Notes on Application to be an Associate


To apply to be an Associate of AGRA a candidate should be currently operating or intending to operate a genealogical research service using English or Welsh records, for which fees will be charged.

A sound understanding of fundamental genealogical sources and use of original documents is expected.

There is an application fee of £30.


Candidates must:


Demonstrate that they:

Possess or are working towards a qualification in genealogy, recognised by AGRA i.e.

  • Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS) Higher Certificate in Genealogy or higher qualification
  • University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies or a higher qualification
  • University Of Dundee Certificate in Family and Local History or higher (which must include the “Skills and Sources for Family and Local History in England” module)
  • Pharos Tutors Family History Skills & Strategies (Advanced) Distance Learning Course


Are working to increase their knowledge of genealogical sources and practices through other formal courses and learning methods. See Which Course for Genealogists?

It should be noted that there are reduced requirements on progression to a Member application for those candidates with a recognised qualification.


Submit a business development plan (click for more information)

Business Development Plan

A business development plan, probably of between 800 and 1000 words, which should include:

  • A summary overview:
    - researcher's name
    - business name
    - location
  • The researcher's experience
  • Business philosophy
  • Full details of the services offered
  • Marketing strategy (it is not expected that commercially sensitive information be included)
  • Description of how the fee structure will be applied (e.g. hourly rates, packages offered) and an analysis of the costs which will be incurred in running the business.

Applicants who do not possess one of the qualifications in genealogy recognised by AGRA will be invited to attend an interview with the Board of Assessors, usually held in London. They will also be set an exercise in which they will be required to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental sources used in genealogical research in England and Wales, such as :
    - records of civil registration
    - census records
    - parish registers
    - probate records
  • demonstrate basic palaeographic skills
  • illustrate their knowledge and skills by compiling a drop-line family tree based on information from the documents provided.

Interviews take place at least twice yearly, usually in March and September, but additional days are held as necessary. Applications can be submitted at any time.

AGRA Associates


May use the words 'AGRA Associate' or 'Associate of AGRA' on publicity materials and stationery. Associates may not use the AGRA logo or the words 'AGRA Member' or 'Member of AGRA'. These are reserved for use by Members only.


Should be working towards Membership of AGRA by building a portfolio of client research work and by undertaking a structured programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) [click for details].

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) [Hide]

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the means by which both Associates and Members maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required in their professional lives as genealogists and archive researchers.

AGRA aims to maintain and promote professional standards and, as such, encourages its Members and Associates to keep abreast of developments in the fast moving worlds of genealogical research and business practices. CPD is not just restricted to genealogical practices but may relate to IT, authorship, learning Latin, improving our palaeography skills, business skills and marketing.

CPD is compulsory for Associates, who need to show they have the ability and insight to manage their own professional growth. In order to become Members of AGRA they will have to follow a structured path of CPD and submit their log with their full Member application.

More details of the AGRA CPD program are made available to Associates and new Members, including templates for recording CPD, once they have been accepted into the organisation.


Should attend as many Study Days and Network Group meetings as possible and reflect this in their CPD Log.

Subscriptions for new Associates:

The subscription fee for the first full year as an Associate is £40. Beyond the first year the fee for Associates increases incrementally to the full fee for Members (£85) over a four year period, to reflect the fact that the Associate is working towards Member status.

The membership year starts on 1st January. Any candidate attaining Associateship or Membership during the year will pay fees according to the quarter in which their application was accepted, e.g. those joining as an Associate in June will pay £20.

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Goswell Road
London EC1M 7BA