THE CONSTITUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL GENEALOGISTS IN IRELAND
Dated: 22 September 2009
- Rules and code of practice
- Board of assessors
- Complaints investigation panel
- Disqualification from membership
- Affiliate status
- General meeting
- Alteration of the constitution or rules and dissolution of the Association
- Membership entitlements
- Membership duties
- Admission to APGI affiliate status
- Entitlements and duties of APGI affiliates
Code of Practice
Rules of the Board of Assessors
Complaints Investigation Procedure
The name of the Association will be the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland, hereinafter referred to as 'APGI'. It may be rendered in the Irish language as Cumann na nGinealeolaithe Gairmiúla in Éirinn, or in the Ulster-Scots dialect as Tha Complutherin O Darg-Airtit Yins at Screenges Intae Kynn Athort Airlann.
The members at general meeting may nominate a suitable person or persons to act as Patron(s) of APGI. Following a majority decision the Council will invite the nominee(s) to adopt the role.
The Objects of APGI will be:
- to protect and sustain high standards of conduct and proficiency among Irish professional genealogists.
- to associate and co-operate with other organisations, within or outside Ireland, whose objects are compatible with those of APGI.
- to promote the study of Irish genealogy.
All Members, Associate Members and Affiliates of APGI will adhere to the Rules and Code of Practice adopted by APGI.
The management of APGI will be vested in the Council, which will have full powers to conduct its affairs, subject to the control of the Members at general meeting.
The Board of Assessors will examine all applications for membership to APGI.
- Composition: The Council will consist of not less than six members, to include a President, Vice-President, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. The President will when possible take the Chair at all general meetings and will have a casting vote.
- Election: The Council and its officers will be elected at the Annual General Meeting or at an extraordinary general meeting called for that purpose. Each Council member will serve for one year and will be eligible for re-election. Officers will serve for one year and will be eligible for re-election up to a maximum of three consecutive years. Nominations for all posts may be sent in writing to the Hon. Secretary not less than seven days before the general meeting or may be made at the meeting.
- Meetings: The Council will meet as often as it considers necessary, but it will meet at least quarterly. Three members present will constitute a quorum. Decisions will be by majority vote. The Council may co-opt members to assist in its work.
The Complaints Investigation Panel will examine all matters referred to it under the Complaints Investigation Procedure as adopted by APGI and will be given full powers to act on them. It will not be held in any way responsible for any action arising from its decisions.
- Composition: The Board of Assessors will consist of not less than three and not more than ten individuals who will not be current members of APGI.
- Appointment: Nominations to the Board may be made by the existing Assessors or by the Council or by individual Members and will be ratified by the members at general meeting.
- Assessing of applicants will be in accordance with the 'Rules of the Board of Assessors'.
- Composition: The Panel will consist of not less than two and not more than four individuals who will not be current members of APGI.
- Appointment: Nominations to the Panel will be made by the Council and will be ratified by the members at general meeting.
- Eligibility: Membership of APGI is open to all professional genealogists, as defined in SECTION B below, who meet the following requirements:
- to have practised as a professional genealogist for not less than one
year on a full time basis or for two years part time.
- to be resident in Ireland and conducting all or most of his/her
genealogical research in Irish records,
- not to be employed at any full time occupation other than that of a
- Definition of "Professional Genealogist": A genealogist is one who conducts genealogical research in primary and secondary sources, who assesses the findings, determines further sources or constructs a pedigree, and who compiles a written account of the completed research. A professional genealogist earns his/her living by such work. It is recognised that professional genealogists who have gained admission to APGI may apply their genealogical expertise primarily to consultancy or technology. This will not disqualify them from retaining full membership of APGI.
- Admission: Admission to membership will be in accordance with the Rules adopted by APGI at general meeting.
- Associate Membership: : A Member who is disqualified from full membership by Section 9B of the Constitution or who chooses not to renew membership will be entitled to remain an Associate Member for a period of no more than five years without resuming full membership.
- Fellowship: The Council will be empowered to confer the Fellowship of APGI on such Members, Associate Members or former Members as are considered to have given invaluable service to APGI or to have made a particularly outstanding contribution to the study of Irish genealogy. Those conferred with the Fellowship will be exempt from the requirements of Section 8A of the Constitution.
- Complete Disqualification: A Member or Associate Member will cease to have any connection with APGI if:
- he/she submits a letter of resignation to the Council.
- a majority of Members attending a general meeting vote for his/her
expulsion following on the recommendation of the Complaints
- Disqualification From Full Membership: a Member who ceases to practice as a professional genealogist in Ireland or who takes up employment so as to contravene SECTION 8 of the Constitution will or who fails to pay the annual subscription within the prescribed period automatically cease to be a Full Member and will not be entitled to renew his/her membership until he/she has again met all the requirements of SECTION 8 of the Constitution. He/she will, however, be entitled to remain an Associate Member for a period of no more than five years without resuming full membership. Those conferred with the Fellowship of APGI will be exempt from disqualification under this section of the Constitution.
- Termination of Associate Membership: An Associate Member will cease to have any connection with APGI if he/she fails to resume full membership within a period of five years. This will not preclude him/her from applying for re-admission to membership or being conferred with the Fellowship of APGIip.
- Eligibility: APGI Affiliate status is open to all professional genealogists, as defined in SECTION 8B above, who meet the requirements of Section 8A above.
- Admission: Admission to Affiliate status will be in accordance with the Rules adopted by APGI at general meeting.
- Calling of Meetings: The Council will direct the Hon. Secretary to call at least one meeting in every calendar year as the Annual General Meeting. In addition, the Hon. Secretary will on the request in writing of not less than twenty-five per cent of the Members call a general meeting to transact such business as may be specified in the request. Meetings will be called on twenty-one days notice and all notices will be accompanied by an agenda.
- Conducting Meetings: Meetings will be presided over by the President or in his/her absence by the Vice-President or by such member of the Council as may be selected for such purpose by the Council. Business will be transacted by a majority vote and in the case of an equality of votes the President will have a casting vote. No voting by proxy will be allowed.
This Constitution or the Rules may be altered or APGI dissolved by a resolution passed by seventy-five per cent of the Members present at a general meeting called for such purpose. Members will be notified of any proposed change in the Constitution or the Rules not less than twenty-eight days preceding the meeting at which such change is to be resolved.
- To gain admission to membership of APGI a professional genealogist who meets the requirements for eligibility in SECTION 8A of the Constitution must submit a sample of work which should be a copy of a report already submitted to a client and completed no more than two years before the date of application. It should be a typescript report on research conducted over a period of between seven and ten hours (exclusive of report preparation time). It must be accompanied by:
- a completed application form.
- a non-refundable application fee, as set at each Annual General
- a brief description of the initial information supplied by the client.
- an indication of the length of the search.
- reproductions of the relevant photocopies or other documentation, if
any, submitted to the client with the original letter.
- a letter from the applicant stating that the sample of work submitted is an accurate copy of the original report issued the client and giving permission for the secretary of APGI to contact the client directly should the need arise.
- a letter from the applicant's client giving permission for a copy of the
original report to be submitted to the Board of Assessors.
- a completed reference form containing the names of two referees of standing as to the applicant's character.
- Before the sample of work is examined by the Assessors the applicant must present for interview with two officers of APGI.
- C. The sample of work, as defined in SECTION A above, must be examined by at least three members of the Board of Assessors, whose decision is final. If and when the application is approved by them the applicant is deemed to be eligible for membership of APGI. The Council may then approve the admission of the applicant. On payment of the annual membership fee the applicant is deemed to be a Full Member of APGI and may renew membership annually unless disqualified from doing so under SECTION 9 of the Constitution.
- The annual membership fee will be decided at each Annual General Meeting.
A Full Member will be required to:
- Associate Membership: An Associate Member will be entitled to attend general meetings of APGI but not to vote or to serve on the Council. He/she will not be entitled to advertise his/her association with APGI.
- Full Membership: A Full Member will be entitled to:
- attend and vote at general meetings of APGI and will be eligible for
election to the Council.
- use or display the initials 'M.A.P.G.I.' to signify that he/she is a 'Member
of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland' and to
advertise his/her membership.
- have his/her name, address and areas of research included in the
membership list to be issued by APGI.
- use or display the APGI membership badge.
- Fellowship: A Member or Associate Member conferred with the Fellowship of APGI will be entitled to:
- the privileges accorded to Full Members in sub-sections (i) and (iii) of
Rule 2B, without the necessity of paying the annual membership fee.
- use or display the initials 'F.A.P.G.I.' to signify that he/she is a
'Fellow of the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland' and
to advertise his/her membership.
- use or display the APGI membership badge.
- pay an annual membership fee, the amount of which will be decided at each Annual General Meeting; the fee will be payable on 1st January each year and must be paid within two calendar months; if the fee is not paid within the prescribed period the membership will be deemed to have lapsed.
- abide by the APGI Code of Practice.
- To gain admission to APGI Affiliate status a professional genealogist who meets the requirements for eligibility in SECTIONS 8A ii-iii of the Constitution must submit an application in the form of a letter with supporting documentation attached. The letter should outline:
- the number of months or years he/she has been conducting genealogical
research on a professional basis.
- his/her research experience.
- his/her experience in related fields.
- completion or attendance at any courses in genealogy or related subjects.
- The letter must be accompanied by:
- a non-refundable application fee, as set at each Annual General Meeting.
- a completed reference form containing the names of two referees of standing
as to the applicant's character.
- samples of publicity material used by the applicant if he/she is operating a
genealogical research service.
- Admission to Affiliate status is at the discretion of the Council of APGI. The Council may from time to time limit the number of Affiliates. APGI reserves the right not to enter into correspondence about applications.
- An APGI Affiliate is entitled to:
- attend general meetings of APGI, but not vote or be eligible for election to the Council.
- have his/her name and address included in the list of Affiliates issued by APGI.
- remain an Affiliate for a maximum of four years, having applied for
membership of APGI within two years of admission, provided that affiliation is not withdrawn by the Council for failure to fulfil affiliation requirements.
- An APGI Affiliate is required to:
- pay an annual affiliation fee, the amount of which will be decided at each Annual General Meeting; the fee will be payable on 1st January each year and must be paid within two calendar months.
- abide by the APGI Code of Practice.
- use or display on his/her stationery the term 'APGI Affiliate' to signify his/her association with APGI.
- continue to satisfy the requirements for eligibility in SECTIONS 8Aii-iii of the Constitution to retain Affiliate status.
- apply for membership of APGI within two years of admission as an Affiliate.
- An APGI Affiliate is not entitled to:
- use or display the APGI membership badge.
- use or display the initials 'M.A.P.G.I.' to signify membership of APGI.
- imply that Affiliate status grants him/her accreditation by APGI.
A Member of the Association, hereinafter referred to as 'the Genealogist', will adhere to the following guidelines:
- The Genealogist must
- at all times uphold the integrity and reputation of the
- not act in a manner in any way contrary to its interests.
- In advertising or dealing with the public, the Genealogist should not:
- issue exaggerated, misleading or false information regarding the prospects
of successful research.
- knowingly publish as fact any false information or unproven statement, nor
be party to such an action by others.
- When engaged by a client, the Genealogist should not:
- knowingly and unnecessarily duplicate work already carried out.
- divulge any information concerning the client or the client's affairs,
without prior consent.
- publish the results of research for which a client has paid, without prior
- While engaged in research, the Genealogist should not:
- unnecessarily duplicate work already carried out by the Genealogist or the
- misquote any document.
- cite questionable sources as being authoritative.
- examine a secondary source when it is possible and practical to examine
- In reporting to the client, the Genealogist should:
- compile a report as coherent and lucid as the material allows.
- distinguish clearly between what is proven and what the Genealogist
believes to be possible or probable.
- explain, if unable to resolve the client's research requests, the reasons why.
- offer candid advice concerning further research possibilities.
- give a full list of sources consulted, indicating the relevant repositories.
- not withhold or conceal material or information relevant to the client's
- With regard to other Members, and bona fide genealogists outside the Association, the Genealogist should not knowingly injure, or attempt to injure, the professional reputation, prospects or practice of another.
- The Genealogist must not claim by statement or implication the work of
- The Genealogist should declare any personal or financial interest which might compromise impartiality towards a client.
- The occupancy of the chair of the Board of Assessors is at the discretion of the Council. The term of office is at the Council's pleasure.
- The identity of all applicants should be known only to the Assessors, and the Secretary and Treasurer of APGI.
- The final decision on an applicant rests with the chair-holder of the Board of Assessors.
- The chair-holder of the Board of Assessors need not be actively involved in the assessment of all applications. This rule does not affect the chair-holder's prerogative in SECTION 3 of the Rules of the Board of Assessors.
- The chair-holder of the Board of Assessors shall choose at least three Board members to assess each application, (pursuant to SECTION 1B of the Rules of APGI).
- The identity of any assessor who acts in any and all applications assessed on or after the ninth of December 1999 should be known only to the members of the Board of Assessors and the Secretary of APGI.
A complaint made to the Honorary Secretary against a member of APGI will be dealt with initially by the Honorary Secretary jointly with the President. Only if the matter cannot be resolved amicably by these officers, in consultation with the complainant and the member in question, will it be referred to the Complaints Investigation Panel.
The occupancy of the chair of the Complaints Investigation Panel is at the discretion of the Council. The term of office is at the Council's pleasure.
The chair-holder of the Complaints Investigation Panel will choose two panel members to investigate each case.
The chair-holder need not be actively involved in the investigation of all complaints, but the final decision on each complaint rests with the chair-holder.
(Incorporating the amendments made on 7 December 1993; 13 December 1995; 9 December 1999;
2 June 2004; 1 December 2005; 22 September 2009; June 28 2010; December 7 2011; December 7 2012)