The Development Activity document is different in two significant ways:
- The DA is now part of the evaluation of your qualifications.
- The requirements of the DA focus on your genealogical education and what you learned.
The reason why this change occurred is because the Board for Certification of Genealogists discovered there was a direct correlation between rigorous education courses and successful portfolios. Their survey of past applicants and successful portfolios showed that ProGen, the series of classes I took in 2013-2014, results in the highest percentage of success.
This DA component seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? And, assuming that you have some reasonable educational opportunities in your genealogical tool chest, it is.
My primary tip? Do not take this too lightly.
- Organize the DA carefully. What do you want to highlight? Do you put elements of your education into clusters or is it a list?
- Focus on what you learned at each educational opportunity. Clearly make the connection between your education and the four learning areas BCG lists in their Guide.
- Work at making this succinct. The guidelines ask for only one to two sentences for each educational opportunity describing what you learned.
After you have the opportunities arranged in a way that works for you and you have listed what you learned in each–step back. Assess if it is as good as you can make it. Assess if you have any gaps in your Development Activities and if so, identify what can you do to rectify the gap–either by filling it or focusing on an alternative.
At this point, I went through and tried to reduce each entry to two sentences. I wasn’t always successful, but I didn’t do too badly in achieving that goal. I really want to “ingratiate” myself to the judges by having a fairly small number of pages for the portfolio! With the new rules for this extension, I have to submit fewer than 150 pages. I am hoping for a portfolio of no more than 120 pages.
If you want to read the guide or better yet, considering getting your certification, click on this link.
What I have done since the last post: presented my “Fire Insurance Maps: the Google Maps of their day” at Legacy Software Webinars. It was a wonderful experience and the presentation was well received. Geoff Rasmussen is a gracious host and does a very nice job of prepping the inexperience webinar presenter (me!) and then having a smooth transition to the actual presentation. At Geoff’s urging, I submitted five other presentations for his consideration (finding your parish, Danish records, Norwegian records, Swedish taxation and 19th c. insanity.) I also continue to refine the client report. Just when I think I have it polished up–something rears up. Next up? Getting ready for my presentations at NGS the first week of May.
 Board for Certification of Genealogists, The BCG Application Guide (Washington, DC: Board for Certification of Genealogists, 2016) 3.