During the late 1990s the five-part Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) was developed. Today ninety published standards cover the same ground in more detail. See Genealogy Standards, 2nd edition (Nashville: Ancestry, 2021), which includes standards for documenting, researching, writing, lecturing, and continuing education.
The five interdependent parts of the GPS still serve as a ready-reference condensed version. To meet standards,
– we research thoroughly, emphasizing original records providing participants’ information;
– we cite completely and accurately the source(s) of each information item that is not common knowledge;
– we analyze and correlate our sources, information items, and evidence;
– we resolve any conflicts among evidence items; and
– we write a soundly reasoned, coherent conclusion based on the strongest available evidence.
Each individual seeking certification signs the Genealogist’s Code, a pledge to act in every way to protect the public, clients (whether paying or pro bono), and the profession.
> Read more about the Genealogist’s Code of Ethics
For consumer protection, BCG offers the public a dispute-resolution service. Should a problem arise from a professional relationship with one of its associates, BCG will accept a formal complaint (including specific allegations and evidence) and will attempt to mediate the matter. If mediation is unsuccessful, the complainant may elect arbitration, the decision to be binding on both parties to the dispute. BCG reserves the right to rescind certification in instances of flagrant violation of the Genealogist’s Code, or failure to comply with an arbitration decision.
> Read more about Discipline and Dispute Resolution