THE CONSTITUTION OF ACCREDITED GENEALOGISTS IRELAND
Dated: 23 June 2023 (commenced 7 October 2023)
- Rules and code of practice
- Board of assessors
- Complaints investigation panel
- Affiliate status and Membership
- Disqualification from membership
- Disqualification from Affiliate status
- General meeting
- Alteration of the constitution or rules and dissolution of the Association
- Admission to Membership
- Membership entitlements
- Membership duties
- Admission to AGI affiliate status
- Entitlements and duties of AGI affiliates
The name of the Association will be Accredited Genealogists Ireland, hereinafter referred to as ‘AGI’. It may be rendered in the Irish language as Ginealeolaithe Creidiúnaithe Éireann, or in the Ulster-Scots dialect as Listit Femlie Histrie Skeel-Dargers, Airlann.
The members at general meeting may nominate a suitable person or persons to act as Patron(s) of AGI. Following a majority decision the Council will invite the nominee(s) to adopt the role.
The Objects of AGI are:
- 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 AGI.
- to promote the study of Irish genealogy.
All Members, Associate Members and Affiliates of AGI will adhere to the Rules and Code of Practice adopted by AGI.
The management of AGI 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.
- 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 Board of Assessors will examine all applications for membership to AGI.
- 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 AGI.
- 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 Council.
- Assessing of applicants will be in accordance with the ‘Rules of the Board of Assessors’.
The Complaints Investigation Panel will examine all matters referred to it under the Complaints Investigation Procedure as adopted by AGI 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 Panel will consist of not less than two and not more than four individuals who will not be current Members of AGI.
- Appointment: Nominations to the Panel will be made by the Council and will be ratified by the Council.
- Eligibility: To be eligible to apply for membership of AGI an applicant must first have successfully applied for and attained AGI Affiliate status. Affiliate status 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 professional genealogist.
- 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 AGI may apply their genealogical expertise primarily to consultancy, education or technology. This will not disqualify them from retaining full membership of AGI.
- Admission: Admission to Affiliate status and to membership will be in accordance with the Rules adopted by AGI at general meeting.
- Associate Membership: : A Member who is suspended 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 AGI on such Members, Associate Members or former Members as are considered to have given invaluable service to AGI 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.
- Emeritus Membership: The Council will be empowered to confer the status of Emeritus Member on such Members, Associate Members or former Members as have retired from practice as professional genealogists. Those recognised with the status will have the same entitlement as Associate Members, as detailed in Section 2A of the Rules of AGI.
- Complete Disqualification: A Member or Associate Member will cease to have any connection with AGI 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 Investigation Panel.
- Suspension 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 or who fails to pay the annual subscription within the prescribed period will 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 AGI 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 AGI 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 AGI.
- Disqualification from Affiliate status: An Affiliate will cease to have any connection with AGI if Council deems that he/she has contravened Section 5B or Section 5C of the Rules of AGI.
- 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 AGI 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.
In this document, and all subordinate documents created by it:
- A “Full Member” means a Member of Accredited Genealogists Ireland who at all times fulfils their obligations under Section 3 of the Rules of AGI, but who, additionally, is neither an Associate Member nor an Emeritus Member.
- A genealogist holding “Affiliate status” by virtue of Section 4 of the Rules of AGI is not a Member of the Association. He / she must successfully meet the requirements prescribed in Section 1 of the Rules of AGI to attain Membership
- To gain admission to membership of AGI a professional genealogist genealogist must first have successfully applied for and attained Affiliate status, as outlined in Section 4 of the Rules of AGI and continue to meet the requirements for eligibility in SECTION 8Aii-iii of the Constitution. He/she 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 Meeting.
- 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 AGI 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.
- 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 the Board of Assessors the applicant is deemed to be eligible for membership of AGI. 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 AGI 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.
- Associate Membership: An Associate Member will be entitled to attend general meetings of AGI but not to vote or to serve on the Council. He/she will not be entitled to advertise his/her association with AGI.
- Full Membership: A full Member will be entitled to:
- attend and vote at general meetings of AGI and will be eligible for election to the Council.
- use or display the initials ‘M.A.G.I.’ to signify that he/she is a ‘Member of Accredited Genealogists 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 AGI.
- use or display the AGI membership badge.
- Fellowship: A Member, Associate Member or former Member conferred with the Fellowship of AGI will be entitled to:
- the privileges accorded to full Members in sub-sections (i) and (iii) of Rule 2B.
- use or display the initials ‘F.A.G.I.’ to signify that he/she is a ‘Fellow of Accredited Genealogists Ireland’ and to advertise his/her membership.
- use or display the AGI membership badge.
- retain Fellowship status having retired from practice as a professional genealogist without the necessity of paying the annual membership fee.
A full Member will be required to:
- pay an annual membership fee, the amount of which will be decided at each Annual General Meeting; the fee will fall due 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 AGI Code of Practice.
- Participate in Continuing Professional Development to the extent determined from time to time by the Council.
- To gain admission to AGI Affiliate status a professional genealogist who meets the requirements for eligibility in SECTIONS 8A ii-iii of the Constitution must submit an application comprising of a letter outlining:
- 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 Application Form for Affiliate status containing the names of three referees, one of whom should be a client who can vouch for the applicant’s satisfactory genealogical work, and the other two should be persons of standing (unrelated to the applicant) who can vouch for the applicant’s character.
- a dissertation or report, the details of which to be determined from time to time by the Council.
- samples of publicity material used by the applicant if he/she is operating a genealogical research service.
- Affiliate status may only be ratified by the Council of AGI after the applicant has presented for interview with two representatives of AGI.
- Admission to Affiliate status is at the discretion of the Council of AGI. The Council may from time to time limit the number of Affiliates. AGI reserves the right not to enter into correspondence about applications.
- An unsuccessful applicant for Affiliate status may submit a further application no sooner than six months after being informed that their application has been declined.
- An Affiliate is entitled to:
- attend general meetings of AGI, but not vote or be eligible for election to the Council.
- be invited to serve on Council sub-committees at the discretion of Council.
- have his/her name and address included in the list of Affiliates issued by AGI.
- remain an Affiliate for a maximum of four years, having made a first application for membership of AGI within two years of admission, provided that affiliation is not withdrawn by the Council for failure to fulfil affiliation requirements.
- An AGI 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 AGI Code of Practice.
- use or display on his/her stationery the term ‘AGI Affiliate’ to signify his/her association with AGI.
- continue to satisfy the requirements for eligibility in SECTIONS 8Aii-iii of the Constitution to retain Affiliate status.
- participate in Continuing Professional Development to the extent determined from time to time by the Council.
- apply for membership of AGI no sooner than one year and no later than two years after admission as an Affiliate.
- An Affiliate is not entitled to:
- use or display the membership badge.
- use or display the initials ‘M.A.G.I.’ to signify membership of AGI.
- imply that Affiliate status grants him/her accreditation by AGI.
- An Affiliate who having made an unsuccessful second application for membership may, within 28 days of receipt of notification of their unsuccessful application, request a time limited extension to their Affiliate status. Such an extension would facilitate the applicant, while retaining Affiliate Status, in submitting one further and final application for membership no sooner than three months and no later than six months from the date of their letter of rejection. Temporarily, the applicant would retain their status as an Affiliate until such an application has been assessed by the Board of Assessors.
- An Affiliate, whose status as such has expired without them having made a successful application for Membership, may petition the Council of AGI for leave to submit a further application for Membership independent of holding Affiliate status.
A Member of the Association or an Affiliate, 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 Association and
- 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 consent.
- While engaged in research, the Genealogist should not:
- unnecessarily duplicate work already carried out by the Genealogist or the client.
- misquote any document.
- cite questionable sources as being authoritative.
- examine a secondary source when it is possible and practical to examine the original.
- 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 request.
- 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 another.
- 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 Secretary and where necessary the Treasurer of AGI.
- 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 AGI).
- 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 AGI.
A complaint made to the Honorary Secretary against a Member or Affiliate of AGI 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 or Affiliate 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; 28 June 2010; 7 December 2011; 7 December 2012; 27 May 2015; 4 December 2015; 8 December 2017; 23 June 2023 [commenced 7 October 2023]).