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12 January 2010

Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Jeffrey Vaillant continues with his reports from the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Monday, 11 January 2010
Salt Lake City

The day began with breakfast – a good thing. Actually the breakfast was sponsored by the SLIG as a way to get us all going. It was the typical gathering of hungry genealogists listening to those administrative announcements that happen at every conference. We met all the course leaders and learned where all the classes will be held. Also, it appears we Californians cluster together as I sat with Ron Cannon from the north coast and a couple from Lake Tahoe. We cherish California weather.

The accreditation class began with two presentations/lectures introducing the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) program and application process. In the first presentation Karen Clifford and Ray Clifford spoke to the issue of tests. They pointed out that tests need to have validity, reliability and fairness.

Their accreditation process has three major components – the Application, the Written Test and the Oral Review. The five steps to accreditation are:
  • Determine which of the 39 accreditation area to apply (or go for all 39!)
  • Select a family you’ve researched back four generations prior to 1900
  • Fill out their application form showing your experience
  • Take the eight hour written exam—proctored
  • Attend the learning experience of the oral exam
The next two presentations/lectures were the introduction to the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Elissa Scalise Powell spoke about why seek certification suggesting the learning process involved, the suggestions from the judges on the work submitted, a validation of skills, the peer recognition and respect gained, an acknowledgement of competence, self satisfaction and presenting oneself to savvy clients and referrals. My personal reason revolves around a validation of skills.

Powell distributed The BCG Application Guide booklet for our use. She went on to point out the seven steps taken for certification by the BCG. They are:
  • Agreement to a specific code of conduct
  • A background resume
  • Document work supplied by BCG
  • Document work supplied by the applicant
  • A research report
  • A case study
  • A Kinship-determination project
Debra S. Mieszala spoke about the third and fourth elements; namely transcribing and abstracting documents. She went into the standards that BCG applies in reviewing the transcription and abstracting work and pointed out that there were practice examples at their website. (There is a National Genealogical Society course on the same subject. I have taken this course and recommend it.) Mieszala handed out two examples of documents to transcribe which the class did and she pointed out the rubrics used to evaluate the work.

It was a good day of information. The classes let out “early” since the Family History Library is two blocks away. I’ll be heading there.

Later this afternoon those of us who are/were involved in the ProGen Study Groups as well as those part of the transitional genealogists’ email list will be having dinner together. This will be followed by a 7 p.m. Plenary Session presented by Barbara Renick on Overcoming the Perils of Research.

- Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #3: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #4: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #6 and A Recap: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy