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AKC Judging Task Force Shares Action Plan Going Forward

(Monday, August 19, 2013)

New York, NY – The AKC Judging Task Force has several action plans and projects currently underway to share with the Fancy. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome at JudgingTaskForce@akc.org.

Current projects of the JTF include:

1. Finalize composition of the Judges Review Committee
The reconstituted Judges Review Committee, consisting of two executive field representatives, one as permanent chair and one rotating, and three active judges randomly selected from a pool of twelve, was recommended by staff and approved by the AKC Board in June 2013.

2. Invitation Moratorium
The underlying premise of the invitation system was to identify and rapidly advance highly qualified individuals. Some aspects of the implementation raised concerns about unintended consequences of that system, leading the board to put a moratorium on further invitations. JTF will propose a system to accelerate the very few exceptionally qualified individuals in a fair and impartial manner.
Target date of December 2013

3. Analyze previous surveys of judging applicants
The surveys of judging applicants performed in October 2012 and May 2013 were good examples of gathering input from participants as our customers, and they reveal valuable findings. With the recent changes in the judging application process, a new survey will be created, allowing comparisons and identifying areas for further improvements. The timing and content will be determined and recommended to the board.
Target date of September 2013

4. Devise feedback methodology for assessing judges' performance
The science of quality improvement teaches that an effective way of encouraging continuous improvement is to provide the participants with feedback information that is relevant, personal, consistent, impartial, and timely. One way is to first define what specific attributes are desirable in an excellent judge – a standard of excellence for a judge. Next, elicit feedback from all the groups that are affected by a judges actions, including exhibitors, field reps, fellow judges, breeders, stewards, and show chairs. Compile and analyze the data, assuring appropriate scientific validity and objectivity, then provide the information to each judge, comparing his results to the expected standard and to the results of his peer group. Areas of excellence are reinforced, areas in need of improvement are identified, and extreme outliers (both positive and negative) are recognized. The challenge is to do this in an efficient, cost effective manner, and outside expertise will be utilized as needed.
Target date of March 2014

5. Investigate opportunities for distance learning.
The amount of time, effort and money needed to fulfill all the requirements to attain multiple-group judging status can be overwhelming. Recent advances in digital technologies have revolutionized education methods throughout the world. JTF will look into how we can bring these new technologies to AKC, providing flexible options that can increase learning efficiency. Properly designed tools and templates could have widespread applicability, including teaching basic judging techniques, breed specific education, required obedience seminars, training new field reps, and effectively evaluating an applicant's knowledge. JTF will investigate what existing expertise could be utilized, what AKC components could benefit, and what segments of the fancy could participate.
Target date of September 2014

6. Devise methods to monitor overall system.
We know that sooner or later there will be changes made to our current judging system. We need a methodology to assess whether those changes actually result in demonstrable improvement. Appropriate monitoring should also identify what improvements could be made, and when they should be implemented. JTF will develop methods to measure the acceptance and effectiveness of AKC's judging system, and provide the board with periodic reports.
Target date of September 2014

7. Communication Plan
JTF will look at innovative ideas and revisit some things that have worked well in the past. Initially, some aspects may appear controversial or difficult to implement. We intend to share our thought processes and preliminary ideas with a broad spectrum of our fancy, to clarify concepts, refine ideas, and incorporate suggestions prior to finalizing recommendations for the board to consider. JTF will share this summary with the fancy and encourage comments, critiques, and suggestions via our email JudgingTaskForce@akc.org and provide periodic updates via the AKC web site.