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The A2 judges’ list procedure:
- a Kennel Club press release

OBJECTIVES

It is acknowledged that practical evaluation following approval to award Challenge Certificates is not wholly satisfactory, and that assessment at a lower level, prior to approval, is preferable.

The opportunity for a judge to be approved in principle to award CCs without necessarily having an invitation to do so should enable up-and-coming judges - who may well have been overlooked in the past - to be brought to the attention of inviting societies via the publication of the A2 List in the Kennel Gazette.

The Kennel Club believes that Breed Clubs will welcome the opportunity to advance their up-and-coming judges at an earlier stage and it is hoped that all Breed Clubs will embrace the A2 system as a matter of priority.

WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE A2 LIST SERVE?

The Kennel Club believes that greater use of the A2 approval system will both improve procedures and be of long-term benefit in ensuring that new Championship show judges have previously been deemed capable of undertaking an appointment to award Challenge Certificates. Equally importantly, it will enable judges to go through an approval procedure without first having to receive an invitation to award CCs, an aspect of the previous system that has frequently been criticised.

It will also reduce the need for evaluation of judges awarding CCs for the first time in a breed, as those who have progressed through the A2 system will not be evaluated at their first appointment.

Whilst this document concentrates on the details of the A2 Assessment Procedure, it should be remembered that before any judge can progress to the A2 List, they should at least have met the requirements for the Breed Club A3 List.

WHO APPLIES?

Judges whose names appear on any Breed Club B Lists or above may ask to be assessed when judging the breed at Open show or Breed Club Limited show level or at a seminar/breed club assessment day. Breed Clubs are advised that, when issuing invitations to judge Breed Club Open and Limited shows, they should automatically consider organising at least one assessment (two may be carried out at Breed Club level at the same show) and advise the invited judge accordingly.

It must be understood that application to be assessed does not necessarily guarantee that an assessment will be forthcoming if, in the opinion of the Breed Club concerned, the applicant lacks the relevant experience. However it should be assumed that any applicants who are already included on a Club’s A3 List would be granted an assessment if requested, and if practicable.

When a Breed Club wishes to forward an A2 questionnaire to the Kennel Club to be considered for approval, the application – provided the three assessments have been undertaken and have been received by the Kennel Club – will be considered by the Judges Sub-Committee which will, as with a standard nomination to award CCs, consider the opinions of other breed clubs along with the completed assessment forms. Successful nominations will be published in the Kennel Gazette and these listed A2 judges should normally be approved to award CCs when invited, as a matter of course.

WHERE?

For the assessment procedure to work as efficiently as possible, it should take place in a regular competition environment.

For inclusion in any Breed Club’s A2 List, a candidate must have been assessed at least three times. Assessments may take place at any one of the following:

Breed Club Seminar/Assessment Day
Only one of the three required assessments may be carried out at an event of this kind. There must be a minimum of five dogs present and these must be ‘judged’ as in a regular competition class. Assessors must be drawn from the official KC breed list.

Breed Club Open or Limited Show
At a Breed Club Open or Limited show either one or two assessors (preferably one) may assess a judge. Assessment by two independent assessors drawn from the official KC list at such a show would be considered as two individual assessments. There should be a minimum of twelve dogs present; however the Committee may consider an assessment completed using nine dogs and above.

General Canine Society Open Show
Two assessments may take place when judging breed classes at any one General Canine Society Open show. Again, the assessor must be drawn from the official KC List. If there are twelve dogs present this will count as two assessments. If between five and eleven dogs are present then this will count as one assessment.

Mock Classes
These assessments can be conducted after a Show has closed or after a seminar has finished. Two assessments can be completed under these conditions as long as the Code of Best Practice has been followed and a minimum of twelve dogs is present.

FEEDBACK
Whilst the assessment form itself is private and confidential between the assessor and the Kennel Club, there is no objection, should they so wish, to assessors discussing observed performance with the judge after the appointment is completed. This should be conducted in a positive manner, highlighting areas where it is considered there is room for improvement.

ASSESSMENT FORMS
The assessors will forward assessment forms directly to the Judges Department where they will be held on file until the Breed Club decides to allow the submission of the A2 questionnaire for the Judges Sub-Committee’s consideration.

It should be clearly understood that it is the Kennel Club that sanctions the ‘promotion’ of judges to the A2 list, and not the Breed Clubs.

NOTES FOR BREED CLUB SECRETARIES
Breed Clubs have the responsibility for proposing judges to the A2 List and the three required assessments should be arranged by the breed clubs.

A2 questionnaires are obtained from the Kennel Club Judges’ Department by the breed club. The questionnaire may be submitted to the Kennel Club at any time but will not be considered by the Committee until the three assessments have been received.

While in theory a judge may be assessed at any time during their career, it is expected that such judges should be included on a club's B List before asking to be assessed.

When arranging an assessment, the Breed Club should obtain the current list of Assessors/Evaluators for the breed from the Kennel Club and appoint an assessor there from.

As these lists are constantly changing, it is important that an up-to-date list is applied for when an assessment is being arranged.

When an assessment has been set up at an all-breeds Open show, the breed club should advise the show concerned, and ask to be notified as soon as possible after entries have closed as to the number of dogs entered in the breed classes.

Assessment forms are confidential and will be returned to the Kennel Club directly by the assessor.

When three assessments have been completed, the breed club is then free to forward the completed A2 questionnaire to the Kennel Club. The names of successful candidates will subsequently be published in the Kennel Gazette.

NOTES FOR JUDGES

A judge may apply to a breed club when they feel they are ready to go through the A2 assessment procedure, but there is no obligation on the part of the breed club to grant assessments should they feel the applicant lacks experience. It is expected that a judge should be included on at least a club's B List before applying for assessment.

Three assessments must be completed as detailed above before a club can submit the A2 questionnaire to the Kennel Club.

When an assessment is to take place at an all breeds Open show, the judge concerned should apply to the Breed Club on whose list they are included to organise the assessment.
Following assessment an assessor may discuss a judge’s performance with them directly, but this is not obligatory.

NOTES FOR ASSESSORS

The assessment and assessment form should be regarded as confidential. When completed, the form should then be forwarded to the Kennel Club in the provided stamped addressed envelope.

Should an assessor wish to discuss a judge’s performance with them afterwards, they may do so, but this should be carried out privately and in a positive manner, highlighting if appropriate any areas where the assessor feels there is room for improvement.