Judges who award CCs in a single breed and do not aspire to judge any further breeds at any level will pay only £10 for a yearly judging licence under the Judges Competency Framework (JCF), the Kennel Club has announced.
This latest move has come about following extensive feedback received by the Kennel Club over the last year at Question Time events and JCF question and answer sessions led by Kennel Club committee members and staff. Previously, it had been announced that all judges under the JCF would have to join the Kennel Club Academy at the annual fee of £26, irrespective of the number of breeds they judge or aspire to judge. Under the latest plan, a new licensing scheme is to be introduced for all UK judges.
A single-breed CC judge paying the £10 licence fee who later decides that they wish to judge more than one breed must apply to the Kennel Club to pay the higher tariff. In both cases, full access to the growing range of educational resources available online via the Kennel Club Academy will be a benefit given at no extra cost to licensed judges. This will include the opportunity to take and pass the Requirements of a Dog Show Judge exam every five years.
The Board has been able to make this announcement following a change in how the IT system for the JCF will be developed. In January, the Board agreed to invest in a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to replace the existing databases and the IT for the JCF will become part of this project, thereby offering significant savings in terms of both set up and running costs, with upgrades being easier to implement. Both systems will enable Kennel Club services to become more modern and customer focussed.
During the many question and answer sessions, concerns had been expressed about the potential loss of single-breed CC judges from the show scene when the JCF eventually begins, which is why the Kennel Club is pleased to now be in a position to offer the £10 concession rate to these judges. Their knowledge and experience represent a very important part of the British pedigree dog scene which is vital to the future development of breeds and the next generation of judges.
The online JCF system is now due to go live in the second half of 2019 instead of in January. Breed clubs are still able to hold their educational events as soon as they have appointed their breed education co-ordinators and the results of any seminars held under the new code of best practice will be accepted under the JCF criteria as well as mentoring and observations held after the breed education co-ordinator meeting in July.
As a consequence of combining the two IT projects, the previously announced requirement that all those starting out on their judging career must be licensed at JCF Level 1 or above by 1st January 2019 has been put back to 1st January 2020. This is a positive benefit for judges and provides a longer lead time for show societies which wish to appoint new judges.
Simon Luxmoore, Kennel Club Chairman, said: “The Kennel Club is aware that there has been much comment in some quarters about the idea of all judges paying a £26 fee, which is why, following the merging of the CRM IT and JCF projects, we are pleased to be able to pass on the estimated cost saving. The feedback also referred consistently to the introduction of the £26 cost of a licence to judge and therefore it was agreed to introduce this concept going forward as many seemed to be accepting of this.
“The merging of these projects will mean that the transition period will not begin for the JCF until 2020, but that does not mean that preparations are not going ahead as planned as far as the JCF is concerned. A good number of breed appreciation days have already been held and many more are planned. Breed clubs are appointing their breed education co-ordinators and are keen to move this project forward. All of that can continue. With positive feedback received, and the ‘Eye for a Dog’ assessments this April being fully subscribed, this will ensure that we are in a very good position when the JCF IT system finally goes live.”