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New Requirements, Approval Process, and Licensing Procedures for UKC Judges

March 15, 2017

Effective March 15, 2017
UKC is pleased to announce a complete overhaul of our judges approval process, requirements, and continuing education program. This massive overhaul of the licensing of UKC judges includes revisions to the application requirements, approval process and more for Conformation, Obedience, Rally Obedience, and Weight Pull.

The revisions are a direct result of the increasing and sustained interest in becoming a UKC judge. Further, these revisions will help the applicant become a more knowledgeable licensed judge and give new judges the opportunity to get more experience before being able to accept apprentices. The revisions also place heavier emphasis on recent activity in the sport, participation in UKC events and earning UKC specific titles.

The UKC Judges Handbook has been updated to reflect these changes.

View specific event requirements by selecting your event from the Judge's Requirement Page.

CONFORMATION JUDGE UPDATES

UKC Conformation Judges License Application Procedure
One of the most significant changes made to becoming a UKC conformation judge is the application procedure. All new conformation judge applicants must adhere to the application procedure. Qualified individuals who wish to pursue a UKC conformation judges license will now need to purchase the Conformation Judges Kit before applying. The kit will contain the newly revised UKC Judges Handbook, a USB containing all current UKC breed standards and the Canine Conformation Judges Test. The completed test will need to accompany your required documentation that you will submit to apply.

In addition to the changes made to the approval procedure, there have been significant changes to the way all UKC judges are licensed.

There are now four different levels of UKC conformation judges.

  • Applicant
  • Apprentice
  • Regular
  • Senior

When someone meets the minimum qualifications to apply to become a UKC conformation judge and follows the new application procedure, they will be in the “Applicant” status. Once approved, applicants will then move to “Apprentice” status. An apprentice judge will remain in this status until all apprenticeship requirements are met. Once these requirements have been met satisfactorily, the apprentice will then advance to the “Regular” status. Judges may remain in the regular status for their entire career.

The UKC Conformation Apprentice Judge
Conformation apprenticeships no longer apply only to those wishing to obtain a breed specific license. Apprenticeships will be required for anyone wishing to become licensed as a UKC conformation judge. All applicant judges who have been approved to move to the apprenticeship status will need to complete the apprenticeship requirements.

The goal of the apprenticeship is to have applicant judges familiarize themselves with UKC ring procedures, how classes are run, UKC variety breeds and more. A detailed checklist of the items to be covered during an apprenticeship assignment can be found in the newly revised UKC Judges Handbook.

Senior Conformation Judge Designation
The designation of “Senior” conformation judge is only for those interested in taking apprentices. Please review the apprenticeship requirements before considering applying for senior status, as apprenticeships are detailed and will require a considerable amount of time. If you are not willing to commit to this additional responsibility or would rather not serve in this role, then it is recommended that you remain in the regular status.

Due to the importance of the new apprenticeship program and how integral it is that new UKC judges learn the correct ring procedures, UKC rules and proper practices, there are now some additional requirements to become a senior status judge. Applying for senior status and meeting all the qualifications does not guarantee approval for senior status.

The APBT License
The separate judge’s license and additional requirements to be approved to judge the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) have been lifted. APBT’s will be included upon approval to become a UKC regular status judge. No additional requirements will be necessary to judge APBT’s.

There were several reasons the additional requirements were lifted. The old process was extremely outdated and needed to be revised to reflect more accurately, educating new judges on the anatomy of the APBT. The UKC relies on a National Breed Association to determine what additional judging requirements their breed should have for approved judges. Currently, the APBT does not have a National Breed Association chartered through UKC.

Another reason that the additional requirements were lifted was due to a lack of interest in judges to pursue the additional licensing. This prohibited clubs from offering competition for APBT’s due to a lack of judges available with the qualified license. Lifting the APBT license allows more opportunities for APBT owners to participate in multi-breed shows. It also allows clubs to save the expense of hiring an additional judge just for APBT’s. Approval for APBT’s is now included in the general UKC conformation judges license.

UKC Ring Procedures Workshops
UKC realizes the need for judges education and part of that education begins by strengthening the approval process. In addition to strengthening the approval process, we are pleased to announce that we will be implementing several UKC workshops that will focus on proper ring procedures, rules and correct practices for marking judges’ books, and using UKC forms. UKC has designed a workshop to give all new judges, and judges who wish to become senior judges, a hands-on experience, working inside a conformation ring, moving dogs, approaching dogs, verifying armbands, marking their judge’s books and much more!

Correct ring procedures for UKC judges is lacking in several areas. Incorrect or improper ring procedures can affect the efficiency of the show, can disrupt and confuse exhibitors, and in extreme cases, compromise the safety of the judge and the exhibitors.

UKC will be conducting several UKC workshops in conjunction with select UKC events. These workshops may eventually be required for all UKC conformation judges; however, at this time only apprentice judges and judges who are interested in taking apprentices will be required to attend. The inaugural workshop will be held in conjunction with the UKC Gateway Nationals on Thursday October 26, 2017. There will be many more details to follow!

Notice to Current UKC Conformation Judges

Complete Your Conformation Judges Test by September 1, 2017
In this massive effort to increase our judges education, all currently licensed UKC judges will need to complete the new Conformation Judges Test by September 1, 2017. The test must be requested by emailing judges@ukcdogs.com. To receive your test, you will need to include all current contact information in the email. This includes your current name, address, (all) telephone numbers and a valid email address. Judges may choose the contact method they want listed on the UKC website. UKC no longer publishes physical addresses in the Judges Directory. ALL UKC judges will be required to have a valid email address on file with UKC.

Once requested, the test will be sent back as a PDF attachment to the email address provided. Judges will need to have the current version of Adobe software installed to view or print the test.

The test will need to be printed. Once completed, either scan and return via email to judges@ukcdogs.com or a hard copy can be mailed directly to the UKC Show Operations department.

UKC judges who do not pass or do not submit their test by September 1, 2017 will not be able to continue accepting assignments until the test is received and the judge has obtained a passing score. Judges must pass the test with an 85% or higher.

Apply for Senior Status no later than January 1, 2018
All conformation judges previously holding a senior status license have been changed to regular status to allow those judges the opportunity to express whether they are interested in having apprentices.

Current UKC conformation judges who wish to move to senior status will need to submit the following by January 1, 2018:

  • A letter expressing your interest in taking apprentices and why you feel you are qualified to mentor new judges.
  • A letter of recommendation from two different UKC judges.
  • A letter of recommendation from two different UKC clubs with whom you’ve held an assignment.
  • A minimum of 16 assignments completed within the last 4 years.
  • Attend a UKC Ring Procedure workshop within 12 months of being granted Senior status.

We are extremely excited to have these new requirements in place and will look forward to seeing most of you at the UKC Ring Procedures Workshops. For questions or further clarification regarding any part of this information, please email conformation@ukcdogs.com or call the Show Operations department at 269.343.9020.

PERFORMANCE JUDGE UPDATES

The levels of judging for Obedience, Rally Obedience, and Weight Pull have been restructured.

Notice to Current Obedience and Rally Judges

Additional requirements have been implemented. All currently licensed obedience and rally obedience judges are now regular status judges. All previous senior status judges have been changed to regular status to give judges the opportunity to express whether they are interested in taking apprentices and acting in a mentoring role for new judges. Read below for more information on how to obtain the new Senior Judge status.

Obedience and Rally Obedience Judging Requirement Changes
There are now four distinct levels of obedience and rally obedience judging status:

  • Apprentice
  • Provisional
  • Regular
  • Senior

Apprentice Judge
Apprentice judging provides invaluable knowledge not only on the UKC rules, but also on correct and efficient ring procedures, practice in scoring a wide variety of dogs and working in different conditions.

The obedience apprenticeship now requires a minimum number of dogs judged in each class to meet the apprenticeship requirements. A minimum of three apprenticeships will still be required and the apprentice must receive favorable recommendations from all three senior judges.

The rally obedience apprentice judge will now be required to design courses and must also submit their courses to the senior judge for review.

Please refer to the newly revised UKC Judges Handbook for the complete list of requirements for both obedience and rally obedience.

Provisional Status Judge
For both obedience and rally obedience, once an apprentice judge completes the apprenticeship requirements and is approved, they will move to a Provisional Status. During this time, a provisional obedience judge or a provisional rally judge will be able to take judging assignments. The provisional status is based not only on time but on a minimum number of assignments to be completed. Once the time period or minimum number of assignments has been met, a provisional judge would apply for regular status by filling out the Request for Regular/Senior Status. Applying for regular status does not guarantee approval. The provisional judge may be asked to complete additional assignments before moving forward to regular status.

Regular Status Judge
All currently licensed obedience and rally obedience judges are now regular status judges. All previous senior status judges have been changed to regular status to give judges the opportunity to express whether they are interested in taking apprentices and acting in a mentoring role for new judges.

Senior Status Judge
The senior obedience judge and senior rally obedience judge status now requires a minimum set of qualifications to be eligible to become a senior status judge. If you would like to become a senior status judge under the new requirements, please send in your request on the “Request for Regular/Senior Status” Form along with the following:

  • A letter expressing your interest in taking apprentices and why you feel you are qualified to mentor new judges.
  • A letter of recommendation from two different UKC clubs with whom you’ve held an assignment.
  • A minimum of 12 obedience or rally obedience assignments completed within the last 4 years.

The requirements for new judges can be found in the newly revised UKC Judges Handbook.

Weight Pull Judging Requirement Changes - Senior Status for Weight Pull
The Weight Pull program saw significant changes in 2016. To help this newly revised weight pull program achieve success, we’ve added additional requirements to be a senior status weight pull judge. The requirements for new judges can be found in the newly revised UKC Judges Handbook.

Notice to Current Weight Pull Judges

Additional requirements have been implemented. All currently licensed weight pull judges are now regular status judges. Read below for more information on how to obtain the new Senior Judge status.

For all current weight pull judges who would like to return to a senior judge to accept apprentices, please send in your request on the “Request Regular/Senior Status” form along with the following:

  • A letter expressing your interest in taking apprentices and why you would be qualified to mentor new judges.
  • A minimum of 8 assignments completed (within the last 4 years).
  • A letter of recommendation from two different UKC weight pull judges.
  • A letter of recommendation from two UKC clubs with whom you’ve held an assignment.

UKC is pleased to present these updated judging requirements. As always, we want to thank our judges for their dedication. For further clarification regarding any part of the new judging procedures, please email performance@ukcdogs.com or call the Show Operations department at 269.343.9020.

A Kalamazoo, Michigan-based company founded in 1898, United Kennel Club is the largest all-breed performance-dog registry in the world, registering dogs from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries. Celebrating the unique Total Dog philosophy, UKC events highlight the instincts and heritage of dogs that look and perform equally well, as more than 60 percent of its annually licensed events are tests of hunting ability, training, and instinct. United Kennel Club prides itself on its family-oriented, friendly, educational events, welcoming both purebred dogs and dogs of unknown ancestry.

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