Entry to the Diploma in Genealogy is restricted to those who have gained The Higher Certificate in Genealogy or the Strathclyde Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldry Studies.
The three assignments:
Assignment 1 – The Assigned Task
Candidates will be set an actual piece of genealogical research, on behalf of an imaginary client, conducted in their own area of the country; the assignment is to be completed in a timeframe as directed by the Principal of the Institute. The starting point for research will be supplied to the candidate, who will then be required to undertake up to 25 hours research, using the relevant sources available nationally and locally. Candidates should submit the results of their findings in the form of a client report.
The report should include a description of the research sources which have been searched, the results of all searches, both positive and negative, conclusions reached and suggestions for further research. In particular the report should include where the source was viewed and its catalogue reference/call number, whether the candidate viewed the original manuscript, a microfiche/film copy, online source etc.; and any anomalies such as gaps in the record sequence and impaired legibility. If applicable an explanation of any surname variants also researched should be included.
The account must be illustrated with properly presented drop-line pedigree charts and photocopies or photographs with abstracts or transcriptions of the main documents examined. Candidates are also required to include a detailed statement of expenditure in time and costs.
The report will be assessed by the Examiners appointed by the Council of the Institute; a member of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) may be invited to moderate.
Assignment 2 – The Portfolio
During the period of the Candidate’s training, either through his or her work for the Higher Certificate in Genealogy, or over the several years in which experience has been gained privately, research material will have been compiled and collected. The Portfolio should demonstrate the Candidate's breadth and depth of experience.
It is expected that the Portfolio will contain a collection of works that evidence experience in specific areas of research, such as nonconformity, the military, heraldry, occupational records, land records, manorial records, court records, DNA, one-name, one-place studies and records dating back at least to the sixteenth century.
Each portfolio piece should be a summary account of the research process, interpretation of the evidence and the results achieved; detailed descriptions of the use of basic records will not be necessary. The summary account should include record offices visited and any fieldwork undertaken.
The portfolio will be assessed by the Examiners appointed by the Council of the Institute; a member of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) may be invited to moderate.
Assignment 3 – Library Assessment
The candidate will be provided with a starting point for research into a particular family surname over a period of three hours in a library or record office environment. The Candidate may use whatever sources are available to gather information based on the subject; additional information, relevant to the task, may be issued to the candidate by examination staff during the assignment.
A further period of two and a half hours will be allowed for the production of a drop-line pedigree tree and to answer a short question paper.
Candidates will be expected to have a thorough grasp of the topics covered by this Syllabus of Study and to be knowledgeable in heraldry as well as in genealogy and its applications to historical studies, demography, intestate succession and research overseas.
Those candidates who satisfy the examining board by achieving at least 60% in each of these three Assignments, and who have obtained the Higher Certificate in Genealogy or the Strathclyde Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldry Studies, will have demonstrated their ability to extract information from original documentation and to compile it into an accurate pedigree supplemented with a clear explanation of the evidence used to produce it. They will also have a sound knowledge of the basic genealogical sources used in research. A successful candidate who has achieved these levels will be awarded the Diploma in Genealogy, and will be one who may properly and confidently practise as a professional genealogist.
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