The Application and Four-Generation Project

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The application process includes the following steps:

STEP ONE: Determine one region in which to apply.
Click here for a list of current testing areas. You should feel comfortable with your chosen area of specialization and have a good working knowledge of the records of that area. You must also have at least 1,000 hours of research experience in that geographical area.

If the credential is desired for a non-English speaking area, you must have a working knowledge of the native language of that country. Part of the test for countries whose language is other than English will be given in the principal language of the country. If you would like to strengthen and test your language skills, please refer to ICAPGen's Language Ability Page.

STEP TWO: Choose a family in your selected region and trace it back four generations.
This four-generation lineage can be straight paternal, straight maternal, or alternate between paternal and maternal lines. This does NOT mean all four lines for four generations; it means tracing one line back four generations.

Each of the four generations must have lived in the area being tested for at least some time during his or her lifetime. Also, the birth year of the individual in the most recent generation must be before 1900. The 1900 guideline helps ensure that the applicant’s research ability covers a broad time period, prior to the memory of living persons. The four-generation requirement helps indicate that a researcher can use a variety of records, and can properly identify and link persons into multi-generational families. These are precisely the criteria most potential clients are seeking when they hire a genealogist.

Still have questions? View our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on the four-generation project.

STEP THREE: Complete and submit your application.
The application and research project should reflect your depth and knowledge about the records relating to your selected country or region of the world. Your submission must include the following:

A. Contact Information Form

B. Accreditation Application Form revised May 2011

C. Completed Four-Generation Project, including the following components:

  1. A well-written client research report, stating each step taken to find and document the ancestry, and why it was taken. Click here to view ICAPGen's report-writing tips. The report should explain the project, its scope, and the main goal(s) of the research; any background information on the research problem; the findings of the research; the presentation of evidence supported by thorough source citation and analyses (footnotes required); and explicit discussion of any conflicting evidence; and suggestions for further research. A report length of 25-60 pages is considered acceptable. The four-generation research report must be a client research report, not a compiled (aka narrative) report or a book. The purpose of the ICAPGen Application Project is to test an applicant’s ability to (1) conduct research based on a well-defined objective and (2) report all research findings, analysis of evidence, and conclusions based on that evidence, as if to a client. The four-generation research report must include the following elements:

    • A clear and concise research objective
    • An introduction (aka background information) that briefly discusses information known about the starting individual
    • All research findings, that are properly presented and analyzed
    • Solid conclusions based on evidence presented in the report
    • Recommendations for future research

    Since the purpose of the four-generation research report is to present research findings and conclusions to a client, the applicant will usually find it easiest to use an ascending format (begin with the most recent ancestor and work back to the remote ancestor). ICAPGen highly recommends that applicants adopt an ascending format for the four-generation research report. If you would like to see some sample client reports, please refer to ICAPGen's Work Samples Page.

  2. The project should encompass both compiled and original records. These records could be from the Family History Library, from other record repositories, or from the locality where the ancestral line is located. They should represent the best sources to answer the four-generation problem.

  3. Key documents could include photocopies or scanned images of documents providing connections within a nuclear family, intergenerational connections, and extended family connections worthy of inclusion for the purpose of fulfilling the main goal(s) of the research. Beginning with the January 2014 testing quarter, all documents referred to in the ICAPGen Application Project report (the four-generation research report) will need to be scanned and submitted as part of the ICAPGen Application Project. Currently, only key documents (about 6-12 documents) are required with the submission. As always, all submitted documents must be labeled with a document number that is cross-referenced with the report and the research calendar.

  4. A list of sources searched (such as a research log or calendar) showing both positive and negative searches. If you would like to see some sample research calendars, please refer to ICAPGen's Work Samples Page.

  5. A pedigree chart showing the four generations discussed in the project (see step 2 above). If you would like to see some sample pedigree charts, please refer to ICAPGen's Work Samples Page.

  6. Family group records, normally four to a submitted lineage (unless multiple marriages exist), including properly sourced and cited documentation of information. If you would like to see some sample family group records, please refer to ICAPGen's Work Samples Page.

  7. Before you submit your application, review the Application Checklist to make sure you have completed all the requirements.

Submission Criteria. We are now accepting applications electronically. To submit electronically:
Complete the Contact Information form. Once your contact information form and fees have been processed you will be contacted with instructions on how to upload your project material. Allow one week for processing. Contact us if instructions are not received in a timely manner.

Save the Project, and its supporting information in .pdf format. (Other acceptable formats are .doc (Word), .rtf (Rich Text Format) but we prefer .pdf format.) Save images of original documents in a .jpg format of no larger than 300 dpi.

If you prefer you may still submit your application on CD via US Mail. Note: Only United States Postal service delivers to the address listed below.

If submitting by CDs: Print the Contact Information form for CDs and fill it out. Save all other application forms, the project, and the supporting information in a .doc (Word), .rtf (Rich Text Format), OR .pdf format. Save images of original documents in a .jpg format of no larger than 300 dpi. Burn all items onto three CDs and mail them with the Contact Information form to ICAPGen with the application fee. Click here for specific instructions on creating the CDs. Applications must be received by one of ICAPGen's quarterly deadlines. [ICAPGen now offers quarterly exam dates. Please review the calendar on our website for upcoming testing dates and deadlines.]

P.O. Box 4464
Salt Lake City, UT 84110-4464

If you are traveling from outside Utah to take an exam, it is recommended that you submit your application at least three months before you plan to take the exam. This allows sufficient time for the application to be processed, graded, and feedback given before you schedule your trip.

Regions | Preparing for Accreditation | Overview of the Accreditation Process
Application Forms | Fees

Sunday December 21, 2014

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