Tips for Successful Renewals


Do you have questions about the renewal process?  What are the steps?  What can I do to ensure a successful renewal?

“ICAPGen℠ requires each Accredited Genealogist® professional to renew his or her accreditation every five years. The purpose of renewal is to assure that each AG® professional is keeping current with available sources and research techniques in the area of accreditation under renewal, including familiarity with new electronic and digital resources. This renewal process also ensures that each Accredited Genealogist researcher is sustaining the high ethical and professional standards associated with ICAPGen.”


Accredited Genealogist® professionals who seek to renew their credential  must submit:

  1. An Accreditation Renewal Form
  2. A letter which summarizes their genealogical activities in the previous five years.
  3. A 3-5 page research report reflecting 7-10 hours of research
  4. A signed ICAPGen professional ethics form

Tips for successful renewal:

The best way to ensure a successful renewal is to understand what is expected in the research report. It should include these elements, which are familiar to all who have completed the initial accreditation process:

  1. Original Research
  2. Research Objective
  3. Analysis
  4. Discussion
  5. Future Research
  6. Summary
  7. Citations
  8. Research Log
  9. Family Group Records

Keep in mind the following when preparing and submitting a research report for renewal:

  • Report should not be longer than about five pages. The research does not have to cover a big research problem. The report necessary to apply for a new credential has to cover four generations but the report for a renewal should only cover a small project that would maybe only take seven to ten hours. If the research is a big research problem then the researcher could just take part of it for their renewal report, but it would still need to have an objective for that part of the project as well as the other elements necessary (log, summary, citations, further research suggestions).
  • Report needs to include citations. All new information requires documentation. Citations can be footnotes or end notes. They need to be standard and include enough information that the source could easily be found again.
  • The objective for the research project should appear at the beginning of the report and should be stated clearly including a name, date, and place.  The objective should make it clear what the intent of the research will be and for whom.
  • A summary should summarize the findings and indicate whether or not the objective was achieved.
  • The future research suggestions must be detailed enough that the client or anyone else who desires to can perform the task.
  • A research log should be detailed enough for anyone reading it to know what source was searched, where the source is located, the reference to the source (microfilm # catalog #, etc.), what and who were looked for in the source and whether or not something was found. Reference numbers to any documents copied or created should be included.
  • The research log should be neat, clear, and easy to read. Best if it is typed.
  • It is not necessary to include copies of the documents or extracts made during the research.
  • Please do not include your name on the report, research log, or family group sheets.  Also do not include any company logos.  It is important that the reviewers do not know whose report they are reviewing.

We hope these tips give you confidence as you prepare your application for renewal. We want you to be successful! Work samples and details about the renewal process can be found on the ICAPGen website.  Please contact the Renewals Committee ( if you have any further questions.

“Resources for Genealogists” on the NARA Website

NARAThe National Archives and Records Administration is the premier repository for textual records in the United States, and in recent years their digital collections have grown impressively, but did you know NARA also has an outstanding series of online essays that educate genealogists on a variety of topics?

The “Resources for Genealogists” area of NARA is robust and highly instructive.  Explore links to a series of essays on popular genealogical topics, and you will find it more than worth your time.  The essays go into depth, describing the content, history, value, and use of federal records, with plenty of additional links to keep you exploring and learning.

Some of the research topics include:

  • African American Research
  • Census Records
  • Congressional Records: Private Land Claims and Private Legislation
  • Court Records
  • Ethnic Heritage Research and Resources
  • Federal Employees
  • Immigration and Naturalization
  • Income Tax of the Civil War Years
  • Internal Migration
  • Land Records
  • Maritime
  • Military Records
  • Native American Records
  • Passport Applications
  • Post Office Records
  • Pre-Federal Records
  • Prisons
  • Social Security Records
  • Vital Records
  • Women

Regional Archives are branches of the National Archives located across the country.  Guides to the holdings at these repostitories are valuable tools for accessing the records you seek at any of these facilities.  Another great resource on the NARA website is their selection of online finding aids for federal records, helping researchers navigate the unique organizational structure of these collections.

A Premier Credential for Family Historians & Genealogists throughout the World!


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