APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2007-12 > 1197738629
From: Connie Sheets <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Membership Suspension and Future of APG
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 09:10:29 -0800 (PST)
I offered the APA example only for the purpose of
demonstrating that at least one membership
organization not only expects members to respond to
complaints, but requires it.
I don't think we can have it both ways: we can't
expect high quality and question whether folks should
be able to join by simply signing a code of ethics and
paying their dues, and at the same time imply that
it's perfectly okay if a member chooses to ignore a
formal complaint (even if that complaint seems
frivolous or even malicious).
Perhaps the American Association of Travel Agents
(ASTA) might be a model on the other end of the
spectrum of professionalism that would be more
relevant? I know absolutely nothing about being a
travel agent, and am not implying that they (or
genealogists) are less professional than
psychologists. However, there are differences in the
public or individual harm that can result when a
psychologist performs poorly than when a genealogist
or travel agent does.
ASTA has several forms of membership. Among the most
relevant to this discussion:
- student enrolled in a travel school ($75)
- an individual who makes $5000 per year as a travel
agent, signs the code of ethics, and has the intent to
make a profit. ($250)
As for consumer complaints and ethics, I cannot tell
from a cursory review of the website whether they ever
expel members. However:
"Please note that ASTA's Consumer Affairs Department
provides informal mediation for travel-related
disputes only. The Department cannot act as a judge,
impose penalties or assess fines, or force a company
to issue refunds."
It seems to me that the discussions about who should
be a member of APG, whether the ethics procedures need
revision, and to some extent even the educationally
related ones, are putting the cart before the horse.
The first discussions should be:
1) With the increasing availability of information
including original images online, what is the role of
the professional genealogist? Does the public even
know they need us? (Why should I pay someone? Isn't
it all online anyway? What else is there to know once
I have the name, dates and places?) What should be
APGs role in creating a market and educating the
public about what we can do for them?
2) What is the purpose, mission, vision, and goal(s)
of the organization? What will we be accomplishing,
specifically, over the next 3 to 5 years?
Once those questions are answered, then the answers
about education, ethics, and membership will more