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Further to the recent announcement that the planned implementation of the Judges Competency Framework (JCF) has been placed on hold pending a complete assessment of the scheme by an independent review body, the Kennel Club wishes to give an update on this situation.

A meeting has now taken place between Kennel Club representatives and the Kennel Club Member who proposed that a review of the JCF take place.

At this initial meeting, the following objectives of the review were agreed:

  1. Provide an objective review of the Kennel Club’s Judge Training Development and Approval System (for conformation shows) taking account of present JCF proposals and existing systems.
  2. Make best use of Kennel Club educational facilities.
  3. Ensure as far as possible that long established judges are retained and not discouraged by the future system.
  4. Reach out to those newcomers and existing judges with potential but who are not necessarily politically strong or ambitious.
  5. Remember that dog showing in the UK is a hobby and therefore try to avoid excessive bureaucracy.
  6. Recognise that hands-on experience is seen by many exhibitors as an important part of the judge development process.
  7. Recognise that in the world of dogs there is a wide mix of academic, intellectual and practical backgrounds and attempt to allow people from various levels to become judges.
  8. Recognise that breed clubs, which in many ways ‘own’ their breeds, have an important role to play but should not be given blocking rights.

The terms of reference of the review were also confirmed, which are to review both the JCF and existing judge approval systems in two phases; the first phase examining fundamental strategic issues with the second phase dealing with the detail arising from these initial findings.

Phase one of the review will involve answering the following initial questions:

  1. Should the JCF proposal to license judges rather than approve on a show by show approval basis be maintained or abandoned?
  2. Should existing previously approved CC judges continue to be required to sit the five-yearly ‘Requirements of a Dog Show Judge’ exam or should they be exempted unless they have not judged for a number of years or made procedural errors while judging?
  3. Should an attempt be made to keep both the existing system and the JCF system in some form running in tandem for a number of years into the future, or should the existing system be phased out as planned?
  4. If an ‘in tandem’ approach is to be pursued should the choice of which method to follow be on a judge by judge or breed by breed basis?
  5. Irrespective of the answer to question 3 should an element of practical hands-on judging experience (the ‘numbers game’) be involved?
  6. Irrespective of the answer to question 3 should starter judges be allowed to judge at small (Level 1/C list) open shows before having to sit any of the exams (Points of a Dog/Requirements of a Dog Show Judge etc) or should such exams be compulsory before a judge takes up any appointment?
  7. Should the stewarding requirement for CC judges be retained at 6 occasions or returned to the previous 12 or some other number?
  8. Is there sufficient merit in the following features of the JCF for them to be continued/developed:
  1. Mentoring
  2. Multiple choice questions on breed standards
  3. Eye for a Dog assessment
  4. Critique writing exam

Phase two of the review will involve deciding on next steps and implementation.

Once the composition of the review panel has been agreed and places are confirmed a further announcement about the progress of the review will be issued.



Melanie Thomas, Chairperson

Melanie Thomas, Chairperson

I live in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex with 2 Bolognese and I show one of my dogs.