Cancellation, postponement and re-scheduling of events, AGM and SGMs

The Kennel Club expects clubs and societies to place the health and safety of everyone involved in an event licensed by The Kennel Club as paramount, therefore the committee should make the collective decision to cancel or postpone a licensed event.

Cancellation of licensed events until at least 29 March 2021

Following the Government announcement on Monday 22 February detailing the step-by-step roadmap plan to ease restrictions it is with regret that we recommend the cancellation of licensed events until at least 29 March 2021. Therefore those societies whose events have been cancelled should contact us to confirm the cancellation and to let us know whether the licence fee is to be refunded or deferred to a future show/trial. A form for this purpose can be completed online and club secretaries also have the facility to cancel their event via the dashboard of their club profile, when they are logged into their account. This position will be reviewed again in line with Government guidance at the end of March. 

How to cancel your event?
It is important that the society and show services team is informed in writing of a cancellation. It should not be assumed that because the licence application form is not returned to The Kennel Club by the due date that the show will be removed from the diary.

Secretaries are asked to confirm any cancellation in writing to the society and show services team as soon as this decision is made, giving the reason for the cancellation. This should be done by submitting the online cancellation of shows form.

If the cancellation is notified far enough in advance this could free up a date for use by other clubs and societies. In other instances it will prevent the office assuming the event is going ahead and sending out reminder letters for schedules and/or catalogues.

Registered Society AGMs 5 February to 5 July 2021 – Guidance note

The Kennel Club has agreed that a registered society may diverge from the process prescribed within its constitution for AGM business conducted between 5 February 2021 to 5 July 2021. This has been made possible through the enactment of Kennel Club Board directive (Regulation C5.e. – 5 February 2021).

This allows for the following options for processing routine AGM business:

AGM approvals and elections by written resolution/votes – by email/post

This method would allow clubs to process the three main areas of routine AGM business -  accounts, elections and annual reports. It does not allow for specific proposals on other matters. Accounts, annual reports and elections can be processed as follows:

Accounts

It is a requirement that certified accounts are made available to all members for inspection at least 14 days prior to the date on which formal approval is sought. This requirement remains in place.

  1. Properly certified accounts should be made available to all members (e.g. by email, post or secure website) for inspection and comment, with at least a 14-day window.
  2. Members should be asked to confirm approval of accounts either by email/post by a given date.
  3. The secretary should keep a record to show consent or otherwise. The accounts can be considered approved, if, by the deadline, there is a majority, and they may form part of Annual Returns.

Annual reports

  1. Reports by officers should be made available to all members for inspection and comment with at least a 14-day window.
  2. No voting evidence is required.

Elections

  1. If a club constitution requires the election process to be entirely at the AGM, then the club will need to manage this by asking for nominations, giving a cut-off date and then if necessary conducting a ballot – or use a scrutineer* service. If no ballot is required, then the new incumbents take office from a specified date.
  2. If the club constitution requires the election process to be pre-AGM and results announced at AGM, then this process can proceed as above.
  3. The ‘new’ incumbents should take office on a specific date and this is confirmed to members.
Online meeting
We are aware that some clubs have considered this route or have proceeded with an online AGM. Most club constitutions do not provide for online meetings and even if a constitution did allow for a virtual meeting, the club needs to be mindful of the fact that members without IT facilities could feel disenfranchised. The Kennel Club advises registered societies that an online meeting should only be used for non-contentious items. If there is a significant proportion of members who may feel disenfranchised by this route, then other options should be used. The committee would need to consider how to facilitate the meeting with whichever virtual platform it chooses (e.g. Zoom) and to allow for voting within the meeting, online polling systems and/or any interaction (chat facilities and so on). Alternatively, advance postal/email voting can be used.

Accounts

It is a requirement that certified accounts are made available to all members for inspection at least 14 days prior to the date on which formal approval is sought. This requirement remains in place.

1. Properly certified accounts should be made available to all members (e.g by email, post or secure website).

2. Members should be asked to confirm approval of accounts within the online meeting.

3. Once approved they may form part of Annual Returns.

Annual reports

1. Reports by officers should be made available to all members in advance of the meeting.

2. Members are asked to confirm approval within the meeting.

Elections

1. If a club constitution requires the election process to be entirely at the AGM, then the club will need to manage this by asking for nominations in advance, giving a cut-off date and then if necessary conducting a ballot – or use a scrutineer service*. If there is no need for a ballot, then the new incumbents can take office from the date of the meeting.

2. If the club constitution requires the election process to be pre-AGM and results announced at AGM, then this process can proceed as above.

The previous advice that 2020 and 2021 AGMs may be held one after the other remains in place. Currently the deadline for annual returns for both years is 31 July 2021.

The Kennel Club’s intention through this provision is to allow societies to temporarily relax some parts of their constitution in the interests of the smooth running of the club during the current restrictions which prevent ‘normal’ processes. The guidance may not exactly ‘fit’ the situation of each club but we hope will provide clubs with a way forward for the present. Club committees are advised to process AGM business in the spirit of this guidance and ensure that a record of decisions taken is maintained.

Please email if further procedural guidance is required.

*Details of a scrutineering service are available

Cancellation of shows - due to adverse weather conditions and disease outbreaks

The Kennel Club expects clubs and societies to place the health and safety of everyone involved in a event licensed by The Kennel Club as paramount, therefore the committee should make the collective decision with regards to cancelling a show or competition or postponing a field trial.

Please submit the cancellation of shows form and return licences as appropriate.

We will refund the licence fee for shows which are cancelled and not rescheduled. No charge will be made for changes of dates.

For field trials, they may be postponed as long as the rescheduled date is within 14 days of the original. The original draw and judges should be used.

For breed shows, AGMs, SGMs: proposed new dates should be checked with the society and show services team for potential clashes. For events that are rescheduled within 12 weeks, the original catalogue may be used with eligibility for classes remaining the same as for the original date.

For further information for activities disciplines (not dog showing or field trials), please refer to our cancellation/postponement policy. If you still have questions, please email the society and show services department.

Frequently asked questions

Please regularly check the latest government advice across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and continually assess your own situation based on this information and where you are in the UK. The Kennel Club is in regular contact with Defra to keep up to date on developments.

Activities (excluding field trials and dog showing)

1. Can I postpone my licensed event/trial to a later date?

An event cannot be postponed to a later date. Another future date may be booked to replace the cancelled event in consultation with The Kennel Club but must be considered as a separate show/trial.

2. Who do I contact when cancelling or postponing my licensed event/trial?

As soon as the decision is made to cancel, The Kennel Club's society and show services department must be contacted by email.

3. How will I receive a refund of the licence fee?

The licence fee will be refunded automatically. If this does not occur you should email The Kennel Club's society and show services department.

4. I run an agility show, have cancelled the show, and do not intend on rescheduling. Should I refund the money?

You must provide refunds to competitors, however the society can deduct reasonable costs from these refunds. Unless the entry fees are refunded in full, a full set of the licensing club’s detailed accounts for the show should be submitted to The Kennel Club within three months of the decision to cancel the event, along with a copy of the club's refund policy and the date that action was taken on this refund policy. This will apply to all activity disciplines.

5. I have cancelled an event. Can I keep any money as profit?

No. Where a show is cancelled in its entirety before the event, no profit may be made from any part of the show and refunds must be given, less reasonably incurred expenses.

6. How should I refund entries?

Where possible, as stated in the specimen schedule wording, competitors should be refunded in the manner in which they entered the show.

7. If I refund my entries in full, do I still need to send accounts to The Kennel Club?

No. If you have refunded in full you do not need to submit accounts. You will just need to submit a covering letter confirming and providing evidence of the refund.

8. If not all competitors want a refund, can I keep their entries?

If some competitors don't take the refund then you will need to donate the surplus money to a charity named by the society.

9. Will I need to refund entries in full if the cancellation is prior to the closing date?

Yes, in this case all entries need to be refunded in full, as the contract between the society and the competitor is not in place until the closing date.

10. My club needs to cancel its match night. What do we need to do?

This should be treated in the same way as cancelling a show. Refunds should be given, less reasonable expenses, and no profit should be made from cancelling.

Agility measuring

1. My dog is due a second measurement, however all the shows are cancelled. What can I do?

Any dog with a second or third measurement outstanding, since 17 March, will need to have this carried out by 1 July 2021. Until this date, a dog which has had its first measurement may continue to compete regardless of whether it has had its second or third measurement.
This date will remain under review based on the current situation, but will not be brought forward.

2. Do I still need a third measurement even though all the shows are cancelled?

Yes, the measuring procedure still applies. Any dog with a third measurement outstanding, since 17 March, will need to have this carried out within three months from the time shows are able to run again.

3. Am I able to enter my dog into shows once they are able to run again?

Yes, if your dog had a second or third measurement due between 17 March and the date in which shows are able to run again, you are able to enter into shows, as long as the measurement is carried out within three months.

4. I need to have my dog's first measurement carried out. Will the three months still apply to me?

No, you will need to follow normal procedure and have your dog measured before you are able to compete.

Field trials

1. Can I postpone my field trial to a later date?

Field trials must be rearranged within 14 days of the original date of the trial. In this situation, the draw and judges for the original trial still stand and the society needs to pay a £6 fee to amend the licence to reflect the new date/venue.

2. Who do I contact when cancelling or postponing my field trial?

As soon as the decision is made to cancel, The Kennel Club's field trials department must be contacted by email.

3. I have cancelled an upcoming field trial. What should I do if I am unable to re-arrange the trial within 14 days?

If the society is not able to re-arrange their trial within 14 days, then this is referred to as a cancellation. Another future date may be booked to replace the cancelled trial, in consultation with The Kennel Club, but must be considered as a separate trial. In this situation the society needs to re-advertise the trial, undertake another draw before the trial. If the society is unable to re-arrange their trial within the same field trial season, then their licence fee is returned to them.

4. How will I receive a refund of the licence fee?

You will need to request a refund by contacting The Kennel Club's field trials department by email.

Dog showing

1. My society wishes to reschedule our show at a later date. What is The Kennel Club's policy regarding rescheduled shows?

Societies that postpone their shows may reschedule within 12 weeks if they wish to retain the same catalogue, but you are not to accept any additional entries. If entries have not closed, a society is at liberty to accept new entries. Furthermore, societies must seek advice from Public Health England and venue owners as appropriate as to whether they should go ahead with their show. There would be no charge for change of show date or venue and any shows cancelled would have their licence fee refunded.

2. I have postponed my show within 12 weeks but the show cannot go ahead on the new date either. Can I postpone again and keep the schedule and entries the same?

A show can be postponed using the 12-week postponement policy only once. Should the postponed show also be unable to go ahead, the society must cancel the show. This can be rescheduled to a later date, if available.

3. I have rescheduled the date of the show outside the 12-week policy. Should I refund entries and re-open them? Or do I keep the entries the same?

The society should refund entries and re-open them.

4. If a club cancels their show on the day of the show, are there any Kennel Club rules on how to notify exhibitors?

You need to make sure you have made every effort to notify everyone who is entered by using means such as social media, email and telephone.

5. My club has had to cancel its 2020 championship show due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Can we schedule two championship shows in 2021?

Yes. We strongly recommend the additional show is held as a partnership show. It is important that for the benefit of exhibitors we are maximising competition whilst minimising costs.

6. My breed club has had to cancel its 2021 championship show due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Can we schedule two championship shows in 2022?

Yes, however this must be scheduled as a partnership show with the breed club either holding two championship shows on one day or one standalone championship show and the second championship show in partnership with either its own open show or preferably with a general or group championship show or another breed club.

7. My breed club has had to cancel its 2020 and 2021 championship show due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Can we schedule three championship shows in 2022?

No. if a breed club could not run its 2020 championship show in 2020 or 2021, this set of CCs would be lost.

8. Can my club reschedule its cancelled championship show on the same weekend as an all-breed championship show?

Yes, the policy that states breed club championship shows must be held within 25 miles of the venue for the all-breed championship show has been relaxed until 31 December 2021 to assist societies in planning their events. If you wish to hold your breed club championship show on the same day as your group at a general / group championship show (including the all-breeds) it must be in partnership.

9. Can my club reschedule its championship show on the same day as the breed is scheduled at a general or group championship show?

Yes this is possible under the published partnership show criteria.

10. My society has decided to cancel our show. What is The Kennel Club's advice regarding refunds?

Societies should use their discretion regarding their refund policy. It is advisable to offer a full or part refund to the exhibitor, taking into account any reasonable costs incurred by the society, or a discount for a future show entry. It is recommended that all societies publish their policy on the refunding of entry fees.

11. If I have a puppy which on the original date was eligible for puppy, can I still compete in puppy on the new show date?

Yes, the catalogue and eligibility will remain the same, providing that the show is held within the 12 weeks of the original date.

12. My dog will be over 18 months on the date of a rescheduled show. Can I still claim points for the dog’s Junior Warrant?

Points obtained for awards such as the Junior Warrant can be claimed from shows which have been postponed within 12 weeks of the original date, regardless of the age of the dog on the date of the new date. There is no change to this policy due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

13. A club is due to hold a show in partnership with another show which has been cancelled/postponed. Can the society hold their show independently?

If a breed club holds a show in partnership with another society and one of these societies cancels or postpones their show, one of the partnership shows may proceed independently. Societies should seek advice from the Public Health England, Local Authority, their veterinary surgeon and venue owners as well as insurance cover.

14. Is The Kennel Club still recommending partnership shows?

Yes, we strongly recommend clubs hold partnership shows. It is important that for the benefit of exhibitors and breed clubs that we maximise entries whilst minimising costs.  Please note that the regulation which states that a judge at partnership show cannot exhibit at the other partnership show remains in place.

Dog showing judges

1. The show I was due to judge at has been postponed, but I have another show within the time period specified by another society. Can I continue to judge at the rescheduled show?

If a show is rescheduled within 12 weeks, wherever possible the same judges should officiate. If this results in a judge breaching a contract for a future appointment, both societies are strongly advised to use their discretion to allow the judge to undertake the appointment for the postponed show outside the regulation or contract parameters.

2. I was due to award Challenge Certificates for the first time at a show which was cancelled and have an appointment to judge a group at an open show. Can I still undertake the open show appointment?

There will be an interim arrangement whereby judges that are already contracted to undertake appointments for not separately classified, any variety, group and best in show at open shows, and are reliant on the fact that they were due to award CCs for the first time to comply with regulations at a cancelled/postponed show, will be permitted to do so.

3. The show at which I was due to award Challenge Certificates for the first time has been cancelled. If I am offered another appointment, will I need to complete a judging questionnaire again?

No, you will not be required to complete another questionnaire. You can browse a list of judges who were approved and were unable to undertake the appointment due to the show being cancelled as a result of Covid-19.

4. As a result of Covid-19, have allowances been made for judges not meeting the criteria required to be approved to award Challenge Certificates or judge groups/Best in Show?

To ensure consistency and fairness within the championship show judge approval process, the previously advised criteria will be applied to judge nominations. If judging appointments have been cancelled due to Covid-19, judges are advised to include this detail as part of their judging questionnaire for presentation to the judges committee.

5. What advice does The Kennel Club give on containing a virus during judging?

It is strongly advised that judges request handlers to show an exhibit’s dentation to minimise the spread of infection.

Public Health England advice emphasises personal hygiene, therefore officials, judges exhibitors and visitors are encouraged to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene by employing the ‘Catch It. Bin It. Kill It’ ethos.

Hand sanitisers should be made available for use by all who are attending events and their use encouraged.

Challenge Certificate rotation

1. My breed club is on CC rotation. If we cancel our show, will we be able to have CCs the following year?

Breed societies on CC rotation can retain their CCs for the following year, on request.

2. My club is on rotation of CCs and we have had to cancel our 2020 championship show. Can we hold this in 2021 instead?

Yes. We strongly recommend the additional show is held as a partnership show. It is important that for the benefit of exhibitors we are maximising competition whilst minimising costs.
Spectator dogs

1. Should my society continue to admit spectator dogs into the venue?

Societies should use their discretion if they wish to accept spectator dogs, in line with government advice on mass gatherings.
AGM/SGMs

There is no problem with postponing an AGM if there are strong reasons for doing so. These would include adverse weather conditions, outbreak of disease or national health concerns with recommended restrictions on movement. The Kennel Club can give dispensation to hold the meeting outside the time frame given in the club constitution.

However, it is important that all members are informed before they start travelling. If necessary, the committee members can each telephone a number of members to make sure all on the list are notified.

A postponement would mean that the agenda remains in place as it is, with no new business or nominations added. A minimum of 14 days’ notice of the new date, time and venue must be given to all members by the same means as the original notice.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Kennel Club has extended the deadline for the submission of annual returns due in 2020 until 31 July 2021.