In a rapidly evolving field with new technology and increasing access to records and resources, new or evolving standards are a major focus of Accredited Genealogist renewals. The Accredited Genealogist credential provides an assurance to the consumer and public that the individual who has earned that credential is also dedicated to maintaining and improving their professional skills in the field of genealogical research.
Specifically, ICAPGen wants to know three things about renewal applicants:
- Are the renewal applicants keeping up-to-date regarding sources and research techniques in their geographic (or subject) areas, and in what ways?
- Is their conduct professional?
- Are they willing to abide by the ICAPGen Professional Ethics Agreement agreed between the Accredited Genealogist researcher and ICAPGen?
Among other things, the Professional Ethics Agreement that Accredited Genealogist renewal applicants are asked to sign requires their adherence to the provisions set forth in the "Code of Ethics" published as Appendix B on pages 608 and 609 of Professional Genealogy edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2001). This edition of the code was specifically chosen and cited by the ICAPGen Commission as a standard of conduct for the Accredited Genealogist professional, for the explicit purpose of avoiding confusion that might arise from wording changes over time.
ICAPGen reviews the professionalism of renewal applicants in three ways. They are requested to submit the following—
- A completed Accreditation Renewal form;
- A letter of education and skills application that summarizes your genealogical activities during the previous five years, which includes a brief summary of TWO activities taken from the Education and Skills Application List specific to the area of accreditation under renewal;
- A research report (or article); and
- A signed ICAPGen Professional Ethics Agreement.
ICAPGen also reviews its files to ensure that no unprofessional conduct, such as unresolved complaints from clients, remain pending or unresolved.
The AG credential stands as a symbol of excellence and quality to the world. The Accredited Genealogist professional represents one of a unique group within the genealogical community who are committed to excellent and outstanding work in their field.