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Professional Competencies for AHIP

Candidates who hold a master's degree from a non-American Library Association accredited program must document sponsored instruction in all Professional Competencies, regardless of the number of years of professional work experience.

An applicant is required to document a minimum of eight contact hours of instruction in a core area to fulfill the requirement for that Professional Competency. The following types of course work are acceptable forms of sponsored instruction:

Sponsored Instruction
Required Documentation
Continuing Education course preapproved for MLA credit A copy of MLA CE certificate(s)
Continuing Education course not preapproved for MLA credit A copy of certificate or letter of completion plus a copy of the course syllabus
Academic course work A copy of transcript plus a copy of the course syllabus

Candidates without an ALA-accredited MLS are required to submit Form COMPETENCIES, Evidence of Professional Competencies with their initial application to indicate how they have satisfied these areas.

The following descriptions of the Professional Competencies are from MLA's Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success.

1. Health Sciences and Health Care Environment and Information Policies

Understand the health sciences and health care environment and the policies, issues, and trends that impact that environment including:

  • current management and business practices
  • the parent organization's (academic medical center, hospital, government, corporate, etc.) major policy and program sources
  • the health sciences professions
  • the clinical care, research, medical education, cultural, ethical, economic, and legal issues and environments
  • various health and health-related organizations

2. Leadership and Management Theory and Techniques

Know and understand the application of leadership, finance, communication, and management theory and techniques including:

  • understanding the institution's mission and planning processes and the role of the library in the institution
  • forging and maintaining alliances with universities, public libraries, public health services, community-based organizations, and others to meet users' information needs
  • human resources management including recruitment, retention, staff development, and mentoring
  • facilities planning and space allocation
  • budgeting, cost analyses, and fund-raising
  • public relations, marketing, and advertising
  • library programs and services administration

3. Health Sciences Information Services

Understand the principles and practices related to providing information services to meet users' needs including:

  • the information needs of health practitioners, researchers, administrators, educators, students, patients, consumers, and the general public
  • the institution's information policies
  • methods of information delivery and access including consideration of the specific information needs of diverse populations
  • information services management

4. Health Sciences Resource Management

Have the ability to manage health information resources in a broad range of formats including:

  • selection, acquisitions, and control of resources including the licensing of resources
  • scholarly publishing, copyright, licensing, privacy, and intellectual property issues
  • conservation, preservation, and archiving of materials in all formats
  • cataloging, classification, abstracting, and thesaurus construction and knowledge representation
  • national and international standards and conventions
  • trends in information formatting, production, packaging, and dissemination

5. Information Systems and Technology

Understand and use technology and systems to manage all forms of information including:

  • basic principles of automated systems, data standards, and systems analysis techniques including design and evaluation
  • acquisition, use, and evaluation of information technologies
  • integration of systems and technologies
  • technological solutions for permanent access to electronic information
  • applications in emerging areas of biomedicine computational biology and health information, including electronic health care systems and records
  • communications and information infrastructure including the Internet and Web

6. Curricula Design and Instruction 

Understand curricular design and instruction and have the ability to teach ways to access, organize, and use information including:

  • adult learning theory and cognitive psychology
  • educational needs assessment, analysis, and evaluation
  • instructional methodologies, technologies, and systems design
  • management of education services

7. Research, Analysis, and Interpretation

Understand scientific research methods and have the ability to critically examine and filter research literature from many related disciplines including:

  • using quantitative and qualitative methodologies and techniques and their interpretation
  • locating, organizing, and critically evaluating the research literature
  • using principles of evidence-based practice to support decision making
  • conducting research and reporting and disseminating research findings either individually or in interdisciplinary research teams