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Membership Levels


A forensic genealogist is qualified through a combination of education, training, and work experience.

Membership Requirements

Level I through Level IV memberships are available for those who qualify, with each individual having an annual continuing education requirement. The continuing education requirements should not be confused with coursework required to apply for membership. Two approved courses are required to join CAFG at any level, and 15 hours of approved continuing education classes are required each year thereafter to maintain your membership.

Membership dues are currently $110. Beginning June 1, 2017 all members will have the same renewal date.

We offer four numbered levels with Level I being entry level and Level IV being the most advanced. All members must agree to adhere to the Standards of Practice and Conduct.

Requirements of All Members

After acceptance to CAFG, all members will be required to complete at least 15 hours of continuing education annually. These hours must be reported on CAFG’s reporting spreadsheet and submitted with annual membership renewals and dues.

Applications to each higher level of membership must include a new well-written, source-cited genealogical research report or affidavit (not to exceed 50 pages) reflecting the knowledge, experience, and professionalism expected at each higher level. Forensic case hours should be reported on a spreadsheet and submitted with your application. Applicants should review examples of acceptable reports before submitting an application.

Level I (Entry)

  • Completion of two approved courses or their equivalent approved by CAFG.
  • Submission of a well-written, source-cited genealogical research report (not to exceed 50 pages), which may be based on pro-bono, client, or personal research completed within the past five years.
  • Personal statement as to why you want to be a forensic genealogist (500 words or less).

Level II

  • Attainment of all requirements of Level I.
  • 100 hours of client/employer genealogical research for others (not your own family), half of which may be pro-bono.
  • Submission of a well-written, source-cited genealogical research report or affidavit (not to exceed 50 pages), which may be based on pro-bono, client, or personal research completed within the past five years.

Level III

  • Attainment of all requirements of Level II, and two years of substantial and continuous work as a professional genealogist.
  • 200 client/employer hours in forensic work, half of which may be pro-bono, completed within the past five years.
  • Address any weak areas previously noted by review committee.
  • Submission of a well-written, source-cited genealogical forensic research report or affidavit (not to exceed 50 pages), which may be based on pro-bono, client, or personal research completed within the past five years.

Level IV

  • Attainment of all requirements of Level III and at least three years of substantial and continual work as a forensic genealogist.
  • 750 client hours in forensic work, 150 of which may be pro-bono, completed within the past ten years.
  • Submission of a well-written, source-cited genealogical forensic research report or affidavit (not to exceed 50 pages), which may be based on pro-bono, client, or personal research completed within the past five years.

CAFG Approved Courses (taken within the previous five years only)

  • CAFG – Forensic Genealogy Institute
  • degree in genealogy
  • approved genealogical credential, currently CG or AG
  • qualified as an expert witness in genealogy by a court or governmental agency
  • Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) – PMC (in person or virtual)
  • Boston University Certificate Course
  • Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference
  • Gen Proof Study Group (Mastering Genealogical Proof)
  • Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed)
  • Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)
  • Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR)
  • National Genealogical Society (NGS) – Family History Conference
  • National Institute for Genealogical Studies (Toronto)
  • National Institute of Genealogical Research (NIGR)
  • ProGen Study Group (19-month program)
  • Regional In-depth Genealogical Studies Alliance, Inc. (RIGS Alliance)
  • Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG)
  • University of Washington Certificate in Genealogy & Family History