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Professional Development

Discussion Group Program

The MLA Discussion Group program offers you an opportunity to explore a topic of interest with other professionals and earn MLA continuing education (CE) contact hours for professional development.

Program Goals

  • to promote the professional interchange of participants' experiences, knowledge, ideas, and opinions
  • to provide professional growth and development opportunities


  • keeps you at the forefront of current issues in your profession
  • sharpens your skills in evaluating research
  • provides you with the opportunity to review materials relevant to health sciences information and to share insights with your colleagues
  • allows you to continue your professional development and earn MLA CE contact hours

Groups and Requirements

MLA discussion groups, consisting of three to twenty-five people, may meet in person or hold discussions online. A specific, well-defined topic, area, or theme for discussion needs to be chosen to qualify. Select a question to read the answer.

A discussion group forms when individuals decide they would like to learn about and discuss professional issues of common interest. One individual assumes the role of convener to recruit members, develop the list of materials for discussion, apply for approval, organize meetings, document the participation of members, collect evaluations, distribute MLA CE certificates, and report back to MLA's CE staff.

The program is open to any interested individual, both MLA members and nonmembers.

Materials must relate to the discussion group's focus. Articles from professional journals, book chapters, multi-chaptered books, and electronic resources may be used. The amount of material to be covered should be the equivalent of six to twelve, five-ten page journal articles.

Eight hours of time is spent in discussion. Groups typically meet six times for ninety minutes per session. Both in-person and online groups must complete their series of discussions within twelve months of the starting date.

$50.00 per discussion group (consisting of three to twenty-five people)

Contact Hour Approval and Academy Credit

Each MLA discussion group may be approved for up to eight MLA CE hours. Conveners are responsible for the application process.

Individuals may use MLA CE hours earned through the discussion group program for credit in MLA's Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP). While the number of discussion groups in which you can participate is not limited, only three discussion groups over a five-year period may be applied toward membership in AHIP or toward academy renewal at the same or higher level.

The convener may apply for an additional five points for the responsibilities involved in organizing and facilitating the group.

Get Started Now

  • select a topic of interest and form a group
  • decide on materials for discussion, format of group, and meeting arrangements
  • pay the application fee by visiting the MLA Store
  • complete the application (MLA will process the application and, on approval, notify convenor of approval)
  • participate in discussions and report back when completed
  • complete MLA online evaluation and receive a MLA CE certificate

Please contact MLA's Professional Development Department with questions.