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The Kennel Club Board is delighted to announce, following consideration of the recommendations put forward by the Independent Review Panel together with the output from the survey commissioned by the Kennel Club, that agreement has been reached on how to take the Judges Competency Framework (JCF) forward.

The development of the JCF will be resumed, in tandem with the traditional system for the progression and approval of judges to award Challenge Certificates, with the following provisos:

‘Judges Competency Framework’ to be renamed  

  • The name ‘Judges Competency Framework’ will be changed. Further details will follow in due course.



  • Access to the ‘JCF’ online resources will be free of charge and there will be no licensing fee payable by any judges during the first 3 years.

Running two systems in tandem



  • The two systems to run in tandem for a minimum of five years, with a review after three years.


  • Judges may choose to progress using either the traditional or ‘JCF’ route on a breed-by-breed basis.


  • ‘Grandfathering’ to be available, for judges listed in one or more breed club/council A3 list(s), having passed a breed specific ‘hands on’ judging assessment or with a JDP credit, based on the KC’s current mandatory criteria. Further details will follow in due course.



Hands-on experience


  • A set number of dogs judged, based on Stud Book Bands, will be required to progress to JCF Level 3.


  • The minimum required numbers of dogs to be judged under the existing approval system have been reviewed, and some changes agreed.


  • What shows/events may be included when counting the number of dogs judged has been clarified. Further details will be announced in the next few weeks.

Requirements of a Dog Show Judge exam



  • The requirement for all judges to undertake a ‘refresher’ RDSJ exam every 5 years has been withdrawn, subject to review after three years.


  • The requirement for judges previously approved to award CCs to attend a RDSJ seminar and pass the examination if designated as ‘Not Currently Active’ or subject to penalties related to a substantiated complaint or objection remains unchanged.


  • Judges seeking approval to award CCs to their first breed, irrespective of their chosen approval route, must attend a RDSJ seminar and pass the examination.



‘Eye for a Dog’ assessment


  • The ‘Eye for a Dog’ assessment in its present form to be withdrawn and placed under review. Further consultation to be undertaken with a view to developing an alternative approach that retains the aims and objectives of the ‘Eye for a Dog’ concept whilst taking account of feedback obtained from previous experience.






  • Mentors will not be empowered to pass or fail  candidates.


  • Criteria for who can be a mentor has been agreed, further details will follow shortly together with revised guidelines on who can act as an ‘observer’.


  • The form for completion by mentors is being reviewed, further information will follow after a period of consultation with BECs.


  • Existing mentors and mentoring paperwork will remain in place, and mentoring may continue as normal, until BECs are advised of the changeover arrangements. Any previously completed mentoring sessions will be valid.


  • Progression to Level 3 will require completion of a minimum of three mentoring sessions.


  • Mentors will be expected to provide constructive feedback to candidates to assist them with developing their understanding of the breed.



Stewarding and critique writing



  • The requirement for judges to watch the stewarding and critique writing films remains, but the examination will be replaced by a quiz deigned to allow a judge to check their level of understanding. There will be no pass/fail mark, the requirement is simply for completion of the quiz.


  • Requirement for 12 days stewarding to be reinstated. Two of these days must be completed as part of the revised Level 1 entry criteria (see below) with the remaining ten days to be completed prior to a judge applying for Level 3 status for their first breed.



Starter/new judges



  • Entry level criteria for all starter/new judges to be eligible to judge up to three classes of any breed (four if a puppy class scheduled) to be amended as follows:
  • Minimum of 5 years proven interest in pedigree dogs
  • Attend an RDSJ seminar but not mandatory to take and pass the examination but passing the exam will be required before progressing to judge more than the permitted minimum number of classes.
  • Attend a Conformation and Movement seminar
  • Complete a minimum of 2 (two) stewarding appointments.



Breed Appreciation Days/multiple-choice exams (MCE)



  • Existing MCEs are to be reviewed to ensure they meet revised requirements. Planned BADs may continue using existing MCEs. Full information will be sent to BECs shortly

More detail regarding the above actions and further press releases concerning the new judges’ education and approval systems will follow in due course.

All enquiries should be directed to email





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.