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Professional Development

Consumer Health Information Specialization

The Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) will help you keep current in the consumer health information field and obtain an additional, recognized level of expertise. MLA hours earned through the CHIS program may be used for credit in MLA's Academy of Health Information Professionals.

CHIS can help advance the careers of:

  • medical librarians
  • public librarians
  • librarians working in consumer health libraries
  • allied health professionals

See a list of current CHIS recipients.

Levels and Requirements

Whether you desire a basic familiarity with consumer health information resources want additional training, MLA has a level for you.

  • Completion of 12 hours approved course or activities focussing on consumer health
  • One course focusing on the adminstration and management of consumer heath services (example: collection development, library management, strategic planning and marketing)
  • 8 hours must be from the MLA-approved CHIS course list
  • Non-health sciences librarians may apply a basic searching class toward specialization
  • Eight hours needed to renew at same level
  • Completion of 24 hours approved course or activities focussing on consumer health
  • One course focusing on the adminstration and management of consumer heath services (example: collection development, library management, strategic planning and marketing)
  • 18 hours must be from the MLA-approved CHIS course list
  • Non-health sciences librarians may apply a basic searching class toward specialization
  • Eight hours needed to renew at same level

You have three years to gather the hours needed, ending with the date you submit your materials. The specialization is valid for three years and may be renewed.

CHIS Courses

These MLA-approved consumer health courses have been developed and selected for the MLA Consumer Health Specialization. 

Activities not approved for CHIS

How to Apply (original application or renewal)

  • Participate in consumer health information educational activities and collect your certificates. (See MLA-approved CHIS courses)
  • Fill out an Individual Participant Request (IPR) form for credit, if educational activity is not from the MLA-approved CHIS course list.
  • Pay the application fee by visiting the MLA Store. (members: $55, nonmembers: $75)
  • Once payment is made, a link to the online application will be emailed to you. Complete the online application and upload your certificate(s) or other proof of completion (IPR form) for each course or activity submitted.
  • MLA will process the application and, on approval, send you certificate recognizing the achievement.

Instructors: Get Your Course Approved for CHIS

Activities must focus directly on consumer health issues or the provision of consumer health information. To be considered, select "Consumer Health" in the Specialization Consideration part of the Submit a Course for MLA CE Approval application form. You can also contact Debra Cavanaugh for more information.

MLA Webinars

Distinguishing the Questionable from the Trustworthy in Open Access Resources


Helping Patients and Health Care Consumers Understand Precision Medicine