I would like to share some exciting news from our June, 2015 Board of Directors meeting. As many of you know the Board has been working to define a new Judging Approval Process which will assure our exhibitors have access to a judging cadre which is world class while providing a path for current and aspiring judges to both improve their current skills and continue their education as they pursue additional breeds.
For almost 12 months the Board, staff, and you have been engaged in a process to determine the direction the approval of judges should take. This is the most vetted effort in the history of the American Kennel Club. Your thoughts have been used to help guide the development in setting the process for approval of judges which, next to the dogs and you, is a cornerstone of the conformation sport.
I am pleased to report that the Board has adopted a new process which we believe, over time, will meet the needs of the conformation sport. Let me share some highlights:
1.Education and judging experience is the hallmark of the process. Through attendance at specialties, mentoring sessions, and other activities which were based on your input, the prospective judge has a roadmap of expectations which are experience based.
2.The Executive Field Representative (EFR) becomes an enabler to both current and aspiring judges. The EFR will be concerned about the prospective and/or aspiring judge’s success. For judges seeking their first group the Judge Breed Commentary is part of the process.
3.Under our bylaws the Board of Directors is charged with the approval of judges. In this process if a judge applicant is denied a breed or breeds at the staff level the decision is automatically reviewed by a Judge Review Committee. This committee will consist of experienced judges who are also Directors. The ability of a judge to appeal to the Board’s Appeal Committee remains. Any review or appeal will not impact those breeds which have been approved. This committee will also ensure that the intent of the process by the Board is carried out once transition to this process is complete.
4.A set of measurements will be established to help assure the process is achieving its goals. This will assure we can react should the data suggest action is required.
The current schedule is to accept applications under the new process beginning September 1, 2015. Judges who have submitted applications under the current process may withdraw their application and resubmit under the new process once it is effective at no penalty to them. We will communicate frequently as the transition continues and will answer questions as the information becomes available. Specific questions are to be sent directly to Judging Operation firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are aware that frequent change to the approval process creates hardships. While no process is perfect we believe that this new structure creates a solid framework for the future and its basis is sound and enduring. Undoubtedly there will some adjustments over time as we learn more but I assure you we are committed to as much stability as possible.
Thank you for your love of dogs and support of the American Kennel Club.