sufficient work experience hours in Family Life Education to qualify for full certification.
  • Full certification is available for individuals who have the required amount of Family Life Education work experience.

CFLE exam study group learning community

NCFR offers the CFLE exam study group to people interested in taking the CFLE exam. You can join the study group learning community any time after you've decided that you're interested in taking the exam. Only people who have not yet taken the exam can participate.

This is a non-moderated study group. NCFR staff members are also members of the list and will monitor communication, but it's the group members' responsibility to start and respond to discussion topics. If you're interested in joining the group, please email Maddie Hansen with "Exam Study Group" in the subject line.

Find Exam Study Materials

What to submit to take the exam

Applicants pursuing provisional or full certification through the CFLE exam must submit the following:

  • 2018 exam application form and CFLE exam fee (Please note: application fees are non-refundable).
  • Original official transcript showing degree completion. Transcript must have a watermark, be embossed, or have other authenticating marks as described on the document. It does 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 Maddie Hansen from the university ("Maddie Hansen" and the NCFR address needs to appear as the recipient if that information is required). We cannot accept photocopied, scanned, or faxed transcripts.
  • Signed copy of the CFLE Code of Ethics

In addition to the items listed above, applicants pursuing full certification through the CFLE exam must also submit:

  • FLE work experience summary form

  • Work experience documentation (course outlines/syllabi, brochures, handouts, worksheets, table of contents for curriculum, publications, etc.)

  • Resume or vita

  • FLE employer assessment and verification form

For more information about the amount of Family Life Education work experience needed to be eligble to apply for full certification please visit the Work Experience for Full Certification page.

The CFLE exam

The CFLE exam is based on an extensive practice analysis survey distributed to more than 8,000 family professionals. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions.

The exam content is based upon 10 Family Life Education Content Areas. The percentage of questions for each content area is:

Families and Individuals in Societal Contexts 12%
Internal Dynamics of Families 12%
Human Growth and Development across the Lifespan 12%
Human Sexuality across the Lifespan 8%
Interpersonal Relationships 9%
Family Resource Management 10%
Parenting Education and Guidance 10%
Family Law and Public Policy 8%
Professional Ethics and Practice 7%
Family Life Education 12%

Study and review materials

The CFLE content and practice guidelines provide a detailed outline of concepts included on the CFLE exam. The exam study materials include all books used in developing the exam questions, as well as other relevant resources and applicant-created study guides. Applicants are not expected to read all books listed; rather, they can review resources as needed. There is also a list of sample exam questions to review.

In addition, candidates have found NCFR's publication Family Life Education: The Practice of Family Science to be a helpful resource. It is available for purchase through the NCFR online store.

Exam testing locations

Computer-based version

The computer-based version of the exam is given at specified Schroeder Measurement Technologies (SMT) testing sites throughout the United States and Canada, as well as several other countries. Find a testing center near you on the Iso-Quality Testing website, following the instructions below:

  1. Select your country
  2. Select your state (if in United States or Canada)
  3. View a list of cities that have locations for the test

Note: You cannot schedule your exam date until your application has been approved by NCFR. Candidates are given login and password information once they have submitted the CFLE exam application and been approved to sit for the exam.

Testing dates for computer-based testing

Submission deadline for provisional or full certification


February 2  – March 2, 2019

January 11, 2019


July 13 – August 10, 2019

June 21, 2019


October 19 – November 16, 2019

September 27, 2019



Paper version

The exam is also administered on-site at the NCFR Annual Conference, taken using pen and paper. Please note that you do not need to be registered for the NCFR Annual Conference to take the exam.

Written exam location/date/time

Submission deadline for full certification


NCFR Annual Conference

Fort Worth, TX

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Time: TBD


September 27, 2019



Score reporting

Exam scores are reported as a scaled score rather than a raw score of questions answered correctly, and is pass-fail in nature.

The reporting scale ranges from 0-1000, and the minimum passing scaled score will be set at 700. A candidate who achieves a scaled score at or above 700 on an examination will have passed the examination, while a candidate who scores below a 700 will have failed the examination. Candidates who do not receive a passing score will be provided with diagnostic information so that they can see areas of strength and weakness. Candidates who receive a passing score will not receive any diagnostic information. They will only be told that they passed the exam.

Each examination is constructed to meet the content requirements described in the corresponding content outline. Each test form uses different questions, and therefore may vary slightly in difficulty. As always, a candidate's score will be based on the number of questions answered correctly but the raw score will be converted to and reported as a scaled score.

Proper psychometric procedures are employed to make certain that form difficulty is taken into account and that no candidate is at an advantage or disadvantage and therefore, raw scores are converted to scaled scores that represent comparable levels of achievement.