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There are several institutions that accredit the services of professional genealogists and researchers around the world. One of their primary goals is to establish a set of standards and a code of ethics by which accredited members adhere. While it is not necessary to hold a formal accreditation to conduct genealogy research on a for-fee basis, accreditation does indicate to clients that the holder adheres to a level of standards and professionalism that is accepted within the profession.
Institutions offering professional genealogy accreditations are:
This article provides a brief explanation of the credentials offered by these organizations and identifies the postnomials commonly used by professional genealogists and researchers.
The AAGRA offers two credentials:
These are available to people actively involved in genealogy or records research within New Zealand and Australia. Applicants may apply for either or both and only receive accreditation after the Council of AAGRA evaluates samples of submitted work for evidence of competence. Upon admission, "each member is required to subscribe to a Code of Ethics which requires the highest standards of honesty, integrity in the member's dealing with the client and the preservation of complete confidentiality of the client's affairs". (More»)
The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) was founded in 1968 as the Association of Genealogists and Record Agents to promote and maintain high standards of professional conduct and expertise within genealogy, heraldry and record searching and to safeguard the interests of members and clients. Membership is open to well-qualified professional researchers who have been engaged as genealogists or researchers in archives for a number of years. Members must agree to comply with a Code of Practice when accepting membership.
The Board for Certification of Genealogists grants certification to qualified applicants in these categories:
Candidates for accreditation must submit samples of their work to illustrate their knowledge of bibliography, resources, and research methodology. A rotating panel of national-level experts evaluates the submission. Each individual certified by BCG subscribes to their Code of Ethics and Conduct. (More»)
This French Canadian organization recognizes three categories of genealogists:
The Genealogical Institute of the Maritimes is the accrediting authority for professional genealogists and record searchers in Eastern Canada. The institute offers two levels of certification:
People wishing to attain either accreditation must complete a preliminary application to determine their level of genealogical experience and eligibility for accreditation. If approved, they can then submit a sample of their work for evaluation on their ability to research, analyze, organize, record, and footnote a family history. (More»)
The Genealogical Research Institute of New Zealand offers an introductory course in New Zealand Family History and a diploma programme "for those intending to pursue family history and genealogical research or teaching to an advanced level". GRINZ is the acronym for the institute, and is also used as a postnomial for graduates of diploma programme. (More»)
The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies "is an independent educational charitable trust, established to provide full academic facilities for training and research in the study of the history and structure of the family".
Holders of the Diploma in Genealogy and Licentiateship of The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies are recognized as ones who "may properly and confidently practise as a professional genealogist". Holders of the Record Agent credential are recognized as being qualified to practise as a Record Agent on a professional basis. The LGH represents the highest level of expertise. Holders are encouraged to act as tutors and teachers of genealogy and family history. (More»)
The National Institute for Genealogical Studies, in cooperation with the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto offers a three year online certificate program involving a minimum of 40 courses ( 8 required courses per year plus an addition 8 optional courses). The postnomial that is earned is: PLCGS, Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies.
In 1974 the Society of Australian Genealogists instituted a Diploma in Family Historical Studies (Dip FHS). It is awarded to candidates, who, upon completion of the Family Histories Course, "show a high degree of proficiency in the study of family history". The course is based on a written thesis, essay, case study and formal examination. The diploma is not a professional genealogical qualification, but the diploma course provides a strong foundation in the skills needed for genealogical research. (More»)