Utility Gundog Trial Judge

Retrieving & Field Trial Judges - New or Upgraded License Application form - (PDF document) or (word document)


10.5.1      To be eligible to apply, a person must have: Been a member of the VCA for a minimum of five (5) years. Competed regularly in Utility Gundog Field Trials for a minimum of five (5) years and competed in Open/All Age stakes and qualified to compete in Championship Stakes. Attended a minimum of three (3) lectures and/or other advertised instruction sessions provided by the canine control within the last five (5) years. Acted as an official Steward to a Judge on at least four (4) occasions in the last five (5) years. Been approved by the Victorian Canine Association Inc.

10.5.2      If approved the applicant will be required to: Sit for a written examination on the Trial Rules as soon as convenient after applications close for the year.  A pass of 70% is required, derived from the average of marks awarded by the examiners.  The ten (10) questions will be directly applicable to the Rules and will be framed so that the applicants can answer clearly and briefly.  A supplementary oral examination may be granted at the discretion of the canine control.  The candidate will be notified of the result by the canine control.

NOTE: Successful applicants names will be included in the Trainee Judges and Stewards listing for the ensuing year.

10.5.3      To be eligible for a practical test, a Trainee Judge: Must have marked Judging Sheets at a minimum of three (3) Field Trials, with and to the satisfaction of a Judge holding a relevant Open or Championship Judging Licence who has been approved by the appropriate convenor.  This may be done whilst officiating as an official Judges Steward. Shall request the appropriate convenor to arrange for the Trainee Judge to accompany a Non Slip Retrieving Trial Judge, approved by the Retrieving and Field Trial Committee; at two (2) Non Slip Retrieving Trials to gain practical experience in the setting and judging of such Trials. Will be expected to have a basic knowledge of Non Slip Retrieving Trial Rules.

NOTE: This may be done whilst the Trainee Judge is acting as the official Judges Steward at any Non Slip Retrieving Trial. Must have submitted  on his/her behalf a brief assessment of the capacity of the Trainee Judge to set a Water Test for a Utility Gundog Field Trial.  This element of Utility Gundog Field Trials must be further taken into account by the approved Judges testing the Trainee Judge in the practical test. 

10.5.4         Practical Test The Trainee Judge will be required to apply for and attend a practical test within three (3) years of being placed on the Trainee Judges List and must apply again within three (3) years, if the Trainee Judge should fail the first test.

A Trainee Judge, being eligible to be tested, shall request the appropriate convenor to arrange a practical test.  The Trainee Judge must mark score sheets and answer relevant questions for all dogs at the Trial nominated by the convenor, with two members of the Judges Testing Panel officiating as examiners.  (Except with the express approval of the VCA Management Committee when less than two examiners may be appointed.) At the conclusion of the Field Trial the examiners will compare and discuss score sheets, notes and remarks made by the Trainee Judge and themselves during the course of the Field Trial.  The examiners will then make a joint decision (as to pass or fail), based on the competence of the Trainee Judge.

10.5.5      Each Trainee Judge will be advised in writing of the result of both the written and practical examinations by the VCA office after approval of the result has been confirmed by the VCA Management Committee.  Having passed the practical test, the Trainee Judge may apply by 24 May for a Licence to judge up to Novice in the ensuing year.

NOTE: Provided the practical test has been arranged to take place prior to 31st July, a Trainee Judge may apply by 24 May for a Licence to judge up to Novice in the ensuing year, subject to passing the test.

Trainee Judges will only be eligible to judge within the state of Victoria and at events not carrying Championship points.

10.5.6         Judges Upgrading

To be eligible:- Before being eligible to judge an OPEN/ALL AGE Stake the Judge must have completed to the satisfaction of the VCA at least two (2) Novice stake judging appointments.  A Judge being eligible to be upgraded from Novice to Open/All Age shall request the appropriate convenor to arrange an upgrading test, this can be done by any one (1) of the Judges Testing Panel.  This must be done whilst the Novice Judge is actually judging a Novice Field Trial. Before being eligible to judge a Championship Stake the Judge must have completed to the satisfaction of the VCA at least four (4) Open/All Age Stake judging appointments.

A Judge being eligible to be upgraded from Open/All Age to Championship shall request the appropriate convenor to arrange an upgrading test, which can be conducted by any one (1) of the Judges Testing Panel.  This test must be done while the Open/All Age Judge is actually judging an Open or All Age Field Trial.

NOTE: Any Judge who fails to renew their Judging Licence for two (2) consecutive years for any reason and at a later date wishes to apply for return of a Judges Licence, must automatically go back to the Novice Level of judging.

Any Judge who fails to renew their Judging Licence for a period exceeding two (2) years must apply to re-enter the Scheme. Utility Gundog Field Trial Judges are eligible to judge Water Tests and Beginners Tests, subject to the following criteria.

To be eligible - The Judge must have reached Championship/All Age level. Have a reasonable knowledge of the Non Slip Retrieving Trial Rules and a thorough knowledge of the procedures pertaining to Water Tests and Beginners Tests including the marking of sheets. Have proved to a member of the VCA Judges Testing Panel via a practical test they have a clear understanding of the requirements when setting a Water Test or Beginners Test.

NOTE: Such approval to judge should not in any way be detrimental to the progress of an Aspiring Non Slip Retrieving Trial Judge.

If an Aspiring Judge is available they should be given first option by the Club conducting the event.

Any Utility Gundog Field Trial Judge wishing to progress to a Novice Retrieving Trial Licence must comply with the procedure outlined in “How to Become a Retrieving Trial Judge”.

10.5.7         Trainee Judge and Stewards Assessment Program To be undertaken by Open or Championship Judges approved by the Retrieving and Field Trial Committee.  Any Trainee Judge or Steward wishing to undertake a Stewards assessment, may do so by obtaining permission to Steward from the relevant Club and notifying the appropriate convenor and Judge of the stake at which they wish to steward. The Judge of the Field Trial will report back to the convenor the competence of the Steward in the following categories.

- Knowledge of the Rules

- Knowledge of practical dog work

- Use and reading of Trial grounds

- Knowledge of Game being hunted

- Communication Skills

- Firearms Safety

- Management procedures of Field Trials

A score of from one (1) to ten (10) will be given in each category by the approved Judge.  On an official score sheet, noting the type of Stake, Club, date and Judge's name.  These score sheets will be kept strictly confidential and retained by the convenor or the VCA a copy of which will be sent to the Trainee Judge or Steward.




For more information please contact the RAFT (Retriever and Field Trial) Committee or visit the Retrieving Trial section of this website.