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AHIP Credentialing

Application Process for New Academy Members or Members Renewing at a Higher Level

Follow the steps below to begin the application process. If you are an AHIP member and want to renew at the same level, please see instructions on the "How to Renew" page.

Contact MLA headquarters (312.419.9094 x11) for academy questions and information. 

Step 1

Review the requirements for academy membership to determine the level for which you qualify. To determine the appropriate membership level, see the membership level requirements summary.

Step 2

Completely fill out the required forms for the level for which you are applying.

  • APPLICATION Form: This form requests information about your master's degree and your professional work experience following the degree. A link to this form will be emailed upon payment.
  • AHIP POINTS TALLY Form: List individual accomplishments completed during the relevant credentialing period and total your points on this form. See the point index for documentation requirements for continuing education and individual accomplishments.
  • SELF-REVIEW Form This form is used by applicants at the provisional level to assess professional development needs.
  • EMERITUS Form: This form is used by retired applicants requesting emeritus status.
  • COMPETENCIES Form: This form is for candidates who do not hold an ALA-accredited master's degree and therefore must document formal instruction in all essential areas of knowledge based on the Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success. Educational activities used to satisfy these requirements must be listed on form COMPETENCIES with documentation attached. Official transcripts are required for academic coursework; certificates of completion are required for approved continuing education courses.

Membership Level

Required for Portfolio

Provisional with ALA-accredited master's degree

  • APPLICATION Form (link to this form will be emailed upon payment)
  • SELF-REVIEW form 
  • COMPETENCIES SELF-ASSESSMENT (you will receive 1 AHIP point upon completion)
  • Current CV or resume
  • Current job description
  • Copy of your diploma or transcript for master's degree

Provisional with other master's degree

  • APPLICATION Form (link to this form will be emailed upon payment)
  • SELF-REVIEW form
  • COMPETENCIES form
  • Current CV or resume
  • Current job description
  • Copy of your diploma or transcript for master's degree

Member level and above (senior, distinguished) with ALA-accredited master's degree

  • APPLICATION Form (link to this form will be emailed upon payment)
  • Documentation to support accomplishments on AHIP POINTS TALLY form
  • Current CV
  • Current job description
  • Copy of your diploma or transcript for master's degree

Member level and above (senior, distinguished)  with other master's degree

  • APPLICATION Form (link to this form will be emailed upon payment)
  • Documentation to support accomplishments on AHIP POINTS TALLY form 
  • COMPETENCIES form
  • Current CV
  • Current job description
  • Copy of your diploma or transcript for master's degree

All levels above seeking approval of non-MLA continuing education activities

Emeritus/retired member with ALA-accredited masters or other master's degree

Step 3

Collect all of your forms and supporting documentation in an electronic format (e.g., PDF). The academy only accepts applications electronically. Please make sure your name is on each supporting document. Highlight your name on pages from programs and officer or committee lists.

Step 4

If applying at the member level or above, use the AHIP Points Tally form to record the points you have earned. Document a few more points than necessary. Select the ones that are easiest to document. If there is a problem with some of the points you've claimed, you'll have extra points as a cushion. When you have finished, check the total number of points to determine whether you have the required number and distribution of points. 

In addition to the overall points, make sure any requirements for professional association activities and MLA activities have been documented.

Step 5

After your forms are completed and your documents are ready, pay the appropriate nonrefundable application fee in US dollars. For credit card payments, go to your academy level below to add to cart and complete check out in the Online Store (choose the $0.00 ground ship option to avoid errors).

For check payments: Please make payable to the Medical Library Association (please indicate that your check is for AHIP membership) and send to:

Medical Library Association
Department 4627
Carol Stream, IL 60122-4627

To enjoy discounted AHIP fees, join MLA today!

Step 6

Once payment is made, you will receive a link to the academy application. Please submit the completed application and upload your portfolio consisting of all required forms and supporting documentation.

Suggestions:

  • Please compile your supporting documentation into as few PDF's or docs as possible. Numerous individual files will not be accepted. 
  • If you have numerous documents, you may combine documents by section as listed on the tally sheet (i.e. all CE certificates as one PDF, etc)
  • Please make sure that your documents to support your accomplishments (including any IRP form(s) is in the order listed on the AHIP Points Tally form.  

If all necessary forms and documents are not submitted, there may be a delay in processing your application.

What Happens Next

    • After you have paid, filled out the application and uploaded your documents, staff will acknowledge receipt via email. If your portfolio is incomplete, you will be contacted by staff or by a member of the Credentialing Committee. Incomplete portfolios and those unaccompanied by proper fee payment will not be processed until complete. 
    • Reviews of AHIP applications are scheduled upon receipt of payment. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis. On average, MLA headquarters and the Credentialing Committee process a complete portfolio within eight weeks. Incomplete portfolios take longer. 
    • Portfolios receive an initial and then final review by members of the MLA Credentialing Committee which approves all successful candidates for recognition by the Academy. 
    • After approval, the Academy of Health Information Professionals issues certificates signed by the president and the executive director of MLA and, if requested by the applicant, notifies the employer in writing of membership in the academy.
    • Please remember to review the requirements for your membership level at least once per year.

Appeals

An appeals panel appointed by the MLA Board of Directors reviews and decides cases in which candidates for recognition question interpretations made by the Credentialing Committee.

Applicants who are denied recognition by the academy will receive written notification of the reasons from the Credentialing Committee chair designate. Appeals of such decisions must be filed with the Academy of Health Information Professionals at MLA headquarters within ninety days of receiving the ineligibility notice by contacting Tomi Gunn.

In an appeals process, a majority (2/3) of the Appeals Panel will rule.