Rules & Regulations

FCI Regulations for Show Judges

1. General

The regulations set forth in the paragraphs 1 through 8 are compulsory for all FCI National Canine Organizations and contract partners and must be considered as MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS of the FCI for any individual to be accepted as a show judge by the national canine organization of the country where he has his legal residence and which is a member of the FCI (hereafter named “FCI National Organization”, shortly “FCI NO”). It is up to each FCI NO to increase and specify the general requirements set by the FCI. However, under no circumstances, may the rules of each country be in conflict with these FCI regulations.

2. Minimum Requirements Regarding Application, Education, Examination and Nomination as Show Judge

The applications of the candidates wishing to become show judges must be accepted under the official FCI NO regulations of the country where the applicant has his legal residence.

It is the responsibility of each FCI NO to provide adequate courses and a satisfactory basic judge training programme for its candidates to get the necessary education, to prepare the necessary examinations and to take care of their official approval as show judges. This education must follow the minimum requirements enclosed in these regulations.

In order to be recognised by the FCI as international show judge, the candidate applying for a very first breed must comply with the following requirements:

a. Must be of legal age.

b. At the time of application to become a candidate for one or more breeds, the applicant must prove that he has previously been a breeder with a registered affix and must have dogs registered with the official studbook of his country or alternatively that he has achieved successful results as a dog exhibitor for at least 5 years or alternatively that he has had active and responsible involvement in the canine activities for a minimum period of 5 years.

c. Must have been on duty at official shows as a ring steward or secretary at least 5 times over a minimum period of one year in order to become knowledgeable about procedure and regulation matters.

d. The candidate must be examined by the official examination committee nominated by his FCI NO and take a written preliminary examination showing sufficient knowledge on the following subjects:

1. Anatomy, morphology and movement of dogs
2. Genetics, health and character
3. Knowledge of the breed standard(s)
4. Behaviour, principles and techniques of judging
5. National show regulations and other additional national rules
6. FCI Show Regulations, these FCI rules for show judges and other additional rules

Once he has undertaken successfully the basic knowledge part, a candidate has to follow a more specific course. This is the first course in which candidates learn how to look at dogs. The course should be given by very experienced judges who have followed a special FCI NO training program.

e. The practical training must allow the candidate to gain a complete knowledge and understanding of the breed(s), of all regulations, as well as procedure in the ring. The practical training consists of the successful completion of an amount of shows where the candidate receives education, subject to having passed the written examination. It is the responsibility of the FCI NO to establish a period of time and the amount of practical training.

f. The education which is to be given to a judge will be done on a breed per breed basis. This “breed by breed” education must be done in countries where some breeds are common and present in reasonable numbers at most shows, but also in countries that are willing to teach more their judges and/or candidate-judges about specific breeds.

g. The practical education must be taken under the supervision of FCI recognised and well-experienced show judges. The candidate has to write reports on the dogs he judged during the education and forward them to the judge who has the responsibility of confirming the candidate judge’s knowledge, and his performance and behaviour to the official committee in charge.

After successful completion of the practical education, the candidate has to take a practical test supervised by the official examination-committee. This examination committee has to provide a written statement about the test and its results.

h. Examination is to be done in theory and practice. Candidates have to judge at least two dogs, no matter what breed. The candidate has to produce a consequent critique with the good and less good points of the outline and movement of the dogs and he must pay attention to the health and welfare of the dog. The critiques are to be discussed with the examiners.

Examination will be done by a special commission, appointed by the FCI NO and following the specific rules of the FCI NO. In case the FCI NO has no specific rules then the following procedure applies:

The candidate has to judge and write a critique with qualification and placing as well as the indication of the BOB winner.

The candidate has to prove to the examination committee that he:

1 Knows the standard and that he knows how to use it
2 Knows the typical points and faults and knows how to appreciate them or not
3 Knows how to write a critique
4 Knows the history of the breed
5 Knows the character / work / health and problems of the breed
6 Knows about the population of the breed in his country and other countries
7 Knows the difference between similar and related breeds

Once approved by his FCI NO and included in its show judges list, a candidate first has to judge over a minimum period of 2 years the breed(s) for which he has been approved in the country where he has his legal residence before he is allowed to accept to judge at FCI shows with FCI-CACIB outside the country where he has his legal residence.

j. A judge – or candidate judge – who has been living for more than three years in a country different from the country where he had his legal residence is obliged to take further education and to get his approval for new breeds from the country where he lives at present. This disposition does not apply to International FCI all-breed judges.

k. If a candidate has more than one country of residence, he has to decide under which FCI/NO regime he wants to become a show judge. The FCI office must be informed of his decision. Once a candidate-judge has started his education programme for a particular breed, group, or all breed status, this programme has to be continued with the same regime. In the event that the judge permanently moves to a different FCI country, the FCI judges Regulations state that the judge´s licence is transferred to the new country of residence after three years unless the original country of residence agrees to transfer the license earlier.

l. If a new breed is recognised by the FCI, a FCI group or FCI all-breed judge is automatically allowed to judge it providing that this breed is in a group which he is qualified to judge.

m. It is the responsibility of each FCI NO as member of the FCI to include in their official list of judges of the FCI only those individuals who have fulfilled the requirements stated above, to keep their list as well as all the information about every judge updated and to forward it to the FCI Office every year. This list must indicate clearly the breeds for which the judge is licensed to give the FCI-CACIB, the groups he is licensed to judge and whether or not he is licensed to judge the Best in Show. The FCI Breed Nomenclature must be observed when writing this list

3. Definition of Show Judges

An FCI Breed Judge is a person who has been approved by his own FCI NO to judge one or more breed(s).

A Show Judge of a FCI NO can be:

a) FCI Breed Judge
b) FCI Group Judge
c) FCI All-Breed International Judge
d) FCI All-Breed National Judge

The FCI NO has to forward to the FCI complete information concerning every judge who is permitted to judge outside the country where he has his legal residence.

4. How to Become a Judge for Additional Breeds

Show judges who are already approved to judge one or more breed(s) in any given group and wish to be approved for additional breeds must apply in writing, must take practical education and pass a test on the standard of the breed(s) they are applying to judge additionally. A practical test for said breed(s) is also compulsory.

In the case of an absolute impossibility to provide the dogs of a certain breed for the practical test, the candidate must, as an alternative solution, pass an extensive test on the standard of the breed(s) he is applying to judge. This rule applies only to experienced judges who are adding a new breed or new breeds.

5. How to Become a Group Judge

An FCI Group Judge is a person who has been approved by his FCI NO to judge at group level one or more groups of the FCI official groups according to the FCI Nomenclature of Dog Breeds. The group judge’s education has to last a minimum of one year each for the first five groups he applies for. A FCI group judge is approved to award the FCI-CACIB to any breed of said group. Once approved, FCI group judges from FCI NO are permitted to judge Best of Group (BOG) competitions at FCI-CACIB shows for the group(s) for which they are qualified.

If a breed is transferred to a group for which a judge is not qualified, the judge retains his right to judge the breed in question.

Before a candidate is allowed to study for more than one group, the FCI NO has to evaluate his way of judging. The FCI NO has the right to decide if it wishes to put the breed judge in a specific Group-judge programme or even in an All-breed judge programme.

The FCI KEY groups are the groups 1, 2, 3 and 9.

a. A judge can apply to be educated as a group judge for his first group when he has been a judge for a period of at least four years and he has to be a judge for at least three breeds of that group. During these years he has to judge at least five times the breeds he is approved for. As an alternative he has to wait three years after the approval of his first breed, before he can apply to be educated as a group judge.

b. When a candidate is educated in his first group then he has to finish it before he can take education for his second group. This way the education in the first groups can be done group by group.

c. Candidates in the first five groups have to consider that they cannot be educated in more than one group at the same time when they are working within one of the key groups.

d. After he has completed his fifth group a candidate can be educated for more than two groups at the same time

e. The education in the first group lasts a minimum of two years. In further groups the education can be done in one year.

f. The examination of candidates must consist of a practical examination for one breed or for one group of breeds and a theoretical part for this group of breeds. When having been approved for a certain number of breeds within the same FCI group, it is possible for a Group judge to be approved for other breeds in this group without examination providing he has taken a good education. It is up to the FCI NO to set up the requirements for this special education.

g. After completing his fifth group a candidate can officially apply in writing to his FCI NO to be educated for more groups or even as an all-breed judge.

h. While training for one or more groups a candidate has to continue judging the breeds he has already been approved for.

i. The FCI NO has to inform the FCI about the judge who has become a FCI group judge for his first group.

6. How to Become an FCI All-Breed International Judge

An FCI All Breed International Judge is a judge who has been approved by his FCI NO to judge all breeds of the FCI recognized groups. Only these judges are approved to officiate at FCI-CACIB Shows around the world for all the FCI recognized breeds.

The nomination to become an FCI all-breed international judge has to be entirely under the jurisdiction of the concerned FCI NO, paying particular attention to the number of breeds registered in the country in question.

However these judges can be made eligible as FCI all-breed international judges only ten years after the approval for their first group. The FCI NO has to consider that a judge can only be an all-breed international judge when he has been educated and approved for different breeds in all groups. These breeds are at least a certain number of breeds that are common in the country where the judge has his legal residence. The necessary information about approval and nomination as an FCI all breed international judge has to be submitted online to the FCI Head Office for final approval (see Annex 1.)

a. In order for a judge to be educated to become an FCI all-breed international judge, he must have been approved for at least five of the FCI groups.

b. To start his education to become an all-breed judge, at least two of his five groups have to be a KEY Group.

c. It is up to the FCI NO to put forward a candidate to be a Group judge in compliance with the above-mentioned rules and procedure.

d. It has to be considered that an FCI all-breed judge has been educated and has passed an exam in all ten FCI groups.

e. The period elapsed between the approval of his first FCI group and the approval of his FCI All Breed status has to be at least ten years.

f. Upon FCI request, the FCI NO sends a list of the new FCI all-breed judges to the FCI informing them about the details of their education and the experience of this judge.

7. How to Become an FCI All-Breed National Judge

An FCI All-Breed National Judge is a judge who has been approved by his FCI NO to judge all breeds at national level. This judge is approved to judge all FCI recognized breeds at FCI-CACIB shows only in the country where he has his legal residence. However, this judge can only be approved to judge all breeds in his own country when he has been approved as a judge for at least 7 (seven) FCI groups. This applies only to FCI NO where the number of dogs entered at shows does not normally exceed 100 (hundred) breeds. The FCI all-breed national judge is allowed to officiate outside the country where he has his legal residence only for the breeds for which he is approved by the FCI as group or breed judge and recognised in his own country. The information about approval and nomination as a national all-breed judge has to be sent to the FCI.

8. General Conditions for Admission as a Show Judge

Only those judges who are included in the list of show judges of any FCI NO in accordance with previous conditions are allowed to award an FCI-CACIB at international shows. The breeds which the judges from FCI contract partners are allowed to judge are clearly listed in the individual contracts signed by the FCI and contract partners.

- Judges who have been approved by their FCI NO but have not been judging for a period of 5 years or longer, must take a new practical test before being allowed to judge again. The FCI NO, before granting a new authorization to judge, must verify the capacity of the applicant to judge the breed, or breeds, he had previously been authorized to judge.

- Judges emigrating to a country whose national canine organization (hereafter named “NO”) is not an FCI member or contract partner can, on application to the FCI, remain admitted for the breeds for which they had been licensed in an FCI NO, provided that no disciplinary action is or has been taken against them, that the inviting organizer is informed about it and that the FCI agrees to it accordingly. The FCI Office keeps a corresponding list and issues the authorizations to judge. The FCI has jurisdiction over these judges. Those judges do not have the possibility anymore to take FCI education for further breeds and/or groups.

- Judges emigrating from one country whose NO is member of the FCI to another one remain admitted and should be approved by the FCI NO of the new country where he has his legal residence for the breeds they had been licensed by their former FCI NO, provided that no disciplinary action is or has been taken against them. The FCI Head Office must be informed of this approval.

- A judge or candidate judge can only be entered in the judges list of another FCI NO, if he has been having his legal residence in the country of this new FCI NO for a minimum of twelve consecutive months. An application must be sent by these judges to the FCI NO of the new country within a maximum period of 3 years after changing legal residence. This FCI NO will then be responsible for these judges.

The FCI NO in which a show judge or candidate judge wants to be registered must - before a decision is made about including him in the judges list - ask the FCI NO where he comes from if it has any objection to this inclusion. If there is no objection, the person can be included in the list. If there is an objection, the former FCI NO will inform the new FCI NO about the reasons. The FCI NO from the country where the person wants to settle down has to respect the objection and the person concerned will not be included in its list. The judge has the right to appeal to the FCI. As long as no final decision is made, he cannot be included in the judges list of the new FCI NO. A copy of the correspondence must be forwarded to the FCI.