Filing A Complaint

Any APG member providing services on this site has voluntarily agreed to abide by our Code of Ethics and Professional Practices. If you believe that an APG member with whom you have a written agreement has violated one or more articles of the Code of Ethics, you can use our form to file an ethics complaint alleging a violation.

The complaint and disciplinary procedures accomplish five things:

  • Maintain a high professional standard.
  • Increase consumer confidence.
  • Provide a fair process for handling of complaints against members.
  • Identify members who will benefit from additional professional development.
  • Identify those committing serious violations of the Code of Ethics.

Who Can File?

  • Clients who believe an APG member has not performed as expected or has failed to complete a genealogical service (research report, seminar, etc.). The individual must have been a member of APG at the time the agreement was made. A client is any individual who has an agreement in writing (e.g. letters, emails, or formal contracts) with an APG member.
  • The APG Board or the Executive Committee when other claimed violations of the Code of Ethics are suspected.

What We Won't Review

  • Allegations concerning verbal agreements between a member and another party. There must be something in writing (contract, email, etc.) that demonstrates the scope of the agreement.
  • Allegations against a member for non-genealogical business agreements such as non-payment of rents or other general business not directly related to genealogical business.
  • Allegations of a personal nature not related to genealogical activity.
  • Allegations of activity that occurred more than twelve (12) months prior to the date of the complaint. The last contact between the two sides to the complaint should be no more than twelve (12) months prior to the complaint filing date.
  • Allegations against an individual based solely on his/her position in a corporation unless the complainant can show that the alleged problem is directly attributable to the action of the member.

How The Complaint Process Works

  • Submit the online Complaint Form. Please include evidence in support of your claim, including copies of written agreements, records of payment, emails or other correspondence, and any other items that will help APG’s Professional Review Committee (PRC) understand your complaint against the member.
  • The Executive Director will convey the materials to the PRC who will determine whether the matter meets the criteria required for a review.
  • The Executive Director will advise the complainant whether or not the PRC accepts the issue for formal review. At this point, the member will be advised of your complaint and will be asked to respond through the Executive Director to the PRC.
  • The investigation will result in one of the following outcomes:

    • In support of the complainant, potentially leading to disciplinary action and/or recommendations for the member to rectify the situation.
    • In support of the member, outlining why the complaint lacks merit.
    • Remain inconclusive due to insufficient evidence or other extenuating circumstances.
  • All complaints submitted to the PRC are considered confidential. All parties (complainant, member, the PRC, and the Executive Committee) agree to keep the details of the complaint and its outcome confidential, refraining from discussing the matter with anyone outside the involved parties and through the Executive Director.