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Benefits of Certification

Genealogists seek BCG certification for many reasons. These include

  • validating their genealogical skills and knowledge;
  • enhancing their professionalism;
  • a challenging learning experience;
  • a desire for acknowledgment of competence.

Many genealogists — once they are BCG certified — find that certification

  • has enabled them to expand their knowledge of genealogical sources and research techniques;
  • shows peers, clients, and the general public that they have been tested and shown to meet the standards of capable and knowledgeable genealogical researchers;
  • attests that their work is at a high level of expertise;
  • warrants that they abide by a code of ethics; and
  • commands recognition from librarians, clerks, historians, and other genealogists.

Certification — in any field — provides benefits not only to the people who are certified but also to the field in general. BCG certification provides assurances to the general public, including those who use the professional services of BCG certified researchers. In sum:

  • Certification advances knowledge and skills in the field.
  • Certification provides a basis for trusting a genealogist's work.
  • Certification creates a need for genealogical education from which all can benefit.
  • Individuals who are certified are models for others to follow.
  • Certification provides more leaders for the field.
  • Certification enables standards and practices to be clarified, organized, codified, and publicized.
  • The process of testing individuals generates new standards and improves old ones.
  • Certification promotes best practices in the field.

For amplification of these points, see Thomas W. Jones, "Why Certify?" OnBoard 5 (September 1999): 26–27.


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