Judges that apply to judge Scent Work are first approved for provisional status and can begin judging Novice and Advanced levels only for all elements and Handler Discrimination. After meeting further requirements, provisional judges can progress to approved status for Novice and Advanced only and will receive provisional status for higher levels – Excellent, Master and Detective. After meeting further requirements, higher level provisional judges can progress to fully approved status and can judge any and all classes.
All Scent Work Judges should take the time to become familiar with the AKC Scent Work Judges Guidelines.
- Must be active in Scent Work for a minimum of 3 years, either as a participant or as a working detection dog handler (volunteer or professional). Each application and experience listed, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- Must apprentice under a fully approved judge for the difficulty levels you are wishing to judge (Novice and Advanced for entry level judges, and Excellent and Master for judge applicants seeking to judge higher levels) in all elements. A fully approved judge is defined as approved to judge all levels and elements and Detective. If you need help finding a fully approved judge, please visit the online Judges Directory.
- Online Scent Work Judge’s Education Exam
- $35 Application Fee (collected during online Exam)
- 10 Education Credits
- Must attend a Scent Work judges seminar within 2 years of first becoming a provisional judge.
To find a seminar please use our searchable seminar directory. Only when seminars have been finalized do they appear in the directory. Anyone is welcomed to attend. For any club wishing to schedule a seminar, or any inquiries, please email: email@example.com or call 919-816-3904.
Educational Credits – A total of 10 credits are needed to meet the judging requirement. Credits can be accrued in the following ways.
- 8 Credits= Attending an AKC judges seminar
- 5 Credits= Mentorship under a fully approved judge. (applicant judges may have multiple mentors if desired but only 1 mentorship will be counted)
- 4 Credits= Titling dogs to an AKC Scent Work Master title (max of 4 can be earned by titling dogs- up to 2 dogs at 2 credits each)
- 3 Credits= Hide Stewarding at a licensed trial (max 3 credits can be earned from stewarding at 1 credit per assignment. Each assignment must be under a different judge).
Application Process – How to Get Started to Judge
- Judging Applicants should take the online exam.
- Complete and submit the Application to Judge Scent Work along with any supporting documentation such as apprenticeship, mentorship and hide steward certifications.
The Performance Judges Department will review the application. Once all requirements are confirmed, the applicant will be notified and put on provisional status to judge Novice and Advanced levels only for all elements and Handler Discrimination.
Provisional Judges – Progress to Approved Status for Novice and Advanced
To progress from provisional status to approved status for Novice and Advanced, a judge must meet the following requirements:
- Submit five positive reviews from different trial chairpersons. (any element)
- Submit five positive reviews from different fully approved judges. (any element)
- Complete an assignment in at least 2 elements for Novice and Advanced, plus Handler Discrimination.
Provisional judges must also submit a Search Evaluation Form that discusses the search design and pass rates for each class judged.
After requirements are met, a provisional judge will be approved to judge Novice and Advanced and at the same time will automatically be given provisional status to judge higher-levels, Excellent, Master and Detective.
Provisional Judges for Excellent, Master and Detective – Progress to Fully Approved
Judges that have been given provisional status for Excellent, Master and Detective can pursue the status of a fully approved judge by meeting the following requirements:
- Submit 2 positive reviews, each from different chairpersons.
- Submit 2 positive reviews, each from different fully approved judges.
- Complete an assignment in at least 3 elements in Excellent and Master.
To make sure provisional judges are best prepared for the higher levels, judges must also submit a Search Evaluation Form that discusses the search design and pass rates for each class judged.
After all requirements are met, a provisional judge for Excellent, Master and Detective will become a fully approved Scent Work Judge who can judge any and all classes.
Application and Certification Forms:
- Scent Work Judge Application (required)
- Apprentice Certification (required)
- Mentorship Certification (required if mentorship is completed for educational credits)
- Hide Steward Certification (required if hide stewarding is completed for educational credits)
- Search Evaluation (required for any provisional judges)
Review Forms for Advanced/Novice Provisional Judge:
- Newly Approved N/A Provisional Judge Review Form by Judge
- Newly Approved N/A Provisional Judge Review by Trial Chair
Review Forms for (Higher Levels) Master/Excellent/Detective Provisional Judge:
- Higher Level Provisional Judge Review Form by Fully Approved Judge
- Higher Level Provisional Judge Review Form by Trial Chair
If you have questions on eligibility or the status of your application, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919-816-3904.