BCG Releases New BCG Application Guide and Revised New-Application Rubrics #announcements #guidelines
Jan Meisels Allen
The Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) released a 2021 edition of the BCG Application Guide. The new guide reduces BCG’s renewal requirements and clarifies several issues for new applicants. It also incorporates changes involving the ethical use of DNA that were implemented in October.
BCG also released a revised set of new-application rubrics. The respect for privacy rubrics RR12, CS8, and KD10 have been reworked to reflect the recent revision of Standard 57 and the code of ethics.
Individuals who have already submitted a preliminary application or whose renewal applications are due before 1 January 2022 are not subject to the new 2021 guide. They are subject to the 2019 guide unless they elect otherwise or apply for an extension.
The new guide and rubrics can be downloaded from BCG’s website. The guide is available at https://bcgcertification.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BCG-Application-Guide-2021.pdf
The rubrics are available at https://bcgcertification.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BCG-New-Application-Rubrics-2021.pdf
Changes to Renewal Requirements
The change to renewal requirements reduces the number of allowable work samples from three to two and the page allowance from 150 to 100. Additional guidance is provided to help certificants select at least one renewal work sample that meets the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS). To address a common misunderstanding, the guide also notes that GPS work samples need not be complex.
Changes to New Applications
One of several clarifications for new applicants addresses the scope of analysis needed for Requirement 3-D in the BCG-supplied document work. Applicants often overlook important aspects of the document they are given. The guide provides more details about the type of discussion needed to meet the standards associated with rubrics DW6‒DW9.
The new guide also addresses a problem commonly seen in case studies. Many applicants submit the wrong kind of study because they misunderstand what is meant by an identity problem. The guide now specifies that “a study about a single identifying characteristic of a person such as their date or place of birth” does not meet the requirement.
Changes to DNA Standards and Code of Ethics
The DNA-related changes, announced in October and applied retroactively to applicants subject to the 2019 guide, are also included. The changes, involving Standard 57 (respect for privacy) and related parts of the Genealogist’s Code of Ethics, make it easier to share DNA match details in a private setting such as BCG’s certification process. The new guide refers applicants to “DNA Resources” on BCG’s website for more guidance on meeting Standards 51–56.
To conform with the October changes, the new guide also eliminates the requirement to include permission from any living individuals mentioned in the kinship-determination project. This change should not be taken as encouragement to submit a KDP that includes multiple living individuals. Strong KDPs rarely include living individuals due to limited record availability and privacy restrictions.
BCG’s newly revised Genealogist’s Code of Ethics can be viewed here: https://bcgcertification.org/ethics-standards/code/
BCG’s newly provided guidance on DNA can be found here: https://bcgcertification.org/learning/dna-resources/dna-frequently-asked-questions-faq/
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee