Accredited Genealogists Ireland (AGI) is hosting a very special two-day professional development event in Belfast this week. Earlier this year AGI entered into an alliance with ASGRA (the Association of Scottish Genealogists and Researchers in Archives). The two organisations have been providing accreditation for professional genealogists for three decades. They have joined forces to promote the benefits of such accreditation for both competent genealogists and those seeking to engage competent and trustworthy researchers.
2016 is a significant year for AGI (known until 2015 as APGI – the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland). Not only did it form the alliance with its Scottish counterpart, it reached its 30th anniversary. The organisation was founded in Belfast in 1986. This is one of the reasons for holding the professional development in the city. Of course, AGI is an all-Ireland organisation, providing accreditation for genealogists in Northern Ireland and the Republic.
At the beginning of the two-day event on Monday morning (19 September) AGI’s President, Máire Mac Conghail, and ASGRA’s Chairman, Janet Bishop, outlined the history and evolution of their respective organisations and welcomed the alliance. This is the first joint meeting of the two accrediting bodies. In August an internal newsletter for AGI and ASGRA members, compiled by Kirsteen Mulhern (ASGRA), Michael Walsh, MAGI, and John Grenham, MAGI, was launched. AGI will attend the 28th Annual Conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies, hosted by ASGRA, at North Queensferry, Fife, on 22 April 2017.
AGI and ASGRA have similarities. For instance, both have programmes to help those in transition towards a career in genealogical research. However, there are differences of approach between the two organisations. The alliance recognises these differences and does not seek to impose uniformity. The organisations are equal and are supportive of one another.