APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2003-04 > 1050549825
Subject: [APG] Thanks and comments on the certification process
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 22:23:51 -0500
Thank you so much for your kind words and congratulations on my
earning certification. It is an honor to be a part of such an
organization of professionals.
That being said, I'd like to share with you some reactions and
realizations I had upon receiving my portfolio back in the mail with
the BCG judge's evaluations and comments.
First, I realized that the application for certification process is akin
to earning a college degree. I used to believe (back in the Middle
Ages :-) that after I earned my degree in history, I would be
recognized as an expert in history. How naive I was! It didn't take
long to realize that what earning that degree meant was that I
acquired the necessary skills and tools I needed in order to find
what I needed to know in the future.
Second, I learned that when an applicant receives the
acceptance/rejection of the application from each of the judges, it
has to be taken as impartial advice from people who care about
other aspiring genealogists who want to be like them. :-) Otherwise,
why in the world would they take on such a job? Not many people
(including the judges) get up in the morning with the idea that today
they are going to cut others down so much that they give up what
they are trying to accomplish. The apparent reward to the judges is
that they can be of help to other genealogists by giving us the
benefit of their experience.
When one considers that the knowledge and advice the judges
impart to us comes from people who have been "in the trenches" of
genealogical research for a long time, that advice is extremely
Still, it isn't the easiest thing in the world for an applicant to receive
advice well and perceive it as help. Although the judges try to be
gentle and express their comments in a positive way, the initial
reaction to their advice isn't a feeling of elation. In fact, some of the
comments really hurt. But, most the comments are necessary for
our continued growth.
Only when I got over the initial sting of some of the advice and
began to think objectively, like any good genealogist, was I able to
begin to perceive the value of the advice. That didn't take long
because thanks to some of the postings on this board, I was much
more prepared than I could have been.
Try to prepare yourself for that part of the process whether you get
that certification the first time or not. There's no way you won't learn
and grow from all that advice, UNLESS you completely disregard it.
I intend to go over all the judge's evaluations with a fine tooth comb
in order to assess my weak points and try to improve on them.
My opinion is that being certified means one has a certain degree of
competency. However, it also means that the certified person is
able to learn, grow and acquire the necessary skills and information
necessary to advance in his/her chosen specialty. Being certified
doesn't mean we know it all. It just means we strive to know it all.
(Smile) College graduation or certification is just another step in a
lifelong learning process.
Remember those of you that have gone through application have
done what few people have attempted to do. You've gone through
and survived the process of applying for certification. That alone
should give you a great deal of satisfaction. You had the guts to try
If you didn't make it the first time, don't despair! It just means you
have things to learn. Let the judges advice help you instead of
keeping you from trying again.
Joyce C. Wicks, CGRS (sm)
CGRS, Certified Genealogical Records Specialist, is a service mark of
the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by
Board-certified associates after periodic proficiency evaluations.