What Is Required for Earning a Life Care Planning Certificate?

Life care planners provide an important service in the health care industry. Continue reading to learn about the admission requirements, as well as requirements for earning a life care planning certificate. Schools offering Clinical Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Life Care Planning Certificate Program

A life care planning certificate program provides students with the skills necessary to create accurate life care plans. Most programs are designed for health and human service professionals who are interested in pursuing careers as life care planners. Many related programs are offered online and introduce students to a variety of topics, including brain injury, spinal cord injury, psychological disabilities, case management, ethics and courtroom testimony. Students are sometimes required to attend short on-site workshops. There, they may hear presentations from experts and have opportunities to evaluate the life care plans of their peers. Most educational programs can be completed in a year or less. After earning the certificate, one might begin to offer planning services to the public.

Important Facts about This Area of Study

Common Courses Medical and psychological aspects of LCP, professional records, data development, brain injury, amputations, multiple disabilities, forensic aspects
Key Skills Emotional stability, detail-oriented, compassion, communication, organizational, critical thinking
Online Availability Some select schools
Possible Careers Occupational and physical therapists, rehabilitation counselors, registered nurses, case managers, social workers, psychologists, counselors

Pre-Certification Certificate Program

Some life care planning certificate programs are designed as pre-certification programs. Consisting of lectures, slideshows, and various exercises, pre-certification programs could help students to develop ethical decision-making and case management skills. A pre-certification curriculum might also focus on topics such as:

  • Life care planning orientation
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Multiple physical and psychological disabilities
  • Life care planning testimony
  • Brain injury

Admissions Requirements

Prospective students of life care planning certificate programs should be prepared to fulfill admissions requirements. For instance, some such programs require bachelor's degrees, registered nurse licensure and approximately 5,000 hours of clinical experience. A non-registered nurse professional may require a bachelor's degree in a related discipline, a copy of a rehabilitation certificate and up to five years of rehabilitation work experience.


Applicants who want to earn the Certified Life Care Planner (CLCP) credential must qualify to sit for the certification examination. Among the requirements are a minimum of 120 hours of post-graduate training in life care planning and the minimum academic degree for the applicants' specific health care profession. Candidates should hold licenses or certifications in their current professions and have accumulated at least three years of field experience within the five years prior to applying for CLCP certification.

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