Code of Best Practice for Mentoring

The Kennel Club has recently published it’s C of BP for Mentoring. Like everything the KC does now it’s a formidable document. Below, just for interest, are three pages of it. In total there are 22 so far more than can be put on here. If you are at all interested in becoming a mentor you certainly need to read it in total….at least three times as it has some possibly surprising elements. The Mentoring Complaints Procedure needs a read as the Mentee will be required to complete a Candidate Evaluation Form giving their views on the mentoring process. There are ten sections to this so you need to be prepared as to what you will be evaluated on.

This blog tries really hard to behave itself, and we believe 99% of the time we do, but all this really does have to be commented on. Just what are the Kennel Club playing at? Note that all the time it is up to you to be totally up to date with everything the KC brings out and it’s always on the internet these days. What are you supposed to do if you aren’t on the internet? What are you supposed to do if you aren’t too internet savvy or live somewhere with poor connectivity? What happens if you work full time, then have the dogs to look after and maybe a family as well? How are you supposed to have the time to keep up to date on everything the KC throws out now? And to be totally blunt the views of the candidate will have “equal validity” to those of the mentors and that they will always be asked to comment…… there anything more guaranteed to possibly get old scores settled? Hopefully we’re just being old cynics


In setting this Code of Best Practice for Mentoring the Kennel Club wishes to ensure that Judges are aware of the process of securing a Breed Mentor, what this entails and that Breed Mentors are able to meet the needs of judges in their educational progress. Mentoring forms an important part of a judge’s learning to be competent to judge a breed. However, the judge still needs to develop their judging skills through practical experience of being a judge at all types of shows.

This document should be read in conjunction with its subsequent appendices and must be adhered to as far as possible, in order to meet the Kennel Club requirements for Judging Levels, exceptional circumstances permitting. For more information on the Judges Competency Framework (JCF) and Judging Levels please refer to the JCF link on the ‘Judges Education’ page on the Kennel Club website Individuals reading this Code of Best Practice (and its appendices) are reminded to ensure that they hold the most up to date copy. Please refer to the ‘Judges Education’ Page on the Kennel Club website for more information – or seek guidance from the Office, as necessary


1.1. Mentoring is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with a wealth of experience and someone who wants to learn.

1.2. In the context of the Judges Competency Framework (JCF), mentoring is a learning and development experience where a Mentee is assisted by a breed Mentor in developing breed specific skills and knowledge.


2.1. To educate judges of the breed and provide them with the information to make informed decisions to preserve and safeguard the breed.

2.2. To review and evaluate the Mentee’s knowledge and interpretation of the relevant breed standard and breed specific judging issues.


3.1. Primary Objectives: To provide an opportunity for judges to expand on the knowledge they have acquired following attendance at a Breed Appreciation Day,

subsequently passing the Multiple-choice Breed Standard Exam for the respective breed and their subsequent experience of judging the relevant breed.To provide opportunities for judges to undergo a minimum of three mentoring sessions which will contribute to the requirements necessary to progress from JCF Level 2 to JCF Level 3. Please refer to for more information.

3.2. Secondary Objectives:To empower individuals to take control of their learning opportunities and ensure that all Kennel Club licenced judges are provided with the opportunity for ‘Continuous Personal Development’ (CPD) thereby enhancing the quality of UK judges.To outline the Kennel Club expectations, reinforce good practice, and encourage careful planning and organising.


In order to be eligible to undertake a mentoring session, Mentees must; Have attended a Breed Appreciation Day and passed the subsequent Multiple-choice Breed Standard Exam for the respective breed.

Be registered at JCF Level 2 for the respective breed.

Please note: Judges who meet ALL OF the JCF Level 2 criteria before the JCF system is available online during the second half of 2019, may undergo mentoring.


5.1. Individuals eligible to act as a Mentor for their breed must meet the following criteria:

Someone who already awards Challenge Certificates (CCs) in that breed (if CCs are available for the breed) OR A judge who is currently active or has retired from judging and has the regard of the breed clubs OR Judges with recognised and current experience in a breed, but who may not have owned the breed OR A respected breeder/handler who does not judge, or has yet to attain JCF Level 4 themselves, but has achieved success within the breed AND Has good listening skills, who are able to respond to Mentee’s questions accurately AND Are able and confident to impart knowledge and provide constructive feedback to mentees. Please note: There is no requirement for Mentors to have an active JCF judging licence.

5.2. Persons wishing to be considered as a Breed Mentor should contact their Breed Education Co-ordinator (BEC) in the first instance.

5.3. A central list of Breed Mentors will be complied by a breed club/council or clubs and held by the Breed Education Co-ordinator (BEC) who will submit the list, including any amendments, to the Education and Training Team for its records. This list will also be available online will be updated by the Education and Training Team upon notification by the BEC from 2019.

5.4. Breed clubs should confirm with Breed Mentors which of the four mentoring scenarios (listed under ‘Organisation of Mentoringbelow) that they wish to participate in. Mentors can choose not to be a Mentor for some of the scenarios if they wish.


The responsibilities of a Breed Mentor include:

6.1 Agreeing how best to conduct the mentoring activity to best meet the needs of the Mentee, in line with Kennel Club requirements and guidance.

6.2 Encouraging the Mentee to express and discuss their ideas, concerns and understanding of the breed.

6.3 Encouraging the Mentee to play an active part in the session, and use questions to encourage the Mentee to demonstrate their knowledge.

6.4 Helping Mentees to review their progress and set realistic and practical options to realise their goals.

6.5 Helping Mentees to reflect on and learn from things that did not turn out as expected.

6.6 Taking due care and consideration when providing feedback to Mentees.Feedback should be constructive.

6.7 Referring Mentees to other sources of information, advice or further support where appropriate.

6.8 Encouraging Mentees to take responsibility for their own decisions, plans and actions, and to encourage CPD.


2 thoughts on “Code of Best Practice for Mentoring

  1. Interesting piece of writing by the KC. Having read it, all I can say is that both Glen clubs take the mentoring of Glen owners very seriously and either of them are always available to give advice but not all members are interested in showing and I, for one, would be ineligible as a mentor as I do not Judge. Both clubs also give advice to those who wish to breed, if they ask us, although not everyone asks, it has to be said. As we all know, breeding is a minefield for those who do not know what they are doing, especially finding the correct homes for Glens, which are not necessarily the easiest breed to live with.

    • This is the thing though now Lynne, it doesn’t matter what the Breed Clubs want or do. Like Judges’ Education it has been totally taken out of their hands. The Kennel Club seem to now be totally of the opinion that filling in multi-choice forms, taking exams and being compliant (whatever that means but the KC like that term) will make you a good judge


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