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AHIP Credentialing

Academy Value to Employers

Many employers know about AHIP. The 2016 AHIP member survey found that over 75% of the 560 respondents said their employer is aware of AHIP, and 60% said that AHIP was required or recommended for a position they’ve held or applied for or a raise they sought or attained. Employers who have not yet learned about AHIP may want to know the answers to these questions.

Tell me, what is AHIP?

The Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) is the certification and career development program for medical librarians and other health information professionals. AHIP certification is equivalent to certifications in other professions, such as Human Resource (HR) certification, perioperative nursing certification, and medical-surgery nurse certification. AHIP is the only certification available to health information professionals.

What are the requirements for obtaining AHIP certification?

Obtaining AHIP certification required me to demonstrate to my peers, who have evaluated my portfolio, that I have met standards for formal education and for continuing education and individual accomplishment in areas such as teaching, publishing, conference presentations, and professional association activities. My certification is valid for five years. To maintain certification I must continue to demonstrate professional accomplishments, and the requirements become more demanding as I move up in level of Academy membership.

What is the value to my organization in hiring a professional with AHIP certification over a professional who lacks AHIP certification?

This is the question I hoped you would ask! While professionals in every field are a diverse lot and no certification guarantees every distinction of certification, in general, when you hire someone with AHIP certification you get:

  • A professional who meets a standard of professional education, experience, and accomplishment
  • A professional committed to their professional development and to staying current in their profession. AHIP members must reapply every five years, which requires them to stay current through continuing and formal education, contributing to scholarship in the field, and attending professional meetings, which offer 100s of scholarly and practical presentations and the latest from vendors.
  • A professional committed to the health information profession. AHIP members give back as mentors, instructors, and leaders.

This is what one library director said about AHIP:

When I became a Director, I made the strategic decision to require AHIP at hire for all medical librarians on staff, with the exception of entry-level positions. Entry-level medical librarians are required to get their AHIP within the first year of employment. This has made a positive difference within our organization when justifying positions and salaries commensurate with the specialized nature of medical librarians. It also encourages my medical librarians to retain their sense of curiosity to learn new things and seek experiences that further their professional development and understanding of the environments and populations that we serve.