SHICK Initial Training Requirements

So You want to be a SHICK Counselor

Please following the instructions and information in the list below to learn more about becoming a SHICK counselor/volunteer. Click on the blue hyperlinks for more information.

  1. Learn more about the SHICKSMP and MIPPA programs by viewing program websites
  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

Counselor Initial Training Instructions

  • After a Successful Interview

    • Coordinator forwards the application to the State SHICK office.

    • Coordinator provides information on the online Pre-Training below.
      1. Pre-Training study should begin immediately.
    • The State SHICK emails the documents necessary to conduct a background check to the applicant.
      1. Applicant completes the required background check forms and emails all required forms to [email protected],
      2. Mails the background check paperwork to the State SHICK office, 503 S Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66603,
      3. Or faxes required forms to (785) 296-0256.
    • Applicant does not need to wait for notification of the background check completion to begin Pre-Training courses.
    • State office performs background check. This process may take up to two months.
      • Sponsoring organization and applicant are notified of results.
    • Applicant completes online Pre-Training and registers for Course 4 Basic Training.
    • Applicant attends seven hour in-person training, Course 4 - Basic training
    • Applicant is certified as a Medicare Grants counselor
    • New counselor works with local Coordinator to begin solo counseling with Medicare beneficiaries

  • Pre-Training Requirements

    Online pre-training consists of the SMP Foundations Training and three SHICK Medicare courses created by the SHICK office. These courses cover all parts of Medicare, other insurance that works with Medicare, rights and protections, and assistance with Medicare costs. Applicants are required to complete the SMP Foundations assessment after the SMP Foundations Training and an exam for each SHICK Medicare Courses, Exams 1 through 3.

    You should study each course and then complete the exam for that course.

    Please note that although the SHIP TA Center has video courses available, SHICK does NOT use these course to meet the Pre-Training requirements. Please use only the Certification Tool to take the three SHICK pre-training exams.

  • SHICK Medicare Pre-Training Courses

    These courses can be studied through the links on this website, downloaded and studied offline, or printed out and studied. All courses are in PDF format.

    Click on the blue links below to open each course or download from the File Download box at the bottom of the page.

    Initial Training Online Pre-Training Course 1 – Introduction to Medicare – Parts A & B 

    Initial Training Online Pre-Training Course 2 – Introduction to Medicare Part C (Advantage), Medicare Part D and Medigap

    Initial Training Online Pre-Training Course 3 – Introduction to Medicare Coordination, Protections and More

    A separate appendix with a list of resources, links and acronyms is also available below for download.

    Exams are completed online through the SHIP Technical Assistance Center Online Counselor Certification Tool (OCCT). Registration is required. Instructions are below.

    The three pre-training courses, including successful completion of exams, must be completed prior to attendance at the in-person training session. You must register for the in-person training session you plan to attend.

    Applicants may also find the SHICK Counselor Handbook helpful while studying the pre-training courses. It is available as a PDF at
  • SHIP Technical Assistance Center Registration

    To register on the SHIP Technical Assistance Center (SHIP TA Center):

    1. Go to
    2. Click on the green Submit request to be a Registered User box.
    3. Complete the required information on the Account Sign-up page and click the register box at the bottom.
      1. Select "SHIP Trainee" as your Role.
    4. You will receive an email at the email address you entered to confirm that it is a working email.
      1. You must confirm your email address through the link provided in the message within 24 hours. If it has been more than 24 hours, please contact the SHICK office to have the email resent.
    5. Once you have confirmed your email address, the State SHICK Office will approve your registration and schedule you for the three required exams.

    (Registration on the SHIP Technical Assistance Center is available only for SHIP Counselors and SHIP Trainee counselors.)

  • Using the Online Counselor Certification Tool to take the SHICK Medicare Exams

    1. Log on to the SHIP TA Center.
    2. Click on the green Training and Certification (OCCT) button at the upper right hand corner of the top of the page. This link takes you to the Online Counselor Certification and Training (OCCT) page.  
    3. Click on the Certification Tool link at the top of the OCCT page. Links to the SHIP TA Center and Certification Tool are also provided at the end of each course.
    4. You should see the three required exams in the Exam list. If you do not see the exams scheduled, please contact the SHICK office to have them scheduled for you.
    5. Each exam will consist of 25 questions and have a passing score of 80%. You may retake the exam as many times as you need. You can print a course completion certificate if you desire.
    6. You must pass all three exams before attending the in-person Course 4 training.
  • SMP Resource Center Registration - SMP Foundations Training

    SMP Foundations training is accessed through the TRAX training system in the SMP Resource Library. Users must create an account by going to

    1. Click on the "Create an account" link under "Not a Member?".
    2. Click the "Become a Trainee" button.
    3. Complete the registration form. Fields marked with a red * are required.
    4. Enter this information for these specific fields
      1. Organization: * (Enter “Kansas”)
      2. Supervisor Name: * (Enter your supervisor or coordinator)
      3. SMP Role: * (Select “Counselor”)
      4. Paid Status: * (Select either “In-kind/Partner” if you will be counseling as part of your paid position or “Volunteer” if you will not be counseling as part of a paid position)
      5. State/Territory: * (Select “Kansas”)

    Your account will be automatically created. SHICK/SMP staff will assign the SMP Foundations curriculum to your account for completion. You will then be able to complete SMP Foundations training when  the training has been assigned.

    NOTE: If you select “Sign Up for Resource Library Access”, your account will NOT be automatically created. It requires approval. The Director, at approval, will select the access level: Trainee, Associate, or Coordinator.

  • Completing the SMP Foundations Training

    1. After logging in at, you will be on the Welcome to TRAX page.
    2. Click on the “Take my Training” button at the bottom of the page.
    3. Your assigned training will display on the next page.
    4. You should review all four chapters, including the Medicare chapter, as the SMP Foundations Assessment will cover all four chapters.
      1. You may need to disable your pop-up blocker in your browser to view the chapters.
    5. The SMP Foundations manual is available as a PDF document to download.
    6. In-Person Course 4 - Basic Training

      Initial Training Course 4: Medicare Basics -  This is a 7-hour in-person session, either in-person at a selected location or via videoconference individually at their home or office.

      Once all required pre-training session courses have been certified, the new applicant is required to attend a scheduled training session, either in-person at a selected location or via videoconferencing individually at their home or office. If all pre-training courses are not completed prior to the applicant's scheduled in-person Course 4 training, the applicant will not be eligible to attend the Course 4 training.


      This course will provide comprehensive review of pre-training material, with additional topics including use of Medicare tools and SHIP reporting requirements

    FileTypeSizeUploaded onDownload
    SHICK Course 2 Initial Pre-Training WorkbookPDF8.07 MB14 Apr, 2021 Download
    SHICK Course 3 Initial Pre-Training WorkbookPDF7.66 MB14 Apr, 2021 Download
    SHICK Course 1 Initial Pre-Training WorkbookPDF6.81 MB14 Apr, 2021 Download
    SHICK Pre-Training Appendix - Resources and PublicationsPDF561.80 KB14 Apr, 2021 Download