You can now apply online to:

  • upgrade from provisional to full CFLE status;
  • apply for certification after graduating from a CFLE-approved-program; or 
  • apply to take the CFLE exam.

Start Your Online Application >>


To receive full certification as a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE), applicants must document sufficient Family Life Education work experience activity.

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 the development of curriculum and materials, and the development or presentation of workshops, courses or programs involving life skills, e.g., communication, parenting, financial management, sexuality. Family Life Education can also involve research, program administration, and policy development.

Family Life Education work experience can include a variety of professional 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. Work experience hours must be presented within a professional context; NCFR does not allow personal experience to be counted toward CFLE work experience hours. 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

The number of hours of work experience needed for CFLE full status 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 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 do not work in a traditional Family Life Education setting but have incorporated Family Life Education methods and/or a preventive and educational approach into their work can explain how they used Family Life Education methods or approaches in their work. 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 10 Family Life Education content areas.

Applicants Pursuing Full CFLE Certification Must Provide:

  • a current resume or vita
  • 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 (e.g., 30 hours per week x 3 years = 4,320 hours)
    • brief description of activity (.e.g, Develop and present parenting education curriculum), and
    • the Family Life Education content areas addressed through the work.
  • 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. See below for more about employer verification.

You will provide your work experience information when completing the relevant application process:

  • Exam application — for applicants applying for full certification by taking the CFLE exam (online application process)
  • CFLE-approved program application — for applicants applying for full certification by graduating from a CFLE-approved school (online application process)
  • Upgrade application — for provisional CFLEs upgrading from provisional status to full status (online application process)

How to Complete Your Application Online

If you do not yet hold the CFLE credential, start your application for full certification via the exam process; the CFLE-approved program process; or the upgrade process by logging in at In the My CFLE Certification box, click the button to start the relevant application.

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 your application to continue your application and payment.

Start Your Application for Full CFLE Status >>

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 "Emily Vang" 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.

When you complete the online application, you will be asked to identify one or more employers. Those employers will be emailed a link to an online form they will use to verify and assess your work experience.

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

At least 50% of work experience must be confirmed by someone other than the applicant. Ideally, all your work experience listed on the work experience summary form is assessed and verified by an employer.

Information Employers Are Asked to Provide: 

The employers you identify will be asked to rate your knowledge in the 10 Family Life Education content areas on a scale of 1–5 (1=Unable to rate, 2=Minimal, 3=Average, 4=Very good, 5=Excellent).

Each employer also will rate your traits, skills, and abilities needed for Family Life Education using the same 1–5 scale:

  • Works well with diverse audiences
  • Engages in ethical decision-making
  • Exhibits professionalism and maintains appropriate boundaries
  • Problem solving skills
  • Overall skill in educational methodology (e.g., needs assessment; planning, implementing, and evaluating curricula or programs)
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Public speaking skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Works well one on one
  • Works well with groups
  • Awareness of one’s own personal attitudes and cultural values
  • Accepts & integrates constructive feedback
  • Emotional stability and maturity
  • Empathy
  • Self-confidence
  • Flexibility


Please note: Fees are nonrefundable. Visit our fees webpage for all fee information.

You can now apply online to upgrade from provisional to full CFLE status.

Start Your Application for Full CFLE Status >>