1. Mandatory qualifications for apprenticeship

  1. The candidate must be an AWMA member in good standing for at least two (2) years.
  2. The candidate must have trained at least two (2) dogs to SchH3/IPO3 or at the discretion of the AWMA Director of Judges (DOJ) at least (1) dog to SchH3/IPO 3 and an additional dog to the highest levels of different disciplines may be acceptable. At least one of these dogs must have been a Malinois.
  3. The candidate must have trialed one of the dogs from 1.b in a national level event at the SchH3/IPO3 level.
  4. The candidate must have been actively involved with promoting the Malinois and the AWMA at the club level.
  5. The minimum age of a licensed AWMA judge shall be twenty-five (25) years.

2. Application to apprentice program

  1. The applicant should be recommended to the AWMA Executive Board by their local club, Regional Director, or by any licensed judge recognized by AWDF. A written resume of the applicant's qualifications must accompany this recommendation.
  2. The AWMA DOJ will be responsible for confirming the forthrightness of the applicant's resume, and shall acquaint themselves with the applicant to ensure the applicant will represent the AWMA to the highest standard. Only persons who demonstrate high standards of personal conduct, good sportsmanship, and a mastery of the basics of IPO along with the willingness to work well with people and to intelligently promote the sport of IPO should be considered.
  3. The applicant's name will be posted on the website for forty-five (45) days. Any challenges or objections regarding the applicant should be sent to the AWMA DOJ within this period.
  4. Challenges or objections will be reviewed by the Executive Board. After the forty-five day posting of the applicant's name on the website, the Executive Board will decide whether or not to approve the applicant to start the apprentice program. Approval will require an 80% vote by the Executive Board.
  5. After approval by the Executive Board the applicant will be placed on the AWMA apprentice judge list, and is authorized to judge practice or affiliation trials.
  6. Any letters received about the applicant will be sent to the applicant without the name of the sender.

3. The apprenticeship procedure

  1. To apprentice, the apprentice judge will send a request for permission to apprentice to the teaching judge, the trial secretary of the trial-giving club and the AWMA DOJ. Additional permissions may be required if the teaching judge holds other than an AWMA license; it is the responsibility of the apprentice to seek these permissions from other organizations according to their policies. All of this must be done in written form no less than thirty (30) days prior to the trial. E-mail communication is acceptable.
  2. Upon completion of the trial, the apprentice's report must be sent to the teaching
    judge no later than fourteen (14) days after the trial. The teaching judge will be requested to make comments and corrections to the apprentice's report with within 14 days of receiving the report. One copy will be sent to the apprentice judge with a copy going to the AWMA DOJ.
  3. After the completion of an apprenticeship (i.e. all copies graded and mailed back) there will be a waiting period of fourteen (14) days before the next assignment. This will give the apprentice judge time to study the results and the presiding judge's remarks from the preceding event.
  4. All copies of the summary evaluations by the previous teaching judges must be sent to, and received by the next teaching judge at least seven (7) days prior to the next apprenticeship. This will give the teaching judge time to evaluate the apprentice's prior progress.
  5. There will be a required initial walk through followed by a minimum of six (6) apprenticeship trials. The last apprenticeship will be under the AWMA DOJ or his/her designee. The AWMA DOJ may require the apprentice to complete more apprenticeships at his/her discretion.
  6. During the course of the apprenticeship a minimum of sixty three (63) dogs must have been evaluated. The minimum breakdown will be as follows:
    • Fifteen (15) BH
    • Three (3) FH
    • Ten(10) IPO 1
    • Five (5) IPO 2
    • Thirty (30) IPO 3
  7. After completion of all requirements the AWMA DOJ will make a recommendation to the AWMA Executive Board for licensing. The AWMA Executive Board must confirm all new AWMA judges with a minimum eighty (80) percent vote.
  8. The initial license will be for a probationary period of three (3) years or 25 trials, whichever comes first. The probationary license allows the judge to preside at any club level event of their choosing. Permission must be granted from the AWMA DOJ for judging at the Regional or higher level, and only after significant experience as determined by the AWMA DOJ has been demonstrated by the probationary judge. At the end of the three (3) year probationary period, the probationary judge's work will be reviewed by the AWMA DOJ, who will make a recommendation to the AWMA Executive Board regarding the granting of a permanent judges license.
  9. All apprentice judges will be held to the same requirements as judges (see item 6, Judge's Conduct, below)

4. Removal of apprentice

  1. An apprentice who does not apprentice at least two (2) times in one (1) year or finish the program in three (3) years will be removed from the apprentice judge program.
  2. The AWMA DOJ may remove an apprentice from the program if the apprentice fails to show a marked improvement in procedure and quality of trial reports as they progress through the program.
  3. An apprentice who fails two apprenticeships will be removed from the program. Apprentices who have been removed must take 6 months off from the program, and must reapply to the AWMA DOJ to begin a new apprenticeship.
  4. Any apprentice who exhibits behavior that is not in the best interest of AWMA or the judges program may be removed from the program. Removal for this reason will require approval by the AWMA DOJ and majority vote by the Executive Board.

5.  Acceptance of judges from other programs (adopted October 19, 2019)

Licensed judges from WUSV and/or FCI-recognized judges programs may be granted an AWMA judge's license after the membership is provided notice of candidacy via publication on the AWMA website for a period of forty-five (45) consecutive days.  After the 45 consecutive days:

  1. the Judges Committee should review any comments from members about the candidate AFTER verifying the accuracy of the comments (Note: any comments that cannot be verified and anonymous comments will be disregarded) and forward them to the Executive Board within 7 days after the comment period ends;
  2. The Executive Board will discuss the applicant's candidacy and evaluate the Judges Committee's comments submitted by members, both good and bad, within 10 days of receiving the comments from the Judges Committee;
  3. Within 7 days after the discussion on the applicant, the Executive Board will vote on accepting the judge. A simple majority vote by the Executive Board will determine the results of the applicant's candidacy. If the results are negative, the secretary of the AWMA will send to the candidate a general description of why the result was negative.
  4. If there is a negative outcome, the candidate may request within 7 days an opportunity to discuss the outcome with the Executive Board and dispute any negative inferences.
  5. If the outcome is contested by the candidate and after the discussion with the candidate, without any further discussion the Executive Board will revote on the candidate within 7 days. A simple majority vote by the Executive Board will determine the results of the applicant’s candidacy.

If approved, the candidate would be a fully licensed AWMA judge contingent upon him or her signing the required paperwork.  As a courtesy requirement, the judge will be required to write a report to the AWMA DOJ of his or her first assignment as an AWMA Judge.

6. Judge's conduct

  1. A judge is a representative of AWMA on and off the field at all times.
  2. A judge must always be fair and unbiased in their work.
  3. A judge should always conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner.
  4. A judge should abide and judge by the rules accepted by AWMA.
  5. A judge should at all time be concerned for the welfare of our dogs as well as the safety and conduct of trial participants and spectators.
  6. Judges are required to keep the AWMA DOJ informed of correct contact information and any circumstance that could interfere with their ability to fulfill judging requirements.
  7. A judge may not judge their member club's trial or household members. This may be waived for championship trials.
  8. Judges may not use judging assignments as a mechanism for generating income above the expenses discussed below in (7).

7. Required judges' activities

  1. A judge should continue to expand his/her knowledge by studying under visiting judges and attending workshops and seminars.
  2. A judge must remain actively and demonstrably involved with the training of IPO dogs.
  3. Judges will be required to judge a minimum of three (3) trials within each calendar year.

8. Judges fees

  1. A judge is entitled to all reasonable expenses relating to judging assignments, including the following:
    • Current government mileage rates apply for auto travel.
    • Round trip airfare where required.
    • Airport parking and incidentals associated travel expenses.
    • $100.00 per day judges fee for each day judging plus one travel day.
    • Meals taken while in transit to and from the event.
  2. Judges with additional requirements should make them known at the time of agreeing to judge the trial.
  3. Disputes over fees and expenses will first be arbitrated by the AWMA DOJ.

9. Removal of judges

Judges' licenses will be removed upon:

  1. Termination of AWMA membership (automatic).
  2. Voluntary request for removal.
  3. Judges who do not judge the required three (3) trials per year, without excused cause. (This will not be enforced until such time as there are sufficient AWMA trials as determined by the Judges Committee to support this).
  4. Judges may be removed by 80% vote of the Executive Board.
  5. At any time, the AWMA DOJ may place any AWMA judge on inactive status until there is a meeting or decision of the Executive Board.
  6. The AWMA DOJ may place a judge on inactive status until specified requirements are met, not to exceed six (6) months without Executive Board involvement.
  7. A judge may request inactive status for personal or health reasons. If the judge remains inactive for a period of more than eighteen (18) months, he/she will be required to do a minimum of one apprenticeship or walk-through under the AWMA DOJ or his/her designee to be reinstated as a fully licensed AWMA judge.

Proposed by the AWMA Judges' Committee and ratified by the AWMA Executive Board, June 29, 2001, modified and accepted on March 21, 2014, further modified October 19, 2019