Consumer Health Information Specialization

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. Back to Specializations

About Consumer Health Information Specialization

What is CHIS?

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


CHIS Program Structure
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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
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How to Earn CHIS Credits 

CHIS credit via live webinars, on-demand classes, online classes, and recorded videos.

Upcoming CHIS classes

We offer live webinars and classes that provide CHIS credit on an on-going basis.

View all upcoming CHIS-approved webinars and online classes from NNLM

On-demand CHIS classes

Earn CHIS at your own pace! On-demand classes are available 24/7. Offered in Moodle. Register & access on link below. 

Level 1 

CHIS On-Demand - earn up to 5 MLA continuing education credit hours that qualify for the requirements of Level 1 CHIS

Consumer Health Collection Management - 4 CE 

Drug and Chemical Information - On Demand - up to 6 CE 

Environmental Health and Justice: a brief primer - 1 CE

Foundations of Citizen Science + Libraries as Community Hubs for Citizen Science - 2 CE

Introduction to Health Reference: Ethics and Best Practices - 4 CE (also qualifies for Level 2)

MedlinePlus for Librarians and Health Educators 1 CE 

PubMed Essentials  1 CE (also qualifies for Level 2)

Level 2

AHEM: Clearing the way to easy to read health education materials - 2 CE

Health Literacy On Demand - 1 CE 

Getting the Right Information to Patients Using MedlinePlus Connect - 1 CE 

Recorded CHIS Webinars

Enroll in Recorded CHIS Webinars to watch a past CHIS webinar, download class materials, and access an evaluation with directions to obtain CE credit. 

NNLM Sponsorship and Application Fee
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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.

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