Working Trials Administration

Working Trials are licensed by the Kennel Club and run by registered clubs and societies. Before running a Championship Working Trial, at which Working Trial Certificates ("tickets") are given out,  the society must have applied to and been approved by the Kennel Club for Championship Status. 

1. Running a Working Trial

Societies setting up and running trials need to address a number of main tasks:

  • Nominate a Working Trial Manager and deputy
  • Decide on a date, a venue and the stakes to be run. Most Societies run their trials in the same week in each year. To avoid date clashes, a list of trials can be obtained from, or by phoning 01296 318540 Ext 207
  • Provisionally book the intended trials base and seek outline permission from landowners for the land intended to be used

2. Licence

  • Obtain a licence: first apply in writing to the Kennel Club's Show Diary section for the desired competition date (on headed paper) or complete a Show Date Application form, which is sent out to all Registered Societies in June (i.e. 18 months in advance of the show year in question).
  • Once the date has been checked and agreed, a licence application will be issued to the club, which must be returned with the fee no later than 60 days before the date of the competition.
  • Complete a Guarantors' declaration and return to the Kennel Club
  • Confirm the land to be used with the landowners as far as possible
  • Timetable the nosework and the control and agility rounds for each stake
  • The licence must be displayed at the show

3. Judges

  • Identify suitably qualified and experienced judges for each stake

Championship Trials

  • Nomination forms must be with the Kennel Club 9 months prior to the date of the Working Trial.
  • All first time appointments must be applied for 18 months prior to the date of the Trial.
  • For first time Championship TD and PD appointments should be sent to the Kennel Club, the nomination should be accompanied by a completed Judges Questionnaire.

Open Trials

  • The Kennel Club does not need to approve Open level judging appointments.   However, the Trial committee must be satisfied that the person is qualified in accordance with Kennel Club I Regulations
  • Judges should be invited in writing, and asked to accept in writing; the club should then confirm the appointment in writing to form a three-part contract, except in Championship PD and TD stakes where Kennel Club approval must be obtained first  - see the Judges Section for details

4. Schedule

  • Prepare and distribute a schedule, using the appropriate Championship or Open Trial Specimen Schedule (see downloads section on the right) as a basis. Two copies of the Schedule must be sent to the Kennel Club - at least three months before the trial date for Championship Trials, and at least one month before for Open Trials

5. Health & Safety

  • Carry out a risk assessment and develop a safety plan to minimise risks
  • Arrange adequate public liability insurance (the certificate must be displayed at the competition, with the Kennel Club licence)

6. Before the Trial

  • Prepare a catalogue for the trial including details of the guarantors and trial manager, trial base details and directions, details of competitors and their dogs, and judges for each stake.
  • Conduct a draw for the order of working tracks, and notify all competitors by post of the draw and their report times

7. During and after the Trial

  • Ensure copies of the Regulations, all entry forms, catalogues, the competition licence, insurance certificate, awards, equipment and an incident book are taken to the trial
  • Within seven days of the end of the trial, send the Kennel Club:

                    -  a fully completed copy of the catalogue, with all awards marked
                    -  the judge's certification

Within two weeks, report to the Kennel Club if there were any incidents requiring a report, for example biting/aggression incidents, formal objections/complaints, changes of judging arrangements, cancellation or abandonment.

These should be logged in the incident book and sent to the Kennel Club. More information on filling out the incident book can be found here.

Cancellation/Postponement of Event

If a society has to cancel its event the Secretary must contact the Working Dog Activities Department at the Kennel Club as soon as the decision to cancel has been made.  Contact can be made via email; or 01296 318540 (ext. 295 or 207). For more information about what is required when a society cancels/postpones an event, please click here.


Society Committees must ensure that they have adequate cover for all the Society's activities. Kennel Club Insurance cover is specifically designed for canine clubs or societies, including public and products liability and directors' and officers' liability insurance at a competitive price. For more information about insurance visit


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