Future and current AHIP members sometimes have questions about the program or need assistance with their AHIP application or renewal.

Below are options to get the help you need.


Wondering exactly what the Academy of Health Information Professionals is all about. . . what it is, how to become a member, and the benefits of having AHIP after your name? Get the answers to these questions and information about earning Academy points in the FAQ below. Select a question to read the answer!

General AHIP Questions

What is the Academy of Health Information Professionals?

The Academy of Health Information Professionals is a professional development and career recognition program of MLA. Admission to and level of Academy membership (Provisional, Member, Senior, Distinguished, and Emeritus) are based on three areas of achievement: academic preparation, professional experience, and professional accomplishment.

Is AHIP a credential, a certification, or a membership organization?

It’s all three. AHIP is a peer-reviewed, accomplishment/portfolio-based certification program for health information professionals. Certification is “a voluntary process by which a nongovernmental entity grants a time-limited recognition to an individual after verifying that he or she has met predetermined and standardized criteria.” Academy membership indicates that your peers have certified that you have met “met predetermined and standardized criteria,” which are described . It is similar to an ANCC certification for nurses, with the difference that nurses are licensed. A certification is a kind of credential.

AHIP is also a membership organization in that members are entitled to specific career development and planning resources, including mentoring.

So, when you talk about AHIP to others, be sure to make clear that AHIP is a certification and a membership organization!

Do I have to be an MLA member to join the Academy?

No. Membership in the Academy is available to both MLA members and non-MLA members who meet the required professional education and experience requirements. You may join as an MLA member (pay dues for current year plus an Academy application fee of $275, or $150 for Provisional level) or as a non-MLA member ($480 Academy application fee or $350 for Provisional level).

How do I become an Academy member?

Please first take a look at the Join AHIP page and, if you are eligible, follow the steps in the appropriate section

Application/Process Questions

What are the educational requirements for Academy membership?

Academy admission requires possession of an MLS degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA) or a post-baccalaureate degree in any field accredited by a member of the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation Council (CORPA). Candidates possessing a non library science degree must submit evidence of knowledge in all Professional Competencies as outlined in the Competencies for Lifelong Learning and Professional Success.

ALA accreditation applies only to US and Canadian schools. Are any library science degrees from outside the US and Canada acceptable?

The ALA recognizes that the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand have formal accreditation processes, therefore, individuals with degrees from specific institutions in these countries may be considered acceptable for employment in the United States and for membership in the Academy.

I do not have an ALA MLS, but I have a sixth-year certificate from an accredited ALA school. Does this meet the Academy’s educational requirements?

Yes. If you hold a non-ALA MLS but have a sixth year certificate or a doctoral degree from a school which offers an ALA-accredited master’s degree, you meet the Academy’s educational requirement.

I have a non-library science degree from an accredited post baccalaureate program. Do I have to show that I have knowledge of the health information field?

Yes. In addition to fulfilling all other Academy requirements for membership, you must submit evidence of knowledge in all the Professional Competencies if you have a non-library science degree.

What does the academy require as proof that I have an accredited degree or that I meet the Professional Competencies requirement?

A copy of your diploma is acceptable as proof of degree and official transcripts of formal course work are necessary to evaluate compliance with Professional Competencies. In addition, if one cannot reasonably assume from the title of the course that the Professional Competency would have been covered, a syllabus or detailed course outline showing the specific subject matter covered is required. Certificates of completion or MEDLIB-ED transcript are required for continuing education.

What are AHIP points?

AHIP is an accomplishment-based certification program. Points are the common metric the MLA Credentialing Committee uses to measure accomplishment. All activities that garner AHIP points are listed in the AHIP Points Index. The committee determined the point value of a number of professional activities based on an estimate of time and effort required and defines levels of membership in terms of number and category of points. Members use the points system to track their accomplishments.

Once I become a member of the Academy, when do I need to renew my membership?

Provisional members must renew each year. Member level and above must renew every five years. Please see the AHIP Renew page for guidelines and instructions for renewing your Academy membership.

Can I upgrade in less than the five-year renewal time?

Yes. You can 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 upgrade.

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Questions about Academy points

Continuing Education

How can I be sure that a course has been approved for MLA contact hours?

The MLA course certificate should state “Approved for [number] MLA CE Contact Hours.” Courses for which approval is pending should state that MLA contact hours have been applied for. When in doubt, ask the person sponsoring the course.

Can I receive points for non-MLA approved CE activities?

Yes. The Individual Participant Request (Form IPR) provides an avenue for you to earn CE points through non-MLA- approved CE activities. Be aware that activities such as MLA journal clubs require submission of a completed IPR form. Please refer to the Educational Clearinghouse for a list of current approved courses.

Professional Association Participation

I have been appointed to an MLA committee. Why can’t I count it now, after two months?

The Academy honors work after completion. Committee appointments count after completion of a full year of service. After that first year, applicants may begin to claim points for each year served.

Do co-chairs of committees or organizations receive the same points as chairs?

Yes. You may claim the same number of points as a single chair.

As president of my state association, I am expected to write an article for the association newsletter. Can I get points for the newsletter articles?

No. Any activity which is part of your regular job assignment or committee assignment may not be claimed for separate Academy points. However, holding an office in your state association will earn points in the Academy.

Chapter Funding for AHIP Applicants

The following MLA Chapters offer full or partial AHIP fee assistance. Please contact the chapter for more information or to apply.

Hawaii-Pacific Chapter 

Support for First-time Applicants

In order to support the professional growth of its members, the Chapter offers one-time subsidies to partially offset application fees for Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) membership.

Each calendar year, two (2) $100 subsidies are available for NEW, first-time applicants.

Total amount to be awarded: not more than $200 per calendar year.

Liberty Chapter

Linda Katz AHIP First-Time Applicant Grant


  • Current member of the Liberty Chapter, MLA
  • First time applicant for AHIP membership
  • Completed AHIP documentation submitted to the MLA

Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona 

AHIP First-Time Applicant Award

Participant will be reimbursed for their AHIP application fee 


  • Current member of MLGSCA Chapter and of MLA (National) as of AHIP application.
  • First time applicant for AHIP membership at any level.
  • Completed AHIP documentation and payment submitted to the Medical Library Association and AHIP membership successfully awarded.

Chapter member will be reimbursed for the AHIP application fee ($200 Academy Member level or above, or $135 Provisional member level)

Midcontinental Chapter 

Funding Opportunity for First-Time AHIP Applicants:

The MCMLA Chapter Executive Board has made available a one-time grant to fund first-time, successful AHIP applications.  Awards will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.  The funding will be available for first-time AHIP memberships granted in the year of application.  

North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries, Inc.

Support for AHIP Credentialing

First time Academy applicants will be reimbursed for the AHIP application fee ($200 Academy Member level or above, or $135 Provisional member level).

Renewing Academy applicants will be reimbursed at half of the AHIP application fee ($100 Academy Member level or above).

Pacific Northwest Chapter of MLA 

AHIP First-Time Award

Are you interested in becoming a member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals? The PNC/MLA Chapter has an award available for two first-time applicants who are PNC/MLA members.

South Central Chapter 

AHIP First-Time Applicant Award

This award encourages chapter members to participate in the Medical Library Association’s Academy of Health Information Professional (AHIP) credentialing program. Up to 10 awards will be given each calendar year.

To qualify, applicants must be current members of both SCC and MLA and a first-time applicant for AHIP membership at any level, and they must have submitted complete AHIP documentation to MLA and received notification that AHIP membership was successfully awarded. Award winners are eligible to receive the award only once and will be reimbursed for their personal payment of the AHIP application fee.

Applicants should apply for reimbursement within six (6) months of being accepted into the Academy by submitting the following to the South Central Chapter Credentialing Committee Chair:

  • Copy of the letter of acceptance into the Academy of Health Information Professionals
  • A letter requesting to be considered for the AHIP First-Time Applicant Award
  • Copy of receipt showing proof of individual personal payment of the AHIP application fee

Upstate New York and Ontario Chapter 

AHIP Stipend

Reimburses $100 annually for one UNYOC Chapter member who is a first time applicant. Please contact the UNYOC Credentialing Liaison for more information.

Find a Chapter Credentialing Liaison

MLA chapter credentialing liaisons (CCLs) promote the Academy of Health Information Professionals in their respective chapters by sharing information about the academy, answering questions, providing guidance, and encouraging membership.

MLA Chapter Credentialing Liaisons

Hawaii-Pacific Chaptervacant
Liberty Chapter (10/21-9/24)Abby Adamczyk, AHIP
Medical Library Group of So. California and Arizona/ Term (6/17-7/24)Danielle Linden, AHIP
Mid-Atlantic Chapter/Term TBD
Midcontinental Chapter/Term (1/20-)Shawn Steidinger, AHIP
Midwest Chapter/Term TBD
North Atlantic Health Sciences Library Chapter/Term (11/23-11/25)Shannon Yarbrough, AHIP
Northern California and Nevada Medical Library Group/Term (12/21-12/24)Ana Macias, AHIP
Pacific Northwest Chapter/Term (5/20–1/25)Mary Beth McAteer, AHIP
South Central Chapter/Term (10/23-10/25)Steven Self, AHIP
Southern Chapter/Term (10/17–)Terry Kit Selfe, AHIP