Contact Us | Donate | Advertise Follow us on TwitterFollow us on facebookFollow us on LinkedIn

AHIP Credentialing

Application Instructions for AHIP Member, Senior or Distinguished Level

Now that you have determined that you are qualified to join the Academy as a Member, Senior Member, or Distinguished Member, please follow these steps to compile your application portfolio and submit your application.

Step 1.

Collect the materials for your application portfolio:

  • Current CV or resume
  • Current job description
  • Copy of your master's degree diploma or transcript
  • Completed Points Tally form for the level of membership you are applying for
  • Documentation of points, per requirements in the Points Index
  • If your Master’s degree is not from an ALA-accredited program, please include in your application portfolio:

Requirements by Level 

Member level

  • At least five years of full-time professional work experience
  • You must complete a minimum of fifty (50) points of individual accomplishments, including continuing education. 

Senior level

  • At least five years of full-time professional work experience
  • You must complete a minimum of eighty (80) points of individual accomplishments, including continuing education.
  • At least 5 of the 80 points must be from professional organization activities.

Distinguished level

  • Ten years or more of full-time professional work experience
  • You must complete a minimum of one-hundred and twenty (120) points of individual accomplishments, including continuing education.
  • At least 10 of the 120 points must be from professional organization activities, and at least 5 of these 10 points must be from MLA activities. Activities marked with an asterisk in the Points Index satisfy the Distinguished level requirement.
  • If you meet all other requirements for this level but do not have 5 points of MLA activity within the five years prior to your application, you should apply at Senior level. 

Step 2.

Create an invoice and pay the appropriate nonrefundable application fee in US dollars.

To ensure member rates, please log in before adding an item your cart.

Credit card: Once the invoice is created, you may pay online using the options at the bottom of the invoice.

Check: Please make payable to the “Medical Library Association” and indicate “AHIP membership” in the memo line. You may also send the invoice you created with your invoice to:

Medical Library Association

Department 4627

Carol Stream, IL 60122-4627

If you are not an MLA member, join MLA today to enjoy discounted AHIP fees and numerous other member benefits!

Step 3.

After your payment is processed, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to the online application. After completing the application, you will see an "ADD" button to upload documents that support your application.

Please group and upload your supporting documents in 3 PDF files following these suggestions:

  1. Background documents together in a single PDF: CV, transcript or diploma, job description
  2. Points Tally form as a separate, single PDF. This helps our reviewers compare activities listed on your Tally form with your supporting documentation.
  3. Supporting documentation in a single PDF:
    • Please ensure that the documents that support your accomplishments--including any IRP form(s)--are in the order listed on your Points Tally form
    • If you list an activity on your Points Tally form, please be sure to include supporting documentation for the activity. If you submit supporting documents for an activity, please be sure the activity listed on the Points Tally form.
    • Supporting documentation submitted as all individual files will NOT be accepted for review.


  • Document a few more points than necessary. If there is a problem with some of the points you've claimed, you'll have extra points as a cushion.
  • Submitting an excessive amount of points and documentation (ex. 300 points when you only need 120), may slow down your review.
  • When you have completed the Points Tally form, check the total number of points to make sure you have the required number and distribution of points for the level for which you are applying.
  • If all necessary forms and documents are not submitted, there may be a delay in processing your application.

What Happens Next

The MLA Credentialing Committee will review your application and you will be notified of their decision within 10 weeks.

Upon approval of your application:

  • Your MLANET profile will be updated with your AHIP dates and the AHIP badge. You will also be placed on the AHIP member roster.
  • You will receive an official letter and certificate in the mail. Any requested employer letters will also be mailed.
  • Academy membership for Member, Senior and Distinguished levels is valid for five years and must be renewed before the end of your fifth year.
  • You may apply for a higher level of membership at any time within a five-year period. To do so, submit a new portfolio, which will result in a new five-year time span for points and a new fee. Your new certificate will reflect the five-year period following the renewal at a higher level. See tips on preparing to qualify for your next level of membership.

AHIP Mentors

Any AHIP applicant or member may request a mentor to help with the application process or even after approval. If you are at Member level or above and wish to have a mentor, please contact the AHIP Program Coordinator.