SHICK Counselor Training Information

What is SHICK Counselor Training?

Initial SHICK counselor training is an intense self-study and in-person training regimen intended to educate and certify new SHICK counselors, who will actively assist people with questions and issues about Medicare and other insurance, and then report those contacts. It is not intended to provide Medicare training for people who only want to learn more about Medicare to use personally, or in the course of their other job duties. Experienced SHICK counselors are required to complete Annual Update training.

If you do not intend to become a SHICK counselor, please explore the many other opportunities available to learn about Medicare such as the Medicare Rights Center at

Training Schedule

The SHICK 2017 Grant Year training has been posted on the SHICK Training Calendar page. Registration is available through that page also.

Counselor Initial Training

  1. Learn more about the SHICK, SMP and MIPPA programs
  2. Complete a SHICK Volunteer Partner Application (required for all applicants for initial training)
  3. Complete the application and return to the local SHICK coordinator (find your local coordinator)
  4. Coordinator will schedule and conduct an interview for suitability

After a successful interview

  1. Coordinator provides information on the online training at SHICK Training Courses - Initial
    1. A self-study and mentoring schedule is set up.
    2. Applicant registers at the SHIP Technical Center website for access to online self-study Courses.

      1. Self-study includes Medicare courses through the Medicare Rights University on the SHIP Technical Assistance Center website and the SMP Foundations Training.
    3. The applicant completes the "Test Your Knowledge" after each self-study course. After completion of the SMP Foundations Chapters 1 and 3, the applicant completes the SMP Foundations Assessment in the SHIP TA Center Certification Tool.
      1. Medicare Grants Regional Managers verify completion of MRU Courses and SMP Foundations through the Certification Tool.
    4. In-person training should be scheduled to allow enough time to complete self-study and mentoring.
  2. Coordinator will provide the documents necessary to conduct a background check to the applicant.

    1. Applicant completes the required background check forms and returns to the Coordinator.
    2. The Coordinator mails the background check paperwork to the State office and also faxes or emails a copy of the application to the State office.
  3. State office performs background check.
    1. Coordinator and applicant are notified of results.
  4. Applicant attends six hour in-person training, Initial Basic training – Medicare Part C & D
    1. Brief review of original Medicare and Medigap
    2. Extensive review of Medicare Part D & Part C (Medicare Advantage)
    3. SMP / SHICK / MIPPA Program specific content
  5. Applicant is certified as a Medicare Grants counselor.
  6. New counselor works with local Coordinator to begin solo counseling with Medicare beneficiaries

Extended Basic Training

  1. Applicant continues mentoring program and additional self-study as needed
  2. Applicant attends second in-person training class, Extended Basic training, if interested
    1. Medicare Parts A & B
    2. Medigap plans
    3. Coordination of benefits
    4. Medicare Rights & Protections
  3. Applicant is certified as an Comprehensive Medicare Grants counselor

SHIP Technical Assistance Center Registration

Using SHIP Technical Assistance Center Training

  • Log in to the SHIP TA Center using your email address and password
  • Click on the Counselor Training link in the blue link bar
  • Click on the green Counselor Training and Certification link on the Counselor Training and Certification page
  • Click on the Courses link
  • Click on the course you want to study
  • Click on the "Certification Tool" link to take the SMP Foundations exam

There are four levels of core training.There are also Special Topics courses, some of which applicants will be expected to study. These are video courses with printable handouts. Each course runs from 15 to 50 minutes.

For more specific information on required courses, please go to the SHICK Training Courses - Initial page.