Preparing for Accreditation

Regions | Preparing for Accreditation | The Accreditation Process
Applicants in Process | Application Forms | Fees | Testing Dates

The accreditation examinations offered through ICAPGen are designed to distinguish the professional-level genealogist from the hobbyist and the amateur. Hence, the exams are rigorous and intensive. It is recommended that a researcher have at least 1,000 hours of research and educational experience in the chosen area before applying for accreditation. Although an applicant is not required to have taken specific educational courses before applying, experience has shown that those who have taken college-level genealogy classes (or the equivalent of such) have a higher rate of success. Some knowledge of the language of the country the applicant is accrediting in is also essential.

There are many ways a genealogist can prepare to become accredited. Following are some suggestions:

Get Extensive Research Experience and Education
Get as much research experience as possible in your chosen area. Research for friends, neighbors, and/or clients to get experience researching for non-family lines. Practice researching under time constraints and writing a report for each research segment you complete. Learn about important records, methodologies, and repositories in your accreditation region. Learn to evaluate pedigree charts and analyze evidence. Practice reading old handwriting and extracting / abstracting documents.

ICAPGen offers classes at its annual conference to help those preparing for the professional credential, as well as increase the skills of those who are already accredited. We recommend that you attend ICAPGen's annual conference each year.

ICAPGen also offers free mentoring classes. These are held in Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah, and have also been filmed and can be viewed online. The purpose of the mentoring classes is not to teach about various record types or research methodology. They are specifically designed to familiarize students with the accreditation process and help them prepare for it. Click here for more information about the mentoring classes.

No specific, formal classes in genealogy are required for accreditation, but they may be very helpful and can be counted toward the hours required for an AG credential.

It is also helpful to read and study books concerning records and methodologies that are pertinent to the chosen area of accreditation. But remember, there is no substitute for experience.

Consider these additional ways to increase your genealogical education:

  • Research courses at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, which are available either as a resident or by correspondence.
  • Distance-education genealogy courses, such as the ones offered through Monterey Peninsula College.
  • Genealogy classes on the Internet.
  • National genealogy conferences, which are sponsored annually by the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society.
  • The annual Professional Management Conference sponsored by the Association of Professional Genealogists.
  • The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, which is a week-long course sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association every January. The Institute’s objective is to provide the best possible educational opportunity for genealogy students, with instruction focused on the needs of intermediate to advanced researchers. This opportunity includes homework assignments and time for personal research, and is an excellent time to become familiar with the Family History Library prior to applying for accreditation.
  • Other genealogy classes taught at libraries, archives, universities, technical schools, or through home-study or adult-education courses.

Document Your Experience and Education
It is recommended that you have at least 1,000 hours of research experience in your geographic area of interest before submitting your application for accreditation. You may count the time researching in your selected geographic area, attending genealogy classes, and anything else that increases your competency as a researcher. The time devoted to analyzing and report writing should also be included.

Record your research experience on the Accreditation Application Form, which can be found here. You may view a sample Accreditation Applicaiton Form (also found by clicking the above link) to see how to record your research experience properly.

The experience tables on the Accreditation Application Form are designed to help you organize your hours of research and experience and decide whether you are ready to submit your accreditation application. They will help you assess the depth and breadth of your genealogical knowledge and your familiarity with genealogical records, repositories, and methodologies.

Consult with Experts
Consult with experienced researchers in your chosen area of specialty. Consider asking an AG professional who is accredited in your region to review your application before submitting it to ICAPGen.

Regions | Preparing for Accreditation | The Accreditation Process
Applicants in Process | Application Forms | Fees | Testing Dates

Saturday December 20, 2014

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