How to Become an Arbitrator

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a final quality check before indexed records can be published on The better the arbitration, the more likely researchers will be able to find their ancestors.

How Does Arbitration Work?

Two volunteers index every record. When their answers agree with one another, no arbitration is needed. When their answers don’t agree, someone needs to determine which, if either, is correct. That person is an arbitrator.

How Do I Become an Arbitrator?

  1. Index at least 4,000 records from a variety of projects and skill levels.
  2. Study the basic indexing guidelines.
  3. Take the indexing and arbitration tutorials.
  4. If you feel you are ready after completing these steps, contact your group administrator or stake indexing director or FamilySearch support to discuss your qualifications and receive arbitration rights once you are ready.

Instructions for New Arbitrators

  1. Choose a project or two in your native language to arbitrate.
  2. Carefully read all instructions for those projects before arbitrating batches.
  3. If batches are available, index a batch from a project before attempting to arbitrate in that project.
  4. Don’t forget about record matching.
  5. Check your own arbitration results for additional insight from other arbitrators.
  6. Continue to index one batch for every 5–10 batches you arbitrate.
  7. You may contact a personal arbitration mentor by calling 855-504-1842 or click here.

Current Arbitrators

If you are currently arbitrating, review the instructions, and keep up the good work!

If you are an arbitrator who hasn’t arbitrated in a while:

  • Refresh your memory with the arbitration tutorial, especially the demonstration of record matching.
  • Review the basic indexing guidelines and the project instructions for your favorite projects.
  • Come back and arbitrate again.
  • You may contact a personal arbitration mentor by calling 855-504-1842 or click here.


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