Please see the bottom of this page to find required forms to submit for work experience verification.

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) considers Family Life Education work experience to be employment that involves prevention and education for individuals and families relevant to the 10 Family Life Education content areas. Employment is typically demonstrated through curriculum and material development, and the development or presentation of workshops, courses or programs involving life skills; e.g. communication, parenting, financial management, sexuality, etc. Family life education can also involve research, program administration and policy development.

Family Life Education work experience can include a variety of activities (paid or unpaid) such as program development; program coordination/administration; program evaluation; needs assessments; marketing of Family Life Education materials and programs; curriculum or resource development; publications; presentations; group facilitation; or community collaboration. To consider work experience activities as family life education, the work should reflect these criteria:

  • The work is educational and preventive in nature, rather than therapeutic
  • The work is related to at least one of the ten family life content areas
  • The work considers the whole family, even when working only with individuals (i.e., family systems perspective).
  • The work reflects a lifespan perspective - childhood, adolescence, adulthood, later adulthood.
  • The work includes identified content or a planned curriculum or program.

Family Life Education work experience documentation

To receive full certification as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE), applicants must document sufficient Family Life Education work experience activity. The number of hours of work experience needed varies depending upon the level and relevance of the applicant's degree.

Requirements for full

Bachelor's degree

Master's or Ph.D.

Family degree

3,200 hours work experience

1,600 hours work experience

Non-family degree

4,800 hours work experience for bachelor's, master's, or Ph.D.

Relevant work experiences should have occurred within the past five years. Experience earned before graduation can be used, but the majority of the work experience should be earned post graduation. Experience used during an internship can be used but must be supported with other work experiences. Volunteer work may be considered but it should be supported with training or formal preparation.

Applicants who work in a non-traditional family life education setting, but have incorporated family life education methods, and/or a preventive and educational approach into their work, can provide clarification as to how you did this. (An example might be someone who works in a nursing home and has developed a series of classes and support materials for residents and family members about coping with change, making decisions, and/or managing assets.) Each work experience should be relevant to at least one of the ten content areas.

Applicants pursuing full certification must submit:

  • Family Life Education Work Experience Summary Form
  • Current resume or vita
  • Examples of Family Life Education work experience (course outlines/syllabi, brochures, handouts, worksheets, table of contents for curriculum, publications, etc.)
  • Family Life Education employer work experience assessment & verification form
  • Signed copy of the CFLE Code of Ethics

and an application form:

  • Exam application - For applicants applying for full certification by taking the CFLE exam.
  • CFLE-approved application - For applicants applying for full certification by graduating from a CFLE-approved school.
  • Upgrade application - For provisional CFLEs upgrading their designations to Full status.

Note for provisional CFLEs upgrading to full certification:

If you have earned a family-specific degree since you were first certified you will also need to submit an original, official transcript showing degree completion. Transcripts do not need to be in a sealed envelope. Please note that we cannot accept transcripts emailed from applicants, faxed, scanned, or copied transcripts. You may submit an electronic transcript but it must be official and be sent directly from the university, making NCFR the "receiver"/"recipient" (make sure "Maddie Hansen" and NCFR's address are used for any recipient information).

Employer assessment and verification:

Applicants must have their work assessed and verified by an employer, supervisor, or colleague. If you are self-employed your work can be assessed and verified by an employee or client. The person who completes the form must be someone who has observed your work.

Ideally, all work experience listed on the work experience summary form is addressed through an employer assessment and verification form, but at minimum, at least 50 percent must be confirmed by someone other than the applicant. Employer forms can be included with the applicant's materials or can be sent directly to NCFR by the employer.

CFLE fees

Please note: Fees are non-refundable. Visit our fees page for all fee information.