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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 with points that match membership level
  • Documentation of points as required by 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 professional 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 professional accomplishments, including continuing education.
  • At least 5 of the 80 points must be from professional association participation.

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 professional accomplishments, including continuing education.
  • At least 10 of the 120 points must be from professional association participation, and at least 5 of these 10 points must be from MLA activities. Activities marked with a diamond (♦) in the Points Index and on the Points Tally Form 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 link on the invoice in PDF.

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!

Also, did you know... some chapters offer financial assistance for AHIP applicants in their chapters? Here are links to chapters that offer their members help with AHIP fees. Visit the chapters' websites for application criteria and to apply for assistance.

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 as follows:

  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 IPR 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 (e.g. 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 to which you are applying.
  • If all necessary forms and documents are not submitted, your application will be delayed.

What Happens Next

Headquarters staff screens your application for completeness meaning that all your background documents (resume, job description, diploma or transcript) are submitted and that each activity claimed on your tally form is verified with supporting documentation. 

Documentation not submitted for even one activity can delay the application. You will be contacted by staff asking you to upload the missing information to your existing AHIP session.

After staff verifies that all documents are submitted, members of the MLA Credentialing Committee will review your application for initial and final review. You will be notified of their decision within 10-12 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.