KC Announcement: Judge requirements and eligibility announced


Following the recent announcement about the future of the Judges Competency Framework, further details have now been issued which outline future judge requirements and eligibility.

Judges may be appointed by societies based on either the current judge regulations or the new system until the end of the transition period, i.e. judges must be on the required list and/or at the required Level.

From 1 January 2021, no one can judge unless they meet the new Level 1 requirements.

Otherwise, judges can accept appointments either in accordance with current Kennel Club regulations or Judges Competency Framework requirements (see below). In both cases, an exception can be made where a valid contract is in place prior to the date of this announcement (24 February 2020).

Levels 1 to 4 are as follows:

Requirements to meet this Level

Eligibility to judge

Level 1

  • Minimum of 5 years proven interest in pedigree dogs
  • Attend a Requirements of a Dog Show Judge seminar (but not mandatory to take and pass examination)
  • Attend a Conformation and Movement seminar
  • Complete a minimum of 2 stewarding appointments
  • Up to 3 classes (4 if one is a Puppy class) or 5 (6 if one is a Puppy class) for Stud Book Band E breeds for any breed at Limited or Open Shows
  • Any Variety, Best in Show at Limited Shows

Level 2

First breed:

  • Take and pass Requirements of a Dog Show Judge examination
  • Pass Points of a Dog assessment
  • Attend a Breed Appreciation Day (BAD) and pass a Multiple Choice Examination (MCE) for the respective breed.¹
  • View ring stewarding seminar and take online quiz
  • Complete critique writing seminar and take online quiz


Subsequent breeds:

  • Attend a Breed Appreciation Day (BAD) and pass a Multiple Choice Examination (MCE) for each breed. Note: Not mandatory for Group Judge for breeds in the group that they are notapproved at Level 4, but attendance strongly recommended
  • Unlimited number of classes for the respective breed at Limited, Open or Championship Shows (no CCs)
  • Any Variety classes and Best in Show at Limited Shows

Level 3

  • Undergo minimum of 3 mentoring sessions with a minimum of 12 months between first and third session
  • Be observed judging a breed club show, breed supported entry show or championship show without CCs
  • Have achieved the relevant hands-on experience in line with the stated requirements for the relevant Stud Book Band
  • Complete remaining 10 stewarding appointments (one-time qualification)
  • Have owned/bred a minimum of 3 dogs when they obtained their first entry in the Kennel Club Stud Book – save for exceptional circumstances (one-time qualification)
  • Attended the appropriate sub-group Field Trial/Open Gundog Working Test for first gundog breed or Ring Procedure at Licensed Shows (German Shepherd Dog Education Programme) online exam (one-time qualification)
  • Unlimited number of classes for the respective breed at Limited, Open or Championship Shows (no CCs)
  • Any Variety classes and Best in Show at Limited Shows

Level 4

CC Judge

  • Attend and passed a Breed Specific Assessment for the specific breed run by the Kennel Club
  • Award Challenge Certificates in the respective breed
  • Any Variety classes, Groups and Best in Show at Open and Limited Shows

Current judging lists will be valid until the end of the five-year transition period. Breed clubs/councils should continue to maintain their judging lists during this period.

Allowing for the fact that many contracts will already have been issued, the Kennel Club advises societies to use the following wording for shows held from 1 Jan 2021: “In accepting this appointment I confirm that I comply with the requirements of the Judges Competency Framework or Kennel Club Regulation F20b”.

Any contracts in place prior to 24 February 2020 will remain valid.

Please note that further press releases will be issued containing more details of the new judge education and approval system.

Please direct all enquiries to email jcf@thekennelclub.org.uk.

¹ A judge must meet the revised Level 1 requirements in order to be eligible to take multiple-choice exams at Breed Appreciation Days. Any MCEs already taken and passed will still be valid.


For journalists who would like further press information, images or interview requests please email press.office@thekennelclub.org.uk


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Notes to Editor

The Kennel Club

The Kennel Club is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.

It runs the country’s largest registration database for both pedigree and crossbreed dogs and the Petlog database, which is the UK’s biggest reunification service for microchipped animals. The Kennel Club is accredited by UKAS to certify members of its Assured Breeder Scheme, which is the only scheme in the UK that monitors breeders in order to protect the welfare of puppies and breeding bitches. It also runs the UK’s largest dog training programme, the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme and accredits dog trainers and behaviourists through the Kennel Club Accredited Instructors Scheme.

It licenses shows and clubs across a wide range of activities, which help dog owners to bond and enjoy life with their dogs. The Kennel Club runs the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, and the Discover Dogs event at ExCeL London, which is a fun family day out that educates people about how to buy responsibly and care for their dog.

The Kennel Club invests in welfare campaigns, dog training and education programmes and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports research into dog diseases and dog welfare charities, including Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations that re-home dogs throughout the UK. The Kennel Club jointly runs health screening schemes with the British Veterinary Association and, through the Charitable Trust, funds the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, which is at the forefront of pioneering research into dog health. The Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) contributes to the AHT’s well-established cancer research programme, helping to further improve dog health.