Seeking out the assistance of a professional genealogist can be a good move if you encounter a challenging research problem, lack the time or skills to research, or are unable to travel. But how do you know if you are getting what you are paying for? The genealogy profession is unregulated (at least by the government) in most, if not all, parts of the world. Genealogists advertising their services may represent their education, skills, experience and expertise in any number of ways, including the following:
Licensed Genealogist – Truth be told, there really isn’t such a thing in most jurisdictions. Licensure generally implies compliance with local laws regulating businesses and isn’t specific to the genealogy profession. It may mean that the genealogist follows local laws and a code of ethics, but does not in any way imply competence as a genealogist. Some people do use the term ‘licensed’ as a synonym for ‘certified,’ however, so be sure to ask anyone using this title exactly what they mean by it.