Consumer Health Information Specialization

Learn about the Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS), a program from the Medical Library Association recognizing your skills in finding and communicating health information to consumers. Click here to learn about more Specializations. 

CHIS stands for Consumer Health Information Specialization, a program provided by the Medical Library Association (MLA). The MLA Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) offers training in providing health information services to consumers and recognition for the accomplishment of acquiring new health information skills.

Why Get a CHIS?

Librarians know the life-saving and life-enhancing value of accurate evidence-based health information. By earning CHIS, you acquire skills and knowledge needed to become a confident, expert provider of health information to your community. Your CHIS shows employers, colleagues, and the public you serve that you are committed to offering quality consumer health information services and to staying current with developments in consumer health information resources, technologies, and services.

Read our article "Impact of a consumer health information specialization (CHIS) sponsorship program on the ability of public library staff to provide consumer health information” (free, JMLA, July 2021) and discover the value of CHIS training in providing health information services. 

MLA's Certified Helath Information Specialization logo

Level 1

To qualify for CHIS Level 1 take any combination of courses or webinars that cover competencies 1-5. Once competencies 1-5 are covered you can take any combination of webinars or courses from NNLM to reach 12 hours of CE. 

  1. Know the Community
  2. Know the Health Consumer
  3. Knowledge of Subject Matter and Existing Resources
  4. Health Information Evaluation
  5. Communication and Instruction

Level 2

To earn Level 2 CHIS you need an additional 12 CE hours worth of courses and webinars, and those 12 CE must cover core competencies 6-8:

  1. Literacy and Health Literacy
  2. Technology and Health
  3. Ethical and Legal Issues

You can read more descriptions of the competencies on the MLA Website. MLA provides a grid of classes and the competencies they cover. 

Competencies also listed on the NNLM class page. 

How to Earn CHIS Credits

We offer CHIS credit via live webinars, scheduled online classes, on-demand online classes, and recorded videos of past webinars.

Upcoming CHIS live webinars and scheduled online classes

Select this link for a list of all upcoming CHIS-approved offerings from NNLM

On-demand classes

On-demand means you can complete the online class on your own time and at your own pace. On-demand classes are offered via the NNLM's Moodle learning management system.

Select this link for current Level 1 on-demand CHIS classes

Select this link for current Level 2 on-demand CHIS classes 

Recorded videos

Select this link to register and access a selection of recently recorded CHIS webinars


CHIS Application Fee

The CHIS application fee $99 and the specialization is valid for 3 years, at which point it must be renewed. 

NNLM Sponsorship

NNLM application fee sponsorships are available to residents of any NNLM region and U.S. citizens living outside the U.S.

NNLM sponsors the CHIS application fee for level 1 or level 2 for library workers, including renewals. Once you've completed the necessary coursework, fill out the sponsorship form.


  1. NNLM CHIS classes: Contact your Regional Medical Library.
  2. CHIS application process and program: Contact the MLA Professional Development department.