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Archiver > APG > 2009-05 > 1241800544

From: "Mary E. Petty - Heirlines, Inc" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Profession and "Consumer Protection"
Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 10:35:44 -0600
References: <498045.37465.qm@web31608.mail.mud.yahoo.com><055EE485DBE84D4DB9A31561AE7F1317@MAMA><006c01c9cf8b$24a97960$6dfc6c20$@net>
In-Reply-To: <006c01c9cf8b$24a97960$6dfc6c20$@net>

Dear Elizabeth,

Genealogy is in the process of professionalization as you so ably pointed out. It is not an overnight thing. Wonderful advancements have been made, including the establishment of the BCG and ICAPGen and the significant growth of their competency programs. And with the coming of that essential pillar of an established profession, formal education - teaching the specialized knowledge and training in the specialized skills, the goal that Michael Hait described "ultimately the market dominance of _responsible_ and _ethical_ genealogy and the protection of the consumer --the consumer, the practitioner and the outcomes" will be more available and reachable. There is a bright future in Professional Genealogy.

Sincerely yours,

Mary E. Petty, B.A. (History), B.A. (Genealogy)
APG Member
Ancestors are the People of History. Do you know who yours are?<br><br>Let the Professionals at HEIRLINES Family History & Genealogy find your ancestry!
1-800-570-4049 ▪ www.heirlines.com ▪ PO Box 893 ▪ Salt Lake City, UT 84110

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 2009 9:15 PM
Subject: Re: [APG] Profession and "Consumer Protection"

Mary asked:
>1. If professional genealogy research services were to never become a reality (meaning no government licensing or no profession-self regulation), who or what will provide consumer protection instead of professionalization/professionalism that traditionally is key to consumer protection, competency of practitioner, accuracy, reliability and trustworthiness?

Mary, I'm puzzled here. Forty-five years ago, 1964, two agencies were simultaneously and cooperatively created with exactly this purpose--to provide consumer protection--by concerned Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists.
- The accreditation (AG) program was created under the aegis of the Family History Library (whose director was at that time a Fellow of ASG), to provide consumer protection to clients hiring someone to conduct research at the Family History Library.
- Simultaneously, the Board for Certification of Genealogists was created as an independent board, based in the nation's capital, to certify those who conducted professional research elsewhere in the country.

Both agencies have operated continuously since that time, although the accreditation program was (as you know, but others may not) transferred to the new ICAPGen in 2000.

If you feel that these two agencies--now operating cooperatively with APG--are not effective in their efforts at consumer protection, then what reasoning supports a conclusion that a new group will be more effective?

Mary also asked:
>2. Who or what will define the work and the expected outcomes with established norms ...
>3. Who or what will determine and define the definitions, the terminology, the knowledge the skill set, and the standards so the results and outcomes can be reliable, trustworthy and accurate in pro to pro, pro to client, and client to pro relationships and exchange of information.

Hmhh, the Board for Certification of Genealogists attempted to do just that in 2000 with its *Genealogical Standards Manual,* after consulting with many leaders of our field in- and outside of certification, including those who held accreditation. If you feel that some or all of these standards miss the mark, this list might benefit from a discussion of those standards and the areas in which they might be improved.


Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
APG member, Tennessee


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