APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 1999-03 > 0920923237
From: "Craig R. Scott" <>
Subject: Re: Charging fees vs doing research for "FREE"
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 1999 15:00:37 -0500
At 08:09 AM 3/8/99 -0800, you wrote:
>It is my understanding that APG is for "Professional Genealogists" and,
>unless I am way off base, that means as "professionals" we do this as a
>business and charge for our services.
Unfortunately there is a misunderstanding in the genealogical community
that equates "professional" with the charging of fees. Fees have nothing to
do with being a "professional". Anyone can charge fees, regardless of their
affiliation or lack of affiliation with any membership or certification
organization. A "professional" genealogist is an individual who adheres to
a higher purpose, such as, for example the Code of Ethics of APG or the
Code of Ethics of the Board of Certification of Genealogists. Nothing
prevents a professional from providing their services for free, it is a
matter of personal choice. Are the doctors who work in free clinics as
volunteers not professional. Are the lawyers who run free legal clinics
less professional. Are we as "professional" genealogists enjoined not to do
pro bono work because it would make us look "unprofessional". For each it
is a matter of personal choice how we deal with each client and each
situation. Besides all of us professionals do lots of work not for fee,
usually it is called "report time."
Personally I hate the word "professional." I normally see it most in the
context of adding value to something that should stand on its own merit. Is
a well documented report from a "professional" [in the context of someone
who charges fees] any better than a well documented report from someone who
does it without charge.
Craig R. Scott, CGRS
Proprietor, Willow Bend Books and Family Line Publications