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Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). Step by Step Guide to the CFLE Abbreviated Application Process . Family Life Education. Is any organized effort to provide family members with information, skills, experiences, or resources intended to strengthen,

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family life education
Family Life Education

Is any organized effort to

provide family members with

information, skills,

experiences, or resources

intended to strengthen,

improve or enrich their family



FLE is relevant to individuals and families

throughout the life span because

it focuses on prevention


FLE takes an educational rather than therapeutic approach

  • FLE is based on the needs of individuals and their families through professionals and family members collaborating together
    • FLE is a multi-disciplinary area of study and is

multi-professional in its practice

    • FLE programs are offered in many different settings
    • FLE presents and respects differing family values
family life education1
Family Life Education

While various professionals assist families, it is the family life educator who incorporates a family-systems, preventive and educational approach to individual and family issues.

certification for family life educators
Certification for Family Life Educators

National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) sponsors the only program to certify family life educators.


FLE Content AreasFamilies & Individuals in Societal Contexts Internal Dynamics of FamiliesHuman Growth & Development over the Life SpanHuman SexualityInterpersonal RelationshipsFamily Resource ManagementParent Education and GuidanceFamily Law & Public PolicyProfessional Ethics & PracticeFamily Life Education Methodology

individuals and families in societal contexts
Individuals and Families in Societal Contexts
  • Marital choice
  • Cross-cultural and minority families
  • Kinship
  • Changing gender roles
  • Demographic trends
  • Historical issues
  • Work-family relationships
  • Societal relations Structures and functions
  • Cultural variations
  • Dating
  • Courtship

Understanding families and their relationships to societal institutions

internal dynamics of families
Internal Dynamics of Families
  • Internal social processes
  • Communication
  • Conflict management
  • Normal family stresses
  • Family crises
  • Special needs in families

Understanding family strengths and weaknesses and how family members relate to each other

human growth development across the life span
Human Growth & Development Across the Life Span
  • Prenatal
  • Infancy
  • Early and middle childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Adulthood
  • Aging

Understanding the developmental changes of individuals and families throughout the life span

human sexuality
Human Sexuality
  • Reproductive physiology
  • Biological determinants
  • Aspects of sexual involvement
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Sexual values and decision-making
  • Family planning
  • Sexual response
  • Influence on relationships

Understanding the physiological, psychological, and social aspects of sexual development throughout the lifespan

interpersonal relationships
Interpersonal Relationships

Understanding of the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships

  • Self and others
  • Communication skills
  • Intimacy
  • Love
  • Romance
  • Relating to others
family resource management
Family Resource Management
  • Goal-setting & decision-making
  • Development & allocation of resources
  • Social environment influences
  • Life cycle and family structure influences
  • Consumer issues and decisions
  • Understanding the decisions individuals and families make about developing and allocating resources, including…
  • time
  • money and material assets
  • friends and neighbors
  • space
parent education guidance
Parent Education & Guidance

Understanding of how parents teach, guide, and influence children and adolescents

  • Parenting rights and responsibilities
  • Parenting practices/processes
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Variation in parenting solutions
  • Changing parenting roles over the life cycle
family law and public policy
Family Law and Public Policy
  • Family and the law
  • Family and social services
  • Family and education
  • Family and the economy
  • Family and religion
  • Policy and the family

Understanding of legal issues, policies, and laws influencing the well being of families.

professional ethics practice
Professional Ethics & Practice
  • Ethics of Professional Practice
  • Formation of values
  • Diversity of values in pluralistic society
  • Examining ideologies
  • Social consequences of value choices
  • Ethics and technological change

Understanding the character and quality of human social conduct and the ability to critically examine ethical questions and issues

fle methodology
FLE Methodology
  • Planning and implementing
  • Evaluation
  • Education techniques
  • Sensitivity to others
  • Sensitivity to community concern
  • Understanding the general philosophy and broad principles of family life education in conjunction with the ability to:
  • plan
  • implement
  • evaluate
  • educational programs
career opportunities in family life education
Career Opportunities in Family Life Education

Family life educators work with individuals and families in varying capacities. They have specific training in family systems and development that enables them to bring a family perspective to their chosen career, regardless of the employment sector.

where do family life educators work
Where do Family Life Educators Work?

Caregiver &

Long Term Care


Faith Communities

where do family life educators work1
Where do Family Life Educators Work?

Marital and Pre-marital Education

where do family life educators work2
Where do Family Life Educators Work?

Schools & Educational Settings

Family Law Settings

where do family life educators work3
Where do Family Life Educators Work?

Adoption Agencies

Curriculum Development


Where do Family Life Educators






Where do Family Life Educators


Public Policy Settings

Medical Settings


Family Life Education Venues

Practice- teaching, education, program or curricula development,

Administration - leadership or management, organizing, coordinating, and

Promotion - public policy, lobbying, advocating for system change and awareness


Benefits of CFLE Certification

  • Increases credibility as a professional by showing that the high standards and criteria needed to provide quality family life education have been met
  • Validates experience and education
  • Adds credibility to the field by defining standards and criteria needed to provide quality family life education

Benefits of CFLE Certification

  • Recognizes the broad, comprehensive range of issues which constitutes family life education and expertise in the field
  • Acknowledges the preventive focus of family life education
  • Provides avenues for networking with other family life educators both locally and nationally

Benefits of CFLE Certification

  • Quarterly newsletter, Network, and a Directory of Certified Family Life Educators
  • Access to CFLE listserv
  • Certification offers the opportunity to attend special CFLE meetings and events

Two Paths to Certification

  • Completion of the CFLE Exam
  • Abbreviated Application Process

Academic Program Review

Because NCFR has already approved your school’s course work in the 10 content areas, you qualify to apply using the Abbreviated Application process which saves you time and money!

People who did not graduate from an NCFR-Approved program need to complete the CFLE Exam



  • 150 multiple-choice questions
  • Offered multiple times each year
  • For Full Certification - $260 for NCFR members; $365 for non-members (fees are non-refundable)
  • For Provisional Certification - $185 for NCFR members; $290 for non-members (fees are non-refundable)
  • Graduates of NCFR-approved programs
  • do not need to take the CFLE exam.

Abbreviated Application Process

  • Graduates of NCFR-approved academic programs can apply for Provisional Certification through the Abbreviated Application process.
  • Each NCFR-approved program has a checklist of pre-approved courses.
  • Graduates complete the checklist and submit it along with the application and an official transcript showing degree completion and the application fee

Abbreviated Application Process

  • Checklist
  • Official transcript
  • Submissions welcomed year-round
  • Apply within 2 years of graduation; all coursework must have been completed within the past five years.
  • $105 fee for NCFR members; $150 for non-members

(fees are non-refundable)


Provisional Certification

  • Provisional Certification is intended for applicants who have met the academic requirements of the CFLE designation.
  • Provisional CFLE’s upgrade to Full Certification status once they can document a specified amount of work experience in family life education. Provisional CFLEs MUST upgrade to Full Certification by the end of the five year Provisional period.

Benefits of the

Abbreviated Application Process

You save money! It is less expensive and less time intensive to apply under the Abbreviated process!

Submissions welcomed year-round; you don’t have to wait for a submission deadline.

Provisional CFLEs can upgrade to Full Certification after earning work experience in family life education



  • You have completed the first step to certification. You are attending an NCFR CFLE-approved school!
  • Here’s how to apply:
  • Access NCFR’s website – www.ncfr.org
  • Under CFLE Certification select Abbreviated Application Process
  • Print the following:
  • Abbreviated Application Directions
  • Abbreviated Application form
  • Checklist from your school
  • CFLE Code of Ethics

It Pays to Plan Ahead….

  • Consult your school’s checklist as you plan your coursework within your major.
  • Keep in mind that the course requirements for the CFLE designation may be different than for your degree. You may need to take extra classes

What if I am missing a few classes?

  • NCFR allows for TWO substitutions
  • Substitutions MUST cover required content area
  • (e.g. Infant Development is not an acceptable substitute for an aging class in Content Area #3)
  • When substituting classes, always submit the class syllabus and a brief description of how the class met the content area
  • If the substitution course was completed at a school other than the approved school, submit an official transcript showing completion of the course.
  • All coursework must have been completed within the past five years
  • NCFR will pre-approve substitutions prior to submission of an Abbreviated Application

What if I transferred classes?

NCFR accepts transferred classes from both approved and non-approved schools. However, these courses would be counted as substitutions and would follow the substitution requirements.

You must provide an official transcript for the transfer classes if they were taken at another school


Avoid the most frequent mistakes

  • Submitting a photocopy of an official transcript rather than the OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT
  • Submitting a transcript that does not show DEGREE COMPLETION.
  • Substituting more than 2 classes.
  • Including coursework completed more than five years ago

Avoid the most frequent mistakes

  • Not providing a syllabus for a class being used as a substitution for an approved class
  • Thinking that you do not need a course from the CFLE checklist because you did not need it for your degree program
  • Waiting more than two years after graduation to apply
  • Not being an NCFR member. Being an NCFR member saves you money (You do not have to be a member of NCFR to be a CFLE but NCFR members pay lower fees)


  • Submit:
  • An Official Transcript Showing Degree Completion
  • A Completed Checklist
  • The Abbreviated Application Fee
  • A signed copy of the CFLE Code of Ethics

Additional Information

  • Once Certified, all CFLEs, Provisional and Full, pay a CFLE Annual fee.
  • The CFLE Annual fee covers the CFLE newsletter, Network, the CFLE listserv, and other CFLE benefits
  • The CFLE Annual fee is currently $65 for NCFR members and $90 for non-members


Please feel free to contact Maureen Bourgeois at NCFR with any questions, concerns, or comments.

Maureen can be reached at maureenbourgeois@ncfr.org or by calling 888-781-9331.


Thank You!

National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)