Did You Know? Some Facts About ICAPGen℠

Did you know 2

Who we are

The Accredited Genealogist® credential is awarded by the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen℠), a fully independent non-profit organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Historically, this credential was sponsored by the Genealogical Society of Utah, now known as FamilySearch, but in 2000 the GSU transferred sponsorship of the AG® credential to ICAPGen.  Today ICAPGen remains fully independent of any other organization

What the Accredited Genealogist credential stands for

Genealogy researchers who demonstrate sufficient theoretical and practical backgrounds are given exams for specific geographical regions, and upon passing are rightfully designated as research experts in that region.  The AG credential acknowledges this expertise.

Where we are

Our Accredited Genealogist professionals can be found worldwide, and have proven research expertise in one or more of 8 United States regions and 21 different countries.

What we know and do

Those who hold the Accredited Genealogist credential have demonstrated knowledge of the key sources, history, geography, methodologies, and language of their region of interest and know how to access those records, wherever they exist, whether it is through personal onsite research, correspondence with repositories, or through a representative onsite.  They are also proficient in the use of digitized original sources online. Accredited Genealogist professionals possess the skill to transcribe and abstract handwritten documents, analyze and interpret evidence, and communicate research results in quality written reports.

Where we test

Exams are typically held at the Family History Library in Utah, but  for those who prefer to test elsewhere we can arrange a proctored exam at a local facility, and conduct an Oral Review via the internet.

Important Testing Announcements

news flash

In the April and May Board meetings, the ICAPGen℠ Board approved several proposals that will affect testing. We are excited about this positive development in the accreditation process and feel it will be of great benefit to our applicants:

  • Realignment of the United States regions
  • Realignment of the Canada regions
  • The addition of foreign languages to the United States tests
  • The replacement of the 1900 date as the last year that the starting person in the Level One project can have been born with the institution of a rolling birth date 80 years before the submission of the project

Please be assured, those who are already accredited in a region can renew that region in perpetuity.  These changes apply only to new applications.  If you are in the process of preparing to apply, you can still apply for the old regions until the last testing quarter of 2018.  

Please check the “Testing Dates & Deadlines” section of the ICAPGen site for exact deadlines. This deadline also applies to the newly created Germany regions (which is an extension of the previously-announced deadline).

As of the first quarter of 2019, changes to the following United States and Canada regions will come into effect:

United States

  • Great Lakes: Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois
  • Upper South: Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
  • Southeast: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina
  • North Central: Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska
  • South Central: Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana
  • Northwest: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
  • Southwest: California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado

Two regions remain exactly the same:

  • New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • Mid-Atlantic: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania


  • Atlantic Provinces: Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia
  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • Western Provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia

Each region will now have a maximum of six states or provinces. This alignment will allow candidates to become more skilled and knowledgeable in their region, as they will be able to spend more research time in a smaller number of states or provinces.

In addition to updating language requirements in regions outside of North America, the Board has approved the requirement that candidates demonstrate skill in a foreign language in United States exams by abstracting a simple baptism, marriage, or death record if a region warrants such skill. For examples of records that would be similar to those that you would have to abstract for US regions, please click here.

You will be required to identify all documents by type and language, if other than English. You will only transcribe and abstract English-language documents.

For a table of regions and the languages associated with them please refer to the chart on the ICAPGen homepage

Changes to Level 2 and 3 Testing

The ICAPGen testing committee is currently updating and restructuring the Level 2 and Level 3 exams. These changes will necessitate a major update to the “Guide to Applying for an Accredited Genealogist Credential.” Please refer to the online version as it will contain the most up to date information. The online version will also be undergoing changes so please refer back often. Until further notice the PDF version of the guide is not up to date.

Changes in the Germany Testing Area

The ICAPGen Board has approved a change in the Germany testing area. At present, there is only one testing region for all of Germany. There will no longer be a single Germany Region accreditation; there will be three accreditation regions: East, South, and Northwest. Candidates may turn in an application and test in the third quarter (August) 2018 for the Germany region, after which no further applications will be accepted for the Germany Region.  After that time, applicants will choose one of the three new areas for which to test.

The creation of three regions will allow candidates to specialize in one region of Germany, although accreditations for the other two regions can be earned later.  Those people who already have a Germany accreditation will be able to renew that in perpetuity and will not need to become accredited in one of the other regions, although they may, if they choose to do so.

To read more about these changes and to view a map showing the divisions, see the page Changes in Germany Testing Area

A Premier Credential for Family Historians & Genealogists throughout the World!

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