Why looking for Accreditation is Important when hiring a Genealogist

Posted on 1 September 2020

Our staff at GenealogyUK® are accredited by the only two professional associations that provide genealogical accreditation in the UK. These are, the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) in England and Wales, and the Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (ASGRA). Why is this important?

Interest in genealogy has grown tremendously in the last 30 years, the introduction of record sets to the internet and TV programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? And Heir Hunters has created a passion for genealogy never before known and with it a growth in so called professional genealogists offering research services for a fee.

The profession of genealogy is unregulated and there are no formal qualifications required to be in the business of tracing family trees for those willing to pay for the service, but how does a prospective client know that his or her researcher is competent to carry out the task in hand?

Many so-called professionals offer services with no outward sign of any form of qualification for undertaking the complex science of genealogical research which requires an extensive knowledge of historical records, research and business practice. But what of those who advertise some form of membership to a particular body?

Membership of some genealogical organisations is in fact open to anyone who pays the subscription fee to join that society. The Society of Genealogists, Association of Professional Genealogists, Guild of One Name Studies, Scottish Genealogical Society and local Family History Societies are typical of this type of membership. All these bodies provide a very important service to the genealogical community and aim to pass their expertise through meetings, events and publicity. With access to resources to aid researching your family history. However none of these are accrediting bodies.

AGRA and ASGRA only admit members after rigorous assessment of case work undertaken for clients, in addition all prospective members are interviewed by a Board of Assessors and have to show that they have an extensive knowledge and diligent methodology in order to undertake research for a paying client. Both bodies operate a strict code of practice and in the unlikely event that something goes wrong then a complaints process is available to ensure that disputes can be resolved between the client and researcher.

When hiring a professional genealogist look for accreditation from AGRA for research in England and Wales and ASGRA for research in Scotland.

GenealogyUK® considers accreditation important so that we can ensure that our clients have the reassurance of knowledge and expertise in carrying out research to the highest standard.