Saskatchewan Record Searcher Certificate Course

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SGS is Updating the course and is not accepting new students – contact SGS.


  • This course is intended to develop ethical record searchers who are well informed in regard to basic Saskatchewan records.
  • This course is intended to teach what the basic Saskatchewan record sources are, how to develop a research plan using these sources, how to document and write a research report and how and when to make recommendations for further research.
  • This course is a pre‑requisite for the Saskatchewan Researcher Certificate Course, is a compulsory component for the Saskatchewan Instructor Certificate Course, and  a pre-requisite for the Aboriginal Researcher Certificate Course.


  • You are a member in good standing of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
  • You have done some genealogical research
  • Strongly recommend that you have done some Saskatchewan research


  • To develop an appreciation for the importance of a Code of Ethics and standards for record searchers
  • To understand the basic record sources for genealogical research in Saskatchewan
  • To learn how to analyze a research problem and develop a research plan
  • To learn how to conduct the research, document findings and write research reports

Course Outline:
Part 1: You will

  • learn the value of a Code of Ethics for the record searcher
  • begin a dictionary of research terms
  • learn what the basic Saskatchewan genealogical record sources are
  • analyze client requests for research
  • develop research plans
  • document and write reports
  • Assignments
    • Answer questions and submit your responses for marking and feedback as each section is completed.
    • Complete three basic research assignments.  For each basic search assignment you will include an analysis and a research plan. The research report for each is to be fully documented.

Part 2: You will

  • review and critique sample research assignments
  • review the record sources and how to use them effectively
  • analyze and develop research plans for particular searches
  • learn how and when to make recommendations
  • Assignments
    • Answer questions and submit your responses for marking and feedback.
    • Complete three basic research assignments. You will include an analysis and research plan for each. Research reports are to be fully documented and contain recommendations for further research that could be completed by either the client or the record searcher.

Assignments are to be completed within a specified time frame. You will be advised of the due date when assignments are given.

Examination: (required for certification as a Saskatchewan Record Searcher)

  • The final examination will be an open book exam. It will be sent to you when your final research assignments are completed and marked. This exam will cover all aspects of the course and must be completed within a pre-arranged time frame. You will be advised of the due date when the exam is delivered to you.

It is important that the assignments and final examination are completed within the specified time frames. Please contact SGS if the deadlines cannot be met in order to discuss a possible deadline extension. Failure to meet deadlines could result in payment of an additional administration fee or incompletion of the course.

It is strongly recommended that you begin and maintain a personal handbook containing samples of all the documents listed in a basic search. These can serve as reference items in the future. The handbook will be your personal guide to Saskatchewan Records and will not be marked or graded.

Course Fee:

  • $175.00 –      includes the course work and assignments
  • $  25.00 –      fee for the final (open book) examination if you wish to receive certification as a Saskatchewan Record Searcher.

Please Note:  The course work, assignments and final exam will require you to use resources that are available from the SGS Dropbox online (, various Internet sites and resources that may be borrowed through Inter-library Loan or through the SGS Library Lending Program for members. HOWEVER, in order to give you actual research experiences, you will also complete research assignments where you will need to obtain documents from various organizations such as public libraries, the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society and Saskatchewan Archives Board. This may involve additional expense to you.


  • Tracing Your Saskatchewan Ancestors: A Guide to the Records and How to Use Them, 4th  edition … $27.00
  • Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian … $29.70
  • Genealogy and the Law in Canada … $20.70 (optional)

You will be certified by the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society upon the recommendation of the Instructor of the course if the following criteria are met:

  • you have successfully completed all assignments
  • you have successfully completed the Open Book exam
  • you are a member in good standing of the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
  • you agree, in writing, to follow the guidelines as set out in the SGS Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics and Letter of Agreement

There is an expectation that anyone who wishes to be an SGS Certified Record Searcher will continue to further their knowledge in the field of genealogy by reading current periodicals, continuing to do research, attending lectures and seminars and actively supporting the SGS.