Training Consultants

Help your Temple and Family History Consultants learn to assist others and answer questions.

LDS Consultant Planner     Indexing for Consultants


You can help family history consultants achieve skills and competencies needed to assist family history center visitors with essential tasks. This training is usually divided into multiple sessions, according to your needs.

Be sure that each consultant is skilled and comfortable with navigating Family Tree before they begin helping others with family history. Project 1: Family Tree is ideal for that training.


  • Signups—Get a signup list of consultants. The class size should be 10 or less in most cases.
  • Accounts—Make sure each consultant has an active FamilySearch account with a known password.
  • Trackers—Use the Online Tracker (Training > Online Tracker) or print tracker sheets from The Family History Guide for each consultant, matching the Project being taught. Then have the consultants mark their current skill levels for each Choice as a pre-assessment.
  • Basics—If any consultants are new to the computer, it's highly recommended they complete several of the training links in Computer Basics in Getting Started on the website.
  • Access—Make sure each consultant has individual access to a workstation in the training.
  • Helpers—Unless the class is very small, it's recommended to have one or more helpers who are familiar with The Family History Guide who can assist consultants with hands-on exercises.
  • Material—Select your training material and learn it. See the Course Catalog page.
  • Pass-offs—Decide if you want to have individual "pass-off" meetings between classes, where consultants demonstrate their skill level on each Choice covered in the Goals.
  • Schedule—Distribute a schedule to your consultants with your plan of which courses will be taught.
  • Tips—Study the Instructor Tips in your selected modules before teaching.


  • Basics—Make sure each consultant has an active FamilySearch account with a known password.
  • Explain or teach a Choice—and then allow time for practicing it hands-on. (You may want to ask for a show of hands for who would like hands-on practice or coaching when completing a Choice; if no hands are raised, you can move ahead to the next Choice.)
  • Coaching—Have the instructor and assistants provide individual coaching as needed during hands-on practice.
  • Time—Monitor the hands-on time closely. If a consultant is struggling with a certain skill, even with coaching, move ahead to the next item and arrange to cover the unfinished skill in a later coaching session.
  • Trackers—At the end of each Choice or hands-on, have the consultants mark on their Tracker sheets their Status for the skill. The eventual goal is to have "3" (Proficient) for each Choice.
  • Pass-offs—Tell the consultants they can "pass off" Choices (get "3" status) later, in individual coaching sessions if needed. Skills can be worked on at home or between sessions.
  • Faster learners—To stay engaged, interested, and challenged, faster learners can read ahead to the next topic or browse extra articles in the current Choice or in the Vault. Note : Make sure the faster learners re-engage when you continue to the next topic.

After a Course

  • Pass out a course evaluation sheet to gather course feedback.
  • Have the consultants update their Tracker sheets to reflect what they learned in the training. They can keep the Tracker sheets and send you copies to monitor ongoing progress. For details, see the Track Progress page.
  • Provide additional coaching as needed.
  • Work with consultants to pass off Choices covered in The Family History Guide.

After Series Completion ...

  • Scenarios—Design problem-solving scenarios ("Suppose a visitor comes in and asks ...") and try them out with your training staff.
  • More—Explore further article and video links in The Family History Guide as a source of ongoing learning and discussion with your staff.


With successful training, your consultants should:

  • Understand how to use The Family History Guide to further their own research and skills.
  • Know how to find features and topics quickly on the website.
  • Use The Family History Guide to help visitors with questions and research challenges.
  • Know how to point visitors to resources for additional individual study.

The Consultant Planner and The Family History Guide

The Consultant Planner is a tool on designed to help Temple and Family History Consultants set goals with individuals on family history and temple work. Consultants should be familiar and comfortable with navigating Family Tree (Project 1 in The Family History Guide) before using the Consultant Planner.

Note: The Family History Guide is an ideal way to help consultants prepare to use the Consultant Planner and its training template. This section describes how to do that.

The Family History Guide also helps with the Find, Take, Teach process that the Consultant Planner relies on.

To access the Consultant Planner,

  1. Sign in to FamilySearch.
  2. Click Get Help (upper right corner) and choose Consultant Planner.
  3. Read the overview instructions at the top of the Consultant Planner page.
  4. Click this shortcut link: Helping Others Love Family History (Principles for Helping Others). (Or, click Understand Your calling, Understand Your Calling, and Helping Others Love Family History.)

Step 1: Prepare Spiritually

  1. Read and follow the instructions on the Prepare Spiritually page.
  2. In the appointment setting, work with the individual or family to choose a place that will best meet the needs of the learners. In most cases this will be the home of the family or individual, but it might also be a local church building, or family history center, or your home.
  3. If you are meeting with a family with younger children, consider sharing the Children's Page from The Family History Guide ahead of time with the parents, so the children can be involved in their own way in family history during the meeting.

Step 2: Discover Their Goals

  1. Watch the video, and then read and follow the instructions on the Discover Their Goals page.
  2. Once you discover the high-level goal(s) of the family or individual, make notes of which Projects, Goals, and Choices in The Family History Guide can support their goals. For example, Project 3: Descendants and the LDS page help with finding a name for the temple; Project 1: Family Tree and Project 4: Discover help with learning about ancestors; and Project 5: Indexing gets them started with indexing.

Step 3: Get Access to Their Family Tree

  1. Read and follow the instructions on the Get Access to Their Family Tree page.

Step 4: Prepare and Deliver a Personalized Lesson

  1. Watch the video, and then read and follow the instructions on the Prepare and Deliver a Personalized Lesson page.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, click Download the Template.
  3. Read the template instructions.
  4. In the "Family's goal" field, type the family or individual's goal, as selected in Step 2 above.
  5. In the "What to do in Family Tree" field, type the Goals and Choices from The Family History Guide that support the overall goal that was chosen. For a quick overview of Goals and Choices, see the Course Catalog.
  6. Save your changes to the template, and email it to the learners to prepare ahead of time, or print it to use in the lesson, or both.
  7. In the meeting with the learners, briefly introduce the website for The Family History Guide so the learners can find and use it after the lesson. Consider sharing the Tracker (Online or Word) to monitor ongoing progress with their goals.

If you cannot meet personally with a learner, consider using the Tracker for monitoring progress remotely. Also, you can share this Finding Form for Descendancy View that has instructions for working with learners on finding temple names.

Step 5: Point Them to the Temple

  1. Watch the video and read the instructions on the Prepare and Deliver a Personalized Lesson page.
  2. Help the learner prepare names for the temple by following the steps in Goals 5 and 6 in the LDS page of The Family History Guide.

Step 6: Find Others to Teach

  1. Watch the video, and then read and follow the instructions on the Find Others to Teach page.
  2. Share The Family History Guide with others, and put them in touch with consultants who can help them accomplish their goals.

Other Resources

Indexing for Consultants

Project 5: Indexing in The Family History Guide now offers a step-by-step learning approach for web indexing.

Here are a few FamilySearch resources to help Temple and Family History Consultants provide training on indexing.