Above: The CCBA trainee judges programme has been tweaked to ensure each trainee continues to learn after they pass as a full panel judge. One change from the old programme is that newly passed judges will be required to judge a CCBA Zone/national show before the All-Colour show (2017 show pictured with Steve Wayte’s best novice melanin).

AN UPDATED TRAINEE judges programme to ensure it delivers new, confident and competent canary judges has been approved by the Canary Colour Breeders Association (CCBA).

On January 15, the new programme went live on the CCBA’s website, and includes a comprehensive support guide to ensure each trainee receives sufficient help after qualifying as a full panel judge.

A further change to the programme is that a new full panel judge will be unable to judge the top All-Colour show until he/she has judged a CCBA Zone or national show in both lipochrome and melanin sections at either champion or novice level. A judging engagement at a CCBA Zone or national show also has to occur within two years of completing the full panel judge test.

Robert Braddock, who took on the role of chairman of judges last December, said: “I want our newly promoted full panel judges to grow in confidence to be able to trust their own judgement, but also give confidence to the exhibitor that they are competent and that they will make the right decisions.

“If we drain the confidence from newly promoted judges by criticism then the danger is they will go for the safe option when awarding specials for fear of ridicule.”

Within the past 12 months, five key fanciers have retired from the CCBA judges panel. Officials believe the new programme could help the process of replacing such individuals.

Mr Braddock explained: “We lost from the panel the likes of Peter Finn who had 30 years of judging experience; Mick Burke with his 30 years; and Alan Woodward, one of the creators of the CCBA with judging experience spanning more than 50 years. Now the task is to replace that experience.”

Steve Kearns from Perranporth, one of four fanciers ready to start the programme, said: “I am inspired by the depth of knowledge when listening to conversations from the more experienced breeders, therefore I want to learn too and have the confidence in my own judging knowledge to express to others.”

View the CCBA’s updated trainee judges programme at: www.colourcanaries.co.uk and click “Chairman of judges news”.

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