Every profession has their own standards and adheres to their own version of the professional career path to qualify and establish the authorized practitioner in the industry of the profession. Journalism is currently being taken over by the citizen blogger and is not the professional model I would hope Professional Genealogy Research Services will follow. I encourage a higher degree of professionalization in professional genealogy research services along the lines of Cosmetology, Medicine, and Education – but without governmental regulation, if the profession can self-regulate as is done in pro golf.

Frankly, because of the sensitive nature and the legal, financial, scientific, and health consequences and repercussions of professional genealogy research services, I do not foresee a future in the profession without some regulation. It is my hope that the practitioners will take an active role and have a say in how that regulation is developed and applied. This will require the standardization of the formal educational template in genealogy research services used to school and train the practitioner who desires to qualify and be authorized to be a professional genealogist and take clients whether for a fee or pro bono and research, teach, speak, and write as experts in professional genealogy research services. The professional career model followed in cosmetology, medicine, and education includes such formal education as well as training, experience, ethics, standards, best business practices, and continuing education along with the attendant professionals-only credentialing of the practitioners. Use of this level of professionalism in professional genealogy research services is in the best interests of the profession, the practitioner, future professional genealogists, the consumer, and the public domain family tree.

Submitted by Mary E. Petty, BA (History), BA (Genealogy)

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