Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Board for Certification of Genealogists Releases 2016 Edition of the BCG Application Guide

Board for Certification of Genealogists Releases 2016 Edition of the BCG Application Guide

Board for Certification of Genealogists today released a 2016 edition of the BCG Application Guide. The new guide implements two changes for initial applicants approved by the board last May. Two clarifications address common problems in new portfolios.

The most significant change will see applicants evaluated on their genealogically related educational activities. Initial applicants have long been asked to describe the activities that helped them prepare for certification but only now will this information be evaluated. The new practice is meant to stress the importance of development activities as these have been statistically shown to increase an applicant’s chances of attaining certification.

The second change limits the size of new applications to 150 pages. The new limit more realistically portrays the amount of material an applicant will need to prepare than did the two-pound limit it replaces. A related change limits Requirement 7, the kinship-determination project, to three generations. Applicants were previously allowed to submit additional generations if they wished, but extra generations are invariably more than judges need for evaluation purposes.

One of two clarifications addresses Requirement 5, the research report prepared for another person. Applicants submit many types of projects for this requirement, including genealogies, biographical narratives, case studies, and lineage-society applications. However, the application guide specifically requests a research report, not other types of commissioned projects. The 2016 guide makes this point clear.

The new guide also clarifies the request for a research question that is part of BCG’s two document work assignments, Requirements 3 and 4. Many applicants submit broad multipart questions that are too poorly framed to meet genealogical standards and that impede their ability to show evidence-evaluation and research-planning skills. The new application guide specifies that a “single” question be supplied.

BCG today also released a revised set of new-application rubrics. Several rubrics have been reworked to more clearly reflect evaluation criteria. Like the application guide’s clarification affecting the document work, two of those changes clarify the importance of Standard 10 and the need for research to address focused questions.

None of the changes affect renewal portfolios.

The new guide and rubrics can be downloaded from BCG’s website. The guide is available at http://www.bcgcertification.org/brochures/BCGAppGuide2016.pdf. The rubrics are available at http://www.bcgcertification.org/brochures/BCGNewAppRubrics2016.pdf.