CFLE Frequently Asked Questions
Table of contents
- Do I have to have completed a college degree in order to be a CFLE?
- Do I need to have a license to be a Family Life Educator?
- How do I find Continuing Education Opportunities?
- How much does it cost to apply for the CFLE credential?
- If I forfeit my CFLE credential can I become a CFLE again in the future?
- If I graduated from a CFLE-approved program, do I have to take the CFLE exam?
- Once certified, how do I maintain my certification?
- Is there a code of ethics for the CFLE program?
- What is the difference between being a CFLE and being a member of NCFR?
- What is the difference between provisional and full certification?
- What does NCFR consider to be an official transcript?
- What If I fail the CFLE exam?
- What if I haven't earned enough work experience hours to upgrade to full certification at the end of five years?
- What if I want to apply for full certification through the CFLE-approved program application?
- Which schools offer CFLE-approved programs?
Do I have to have completed a college degree in order to be a CFLE?
Yes. All applicants for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential must have completed a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited* college/university.
*Accredited means a recognized regional agency for the accreditation of a Baccalaureate Institutions, Acceptable agencies include:
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Degrees earned outside the United States
Applicants with a degree earned outside of the United States must provide evidence of degree equivalency to a degree earned in the United States. Credentials should be evaluated by an official credential evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). A list of members of NACES can be found at www.naces.org
Do I need to have a license to be a Family Life Educator?
There is no legal requirement for Family Life Education. Anyone can say that they are a Family Life Educator. That is one of the reasons that the National Council on Family Relations created the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) credential. The CFLE credential recognizes that the designate has met industry standards for effective practice.
How do I find Continuing Education Opportunities?
CFLEs with full certification need to document continuing education credit (a minimum of 100 contact hours or 10 CEUs) every five years showing that they are staying current in the field of Family Life Education. This is shown by documenting completion of continuing education activities in 2 of these areas: Academic Preparation, Professional Development and/or Work Experience.
CFLEs are required to give the following information about each activity.
- Name of activity.
- Date (range or single date) of the activity.
- Location/Sponsor of activity.
- Number of Contact Hours or CEUs earned.
- Content Areas covered in the activity.
NCFR maintains two lists of CFLE-approved activities. We have approved meetings that are date-specific and others that are ongoing throughout the calendar year.
How much does it cost to apply for the CFLE Credential?
The cost for certification varies depending upon the level (provisional vs full) of certification and the application process (CFLE-approved application vs CFLE exam). Fees also vary for NCFR members and non-members. Please note: application fees are non-refundable.
If I forfeit my CFLE credential can I become a CFLE again in the future?
Forfeited CFLEs may reinstate their credential within two years of forfeiture by paying any back fees and meeting any continuing education or upgrade requirements.
For more information, please visit: Reinstatement of the CFLE credential.
If I graduated from a CFLE-approved program, do I have to take the CFLE exam?
No, as long as you completed the pre-approved courses on your school's CFLE checklist, and apply within two years of graduation, you do not need to take the CFLE exam.
Once certified, how do I maintain my certification?
All CFLEs, whether provisional or full status, must pay the CFLE annual fee. The CFLE annual fee is due each year, in the month in which the CFLE was first certified (their anniversary month).
CFLEs with provisional status must upgrade to full certification within five years of approval by documenting work experience in Family Life Education. Provisional CFLEs should submit upgrade materials as close as possible to their anniversary month to avoid double paying the CFLE Annual fee, which is included in the upgrade fee.
CFLEs with full certification must recertify every five years by submitting evidence of 100 hours of continuing education activity.
For more information, please visit Maintaining Your Certification.
Is there a code of ethics for the CFLE program?
Yes. All CFLEs must read and sign the CFLE Code of Ethics as part of the application process. In addition, they must review and re-sign the code every five years when they submit their continuing education credits.
What is the difference between being a CFLE and being a member of NCFR?
Membership in the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) and the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) program are two separate things.
NCFR is a membership organization for family professionals. Membership in NCFR is voluntary. Anyone who wants to be a member of NCFR can become one by paying the membership dues. There are a number of benefits to being a member of NCFR including subscriptions to our journals and the NCFR newsletter NCFR Report, discounts on conference registration and products, and networking opportunities.
In order to be a CFLE you must complete an application process and meet the certification requirements.
Because NCFR is the sponsoring agency for the CFLE program, NCFR members pay lower CFLE fees than non-members, but you do not have to be a member of NCFR in order to be a CFLE.
What is the difference between provisional and full certification?
There are two levels of certification, provisional and full.
Provisional certification is available to CFLE applicants who have demonstrated content knowledge in each of the 10 Family Life Education content areas, but who have not yet earned sufficient work experience hours in Family Life Education to qualify for full status. Provisional certification is available for up to five years.
Full certification is available to CFLE applicants who have demonstrated both content knowledge and sufficient work experience in providing Family Life Education.
Full certification can be earned in two ways. One option is to first obtain provisional certification by graduating from a CFLE-approved program and then to upgrade to full certification upon documentation of sufficient work experience in Family Life Education. The amount of work experience needed is contingent upon the applicability and level of the degree earned. See Certification Requirements Table.
The other option for full certification is the successful completion of the CFLE exam, along with the simultaneous submission of documentation of work experience in Family Life Education. This work experience is documented through completion of the Family Life Education work experience summary form and submission of the employer verification and assessment form.
What does NCFR consider to be an official transcript?
An official transcript must include a watermark or embossment. It does not have to be in a sealed envelope or be sent directly from the school. NCFR will not accept photocopy, fax, or electronically-transmitted transcripts. The transcript needs to include information on the degree completed and the date conferred.
What If I fail the CFLE exam?
You can take the CFLE exam up to three times per test form. You cannot take the CFLE exam more than once within the same testing window. Contact the NCFR office when you are ready to retake the exam. You will need to submit the CFLE exam retake form and pay the CFLE exam retake fee which is currently $135. Staff at NCFR will send you the retake form upon request.
What if I haven't earned enough work experience hours to upgrade to full certification at the end of five years?
Provisional CFLEs who are unable to earn the required number of hours of work experience needed to upgrade from provisional to full status may extend their provisional status for up to three years by demonstrating that they have remained current in the field of Family Life Education. They can do this by submitting evidence of at least 20 hours of continuing education activity for every year of extension.
Provisional CFLEs requesting an extension must submit information regarding their continuing education activity following the format required for the recertification process used by full CFLEs recertifying every five years. Contact the NCFR office before submitting information to extend provisional status.
The provisional CFLE requesting an extension to their provisional status does need to continue to pay the CFLE annual fee for the year(s) in which they are requesting an extension. There is no additional fee for review of the continuing education credits.
What if I want to apply for full certification through the CFLE-approved program application?
You can apply for full certification through the CFLE-approved program application by submitting proof of successful completion of the required coursework and documenting your work experience.
You can submit the materials for the CFLE-approved program application and the work experience documentation at the same time. Please be sure to use the Work Experience Summary Form - Combined form.
You will need to pay both the CFLE-approved application fee ($110 NCFR members/$155 non-member) and the work experience review fee ($95 NCFR members/$145 non-member). You can pay with one check.
Which schools offer CFLE-approved programs?
There are currently over 120 undergraduate and graduate NCFR-approved academic programs in the United States and Canada.