Judges Competency Framework

A new system has been developed for the education, approval and listing of every level of judge, from those who aspire to judge, right through to open show judges and those who go on to award Challenge Certificates and judge championship show groups, and Best in Show. The system has been designed taking into account the feedback received from exhibitors, show societies and judges.

The Judges Competency Framework (JCF) was announced in the spring of 2017, has been piloted with 14 breeds, and will start to go ‘live’ in 2019. It will run alongside the current system for a transition period, and be fully operational from January 2022.

Originally the new JCF IT system was scheduled to go live in January 2019. However, the Kennel Club Board agreed to invest in a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to replace the existing databases - the JCF IT 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. This will put back the ‘go live’ date for the JCF IT system, but the reduction in costs has allowed the Kennel Club to lower the new judges licence fee for single breed specialist judges.

The online JCF system is due to go live in the second half of 2019. Breed clubs can start to hold their educational events as soon the Kennel Club has been notified that have their Co-ordinator has been appointed.

To help show societies, the requirement that all judges must be licenced at JCF Level 1 will now be introduced from 1 January 2020.

The JCF will provide a logical sequence of learning, practising, peer observation and examination and will cater for all judges at every level – it outlines a judge’s career path providing clear criteria for each stage. Each level will also confirm judging privileges, again making it clear to the judge and the show society who is eligible to judge which breed, and the number and the type of classes which may be judged.

The Kennel Club’s established online Find A Judge listing will be extended to provide reports of all eligible judges across all breeds and for all types of show.

The Framework will be administered through the Kennel Club’s modern online education platform with support through The Kennel Club Academy (KCA). KCA is easy to access, available 24 hours a day. All UK judges will be required to have a judges licence, which will require an annual fee, and will provide free membership of the KCA. As far as possible this will provide an efficient and ‘paperless’ way for judges to record their experience on their personal JCF account, whether this be judging appointments or details of seminars attended, breed assessments passed and other education undertaken.

Breed Appreciation Days

Breed Education Co-ordinator 

Eye for a Dog Assessment

Opportunities To Learn
(For further details please see the Kennel Club Diary):


12th July 2018
Presented by Jeff Horswell
Holiday Inn, Cardiff , Merthyr Road, Tongwynlais, Cardiff CF15 7LH

25th July 2018
Presented by Yvonne Billows
Bradwall Village Hall, Bradwall Road, Bradwall, Sandbach, Cheshire CW11 1RG

8th August 2018
Presented by Carole Smedley
Bournemouth Canine Association Showground, Pikes Farm, Organford BH16 6ES

8th - 9th August 2018
Presented by Yvonne Billows
The Heworth Golf Club, Gingling Gate, Heworth, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE10 8XY

17th - 19th August 2018
Drop-in sessions with Adrian Marett
Welsh Kennel Club

5th September 2018
Presented by Pam Martson-Pollock
The Village Hall, Ivegill, Cumbia CA4 0PA

Judges Competency Framework - FAQs

Judges Competency Framework - in detail

Press Releases 

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