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            Courses            
Methodology - Part 6: Professional Preparation and Practice
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This course examines the specific needs of the potential or current researcher-for-hire, touching on a variety of topics including: experience and education; a review of research standards; peer-body certification or accreditation; business planning and office organization; the kinds of services to offer; setting fees; and promotion and marketing ideas to heighten your profile. We also take an in-depth look at client management, from the first contact through to professional report writing. A number of genealogy-related options are described for additional income-earning.

With a business in place and with knowledge of acceptable standards, the professional genealogist assumes ethical responsibilities to self, clients, colleagues and the public at large. The professional needs a solid knowledge of ethical practice in case difficult personal or moral issues arise. We outline these standards in Module 6 and suggest that you keep them nearby for review from time to time.

Professional standards and many of these professional practices are equally applicable to the serious family historian who wishes to construct proof arguments, write articles or compile a worthy family history.

It would be prudent to remember that the five previous Methodology courses all contain valuable information and materials in terms of research standards, planning and procedures. They address evaluation of sources, analysis of information, synthesis of evidence, citations, the usage of charts and much more, which are not repeated here.


Course Content

Module 1
Education
Terminology
 
Professional Requirements
• Apititude
• Experience
• Training
• Commitment
 
Becoming Professional
Self-Help
 
Networking
• Professional Organizations
• Volunteer Work
 
Brief Review of Research Standards
• Genealogical Proof Standard
• Sources–Information–Evidence
• Citation of Sources
• Transcribing & Abstracting
• Synthesis or Proof Summary
 
Educational Opportunities
• Canada
• United States
• England

• Scotland
• Australia
 
Credentialing Bodies
 

Module 2
Business Services and Office
Business Planning
• Step One: Self-Examination and Consultation
• Step Two: Mission Statement
• Step Three: Business Plan
 
Office Planning
• Home v. Outside
• Equipment
• Supplies & Organizing
• Suppliers
 
Home Library
• Basic Needs
• Specialty Interest Areas or Subjects
 
Your Desk
 
Research Services
• What Kind of Research Service?
• Geography Plays A Part
• Specialties
 
Marketing Your Services
• Free
• Paid
• Last Words
 

Module 3
Client Management
Answering Enquiries
 
Who Is This Potential Client?
• Responses and Proposals
 
Agreements and Contracts
• Payment
 
Client Scheduling
The 7 Folder System for Client Work
 
Your Briefcase
• Staples
• Variables
 
Working With Colleagues
Complaints/Delinquent Accounts
 
The Professional Image
• Self-Image
• Clients
• Public at Large
• Resource Centres
• Colleagues & Peers
• Family & Friends
 

Module 4
Research Planning and Reporting
Research Planning
Suggested Steps in Research Planning
Small Case Example
Report Writing
Types Of Reports
 
Essential Elements Of A Formal Report
• Specific Components
 
Citing Your Sources
• Reports for Law Firms
 
Technical and Other Hints
• Reviewing Your Report
 
Reference
• Books
• Articles
• Audio Recordings
 

Module 5
Other Options - Writing, Lecturing, Teaching
Options
 
Writing
• Articles
• Columns
• Books
• Publishing and/or Selling Books & Products
• The Web — Personal Sites, Listserves, Newsletters & Blogs
 
Lecturing/Speaking
• First Engagements
• More Engagements: Proposals and Submissions
• More Engagements: Professional Preparation
 
Teaching
• Preparation & Planning
• Student Performance
 
Still More Options
• Heir Tracing
• Private Investigator
• “Genetealogy”
• Tours
• Land/Title Searching
• Broadcaster
• Editor
• Photographer
• Executive Director
• Specialized Societies
 

Module 6
Ethics
Standards and Guidelines
• APG Code of Ethics
 
Confidentiality and Privacy
Copyright and the Law
Liability and Fraud
Ethical Accountability & Planning
 
References & Further Reading
• Books
• Courses
 
 

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