The Board for Certification of Genealogists is launching a pilot program that divides the application process for earning the Certified Genealogist credential into three parts. The pilot program does not change portfolio elements, standards, or rubrics, only the submission timing. This change aims to make the process more approachable and encourage more preliminary applicants to submit portfolios while remaining just as rigorous.

Applicants can opt in to the pilot program from 1 March 2024 to 31 December 2024 by submitting the Part 2 Pilot Program Application with the required elements and applicable fee within the pilot program window. There is no limit to the number of participants in the pilot program, and it is open to anyone, including those currently on the clock or those who are not yet on the clock.

The BCG Pilot Program Application Guide describes the requirements for certification.

This video explains the pilot program process, how to participate, and where to learn more.

The pilot program intends to explore the feasibility of implementing a three-part application process for certification.

The current research-category certification is a two-part process. The pilot program would be a three-part process. Applicants in the pilot program do not submit the requirements for Part 3 until their work for Part 2 is judged sufficient.

Current Process Pilot Program Process
Part 1 Submit Preliminary Application Submit Preliminary Application
Part 2 Submit Final Application with portfolio requirements consisting of:

●      Genealogist’s Code of Ethics

●      Development Activities

●      Document Work

●      Research Report

●      Case Study

●      Kinship-Determination Project

Submit Part 2 Pilot Program Application with requirements consisting of:

●      Genealogist’s Code of Ethics

●      Development Activities

●      Document Work

●      Kinship-Determination Project

Part 3 Not Applicable Submit Part 3 Pilot Program Application with requirements consisting of:

●      Genealogist’s Code of Ethics

●      Research Report

●      Case Study

No, the requirements of the certification process will not change. The process of attaining BCG certification is both challenging and rewarding. Therefore, applicants should attain the needed education and carefully prepare their work before submitting it for evaluation, regardless of whether they do so under the current process or the pilot programprocess.

The pilot program can facilitate the process of certifying. Some applicants may find it easier to approach the process by working on two of the major portfolio elements at a time. The pilot program allows applicants to receive feedback on the Part 2 submission requirements before moving on to Part 3. Some applicants may find the judges’ comments helpful when working on the Part 3 elements.

No. The overall cost remains the same.

Current Program Pilot Program
Preliminary Application* (Part 1) $75 $75
Full Portfolio Submission $300
Pilot program Part 2 (half of the portfolio) $150
Pilot program Part 3 (half of the portfolio) $150
Total $375 $375

* Increasing to $80 on 1 July 2024.

The pilot program runs from 1 March 2024 through 31 December 2024.

No. During the pilot program window, both the current option and the pilot program will be available. You decide which option you want to do after you have finished Part 1, the Preliminary Application, and are ready to submit the next step — either in full (current process) or in part (pilot program process).

Applicants may opt into the pilot program by submitting the Part 2 Pilot Program Application with the required elements and applicable fee within the pilot program window.

Applicants will have one year from the date BCG notifies them that Part 2 was judged sufficient to submit Part 3. If needed, a single one-year extension for completion of Part 3 may be requested along with payment of the extension fee.

Any applicant in this situation will be allowed to continue and complete the process under the pilot program.

BCG anticipates that the judging time will be shorter for each part of the pilot program. Rather than the current program’s four to six months for a portfolio evaluation, each part of the pilot program is expected to take three to four months.

No, an applicant must have their Part 2 judged as sufficient before submitting Part 3.

Applicants whose Part 2 work has been judged sufficient are now “on the journey”! This lets you share the news of your achievement.

Both “on the clock” and “on the journey” are understood to mean one is pursuing board certification. There is no “CG candidate” category, so using that phrase is misleading.

When an applicant indicates on their Part 2 Pilot Program Application that they intend to participate in the pilot program, they will be removed from the ACTION list just like anyone who submits their portfolio. If their work in Part 2 is evaluated as sufficient, they will be invited to join a different ACTION list with others “on the journey.”

Judges for Part 3 will not be aware of any developmental activities you pursue as development activities are not updated and submitted with Part 3. Applicants should determine what is best for them to aid in improving any areas of weakness noted by the judges as they prepare for Part 3.

No. Successful portfolios reflect diversity. Therefore, an individual named in any work sample must not appear in any other work sample in your application.

No. The Code of Ethics must be signed and dated again for Part 3.

BCG does not intend to designate the same judges for these parts.

No, but you can complete another Preliminary Application to go “on the clock” again.

No, none of the material may be used again. No applicant may submit material reviewed, critiqued, or proofread by another individual. Therefore, once the judges have evaluated the work samples, they are inappropriate for reuse in a BCG application. New work samples must be submitted. The opportunity to prepare new materials will increase your level of experience and assist you in developing the skills your portfolio should demonstrate.

Applications are evaluated using rubrics that address all aspects of the work, including documentation, research, writing, and adherence to genealogy standards. The rubrics for each portfolio element in the pilot program are the same as for that element in the current process

No. You don’t need to submit a new Preliminary Application. You indicate your participation in the pilot program by submitting the requirements for Part Two no later than 31 December 2024.