Code of Practice


Both researchers and customers will be bound by the terms of this Code of Practice which is designed to safeguard the interests of both parties.

The primary objective is to provide an efficient and cost effective service to those seeking information on people who lived in the Eastbourne area.

This service is provided by members of “Family Roots”, who, whilst possibly being experienced family historians, are not professionals.
They undertake research on the basis of a desire to help fellow family historians.

In the main the research is expected to take place in and around Eastbourne. If there is a need to travel further afield then the customer will be asked to agree the cost of travel in advance.

The preferred method of communication is by email. However, it is recognised that either the customer or the researcher may not have access to the Internet. In this case use will be made of the postal service. Requests for help via the postal service must be accompanied by a stamped & addressed envelope.

The copyright of any work produced belongs to the researcher. It is expected that the customer will be given permission to use the material for their own private use without restriction. However, the material may not be published, in any form, without the express permission of the researcher. In addition, as stipulated under copyright legislation, proper acknowledgment of the author (researcher) must be given in any records utilising the material.

The following scale of charges will be employed :-

Research – Charges per half hour or part thereof = £5.00. plus expenses as below.

Travel – At cost (by most economic method).
Postage – At cost (second class unless otherwise agreed).
Telephone – At cost (cheap rate unless otherwise agreed).

The following items will not be charged to the customer :-



All work must be agreed, in writing (or email), with the customer before it is undertaken. This includes the scope and depth of the task as well as the estimated costs. Costs must be kept within the agreed financial limits.

Estimated costs may vary by 10% and this should be made clear to all cutomers. For example, this is to allow for the situation where the extra cost offsets any extra travel costs which would be incurred by a further visit.


It is recommended that the researcher, who is prepared to undertake research on behalf of a customer, should :-

Establish contact with the person seeking help.

Agree an initial task which should typically be limited to one hour.
Report the findings of the task to the customer.
Agree any further work, within agreed financial limits.
Record details of agreed tasks, researches and costs incurred.


Records of Requests; Agreed tasks; Estimated costs; and Actual costs will be maintained.


Any complaints will be responded to by the following procedure :-

Stage 1 – The complaint will be reviewed by a panel composed of four (4) members of “Family Roots” as selected by their committee. This panel will be empowered to give an appropriate decision.

Stage 2 – If the customer appeals against the Stage 1 decision, then the complaint will be passed to a person of repute, selected by the “Family Roots” committee. This person will be independent of “Family Roots”. Accompanying the complaint will be a report on the case from the Stage 1 panel. The decision of the “independent” person will be final.

Where the findings are in favour of the customer, the maximum recompense will be up to, but not exceeding, a total refund of any payments made to the researcher. No liability will be accepted for any consequential loss. Claims for recompense will need to be supported by receipts.