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Code of Ethics and Professional Practices

Purpose: The APG Code of Ethics and Professional Practices serves to promote: (1) a truthful approach to genealogy, family history, and local history; (2) the trust and security of genealogical consumers; and (3) careful and respectful treatment of records, repositories and their staffs, other professionals, and genealogical organizations and associations.

Consistent with these purposes, I agree to:

  1. Present research results and opinions in a clear, well-organized manner;
  2. Refrain from withholding, suppressing, or knowingly misquoting or misinterpreting sources or data;
  3. Report appropriately qualified genealogical conclusions in writing based on the weight of the evidence with fully and accurately cited sources;
  4. Represent my abilities, services, and credentials honestly, avoiding the use of misleading or exaggerated statements;
  5. Engage in sufficient continuing education to maintain competence and comply with applicable requirements;
  6. Prepare and abide by written agreements regarding applicable project scope, fees, charges, payment structures, and deliverables without concealment or misrepresentation;
  7. Disclose potential conflicts of interest;
  8. Maintain confidentiality of client communications and research, except as permitted in writing by the client or required by court or professional disciplinary proceedings;
  9. Treat information concerning living people with appropriate discretion;
  10. Refrain from violating or encouraging others to violate laws or regulations concerning copyright, rights to privacy, business practices, or other pertinent subjects;
  11. Refrain from mutilating, rearranging, or removing from their proper custodians printed, original, microfilmed, or electronic records;
  12. Give proper credit to the work of others and refrain from plagiarism;
  13. Refrain from soliciting established clients of another researcher through denigration, violation of laws or regulations, or other improper means;
  14. Refrain from behaviors or statements that malign or are maliciously calculated to injure the profession; individual genealogists; genealogical associations, programs, or educational organizations; or the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Why the Code?

The Association of Professional Genealogists has a responsibility to serve both its diverse membership and the genealogical client community.

The significance of ethics to APG and its members is reflected in the manner in which complaints are processed and resolved.

When a violation of this Code is alleged, it will be reviewed and investigated if APG's Professional Review Committee determines it meets criteria for such action.

The complaint and disciplinary procedures accomplish five things:

Who can file a complaint?

What we won't review

If you believe an APG member has violated this code

What to Expect

The investigation may

Confidentiality




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