Field trial secretary information

Labradors sat in a row with owners stood watching
Rebecca Goutorbe © / The Kennel Club

If you are a field trial secretary there is a huge amount of work and administration to be undertaken. This section provides information to assist with the task in hand. If you are a new secretary, we strongly advise you to attend one of The Kennel Club's annual field trial secretaries' seminars.

Secretaries should also be aware that changes and developments are made to the discipline throughout the year; these changes are always listed in the field trials newsletter which is sent to each field trial society.

Notice to clubs/societies

Due to a change in the risk levels and an increase in the number of detections of avian influenza (bird flu) in kept and wild birds, an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been declared across Great Britain. To reduce the risk of spreading the disease, Kennel Club registered Clubs and Societies holding events, and competitors/handlers, are strongly advised to follow advice and guidance, created in conjunction with Government. Find out more in our media centre.

Commonly searched on page

Register as a field trial club

How to run your trial

Setting up the trial

When a club has been approved as a field trial society, it is automatically given permission to run gundog working tests. After three years of running gundog working tests, societies can apply for permission to hold different kinds of field trial. Permission must be sought for each stake (e.g. novice) and each sub-group or breed. The application is then advertised in the field trials newsletter, before being considered by the field trials committee which will then make recommendations to the board for final approval. This process may take several months due to the timing of the newsletter and committee meeting dates.

Selecting a judge

Societies are responsible for selecting judges for their field trials and gundog working tests in accordance with the regulations. A and B panel judges can be selected from the official lists on
Find a Judge.

A judge may be nominated to a panel by a society for whom he or she has judged within the previous three years. The secretary of the society should sign the nomination after the judge has completed all the sections.

All judges must be fully conversant with The Kennel Club Field Trial J Regulations

Nomination forms

What administration should I do before the trial?
  • Licence: Before a society is issued with a license for a trial, they must contact the field trials department with a potential trial date. Upon confirmation of the date with the field trial department, a licence application will be issued to the society. It must then be completed and forwarded to The Kennel Club 30 days prior to the date of the field trial, along with the appropriate fee (£25 for a one-day stake and £35 for a two-day stake). The Kennel Club will then issue a licence, a Game Certificate as well as evaluation forms for the judges. The licence must be available on request at the event
  • Schedule: For each licensed trial a schedule must be issued, which includes entry forms for competitors. A copy of each field trial schedule must be submitted to The Kennel Club within three days of printing. All schedules must conform to the Field Trial J Regulations and the field trial specimen schedule and entry forms.
What are the final preparations?
  • Running cards
  • Judges' books
  • Field trials regulations
  • Trophies and cleaning equipment
  • Judges' gifts
  • Host/keeper gifts
  • Pens and pencils
  • Paper for game markers
  • Red flag
  • Radios
  • First aid kit
  • Area maps
  • Judge rosettes/badges
  • Steward rosettes/badges
  • Club/officer badges
  • Incident book
  • Prepare your announcements
  • Crib sheet
  • Non-members signing-in book
  • Game/dummy bags
  • Dummies
  • Guns/ammunition - check
  • Starting pistols - check
  • Cold game
  • Presentation table
What should I do at the trial?
  • Distribute armbands
  • Distribute running cards
  • Hand out radios
  • Hand out judges' books/bands
  • Hand out stewards' notebooks
  • Note changes to dogs/handlers - use blank entry forms
  • Distribute game/dummy bags
  • Enlist help from spectators as required
  • Make sure you have the mobile phone on, as detailed on the schedule
  • Discuss late arrivals with chief steward and judges
  • Greet host/keeper
  • Introduce judges to host/keeper/guns
What should I do after the trial?
  • The running card, clearly marked with the awards, and a signed Game Certificate must be submitted to The Kennel Club within 14 days of the close of the field trial. If a first-time judge has been appointed to judge at the trial, please include contact details with the running card
  • Changes marked on card
  • Send signed Game Certificate to The Kennel Club
  • Open stake results to be sent to championship/champion stake organiser as required
  • Retain cards/schedules for club records
  • Report any incidents/objections to The Kennel Club
  • Retain all entry forms for 12 months
  • Send 'thank you' letters
  • Receipts to treasurer
What should I do if I have to cancel my event/show?

Any cancellation or abandonment of a field trial must be reported in writing to The Kennel Club, by completing the cancellation of shows form as soon as this decision is made, giving the reason for the cancellation.

If the trial can be re-arranged within 14 days of the original trial date, this is a postponement. A £6 fee will be required to change the licence. The same schedule and draw can be kept, and judges where possible. If different judges are appointed, the society must ensure all competitors are aware of the change. If competitors cannot attend the new date, the society must work through the reserves in the normal manner.

If the trial is re-arranged outside of 14 days of the original date, this is a cancellation. A £6 fee will be required to change the licence. The society must re-issue their schedule, re-do their draw and can appoint new judges.

If the society is unable to re-schedule the trial in the current season (season ends annually on Feb 1) then their licence fee will be refunded.

Read further information about cancellation of events.

What administration should I do before the show?
Societies are required to consider government advice, including DEFRA, in place at the time when planning an event. It is also worth noting that often advice is different for different parts of the United Kingdom and this needs to be taken into account when planning the event both in relation to the venue and expected participants.
Does the society need insurance cover?

Society committees must ensure that they have adequate cover for all the society's activities. Kennel Club insurance cover is specifically designed for canine clubs or societies, including public and products liability and directors' and officers' liability insurance at a competitive price. Learn more about The Kennel Club's Clubs and Trainers Insurance.

Do I need insurance cover?
One of the main concerns for societies is whether there will be adequate insurance cover. Kennel Club show regulations stipulate that insurance is required – otherwise the show licence is invalid. It is always best to check with the society’s own insurance provider in terms of the amount of and heads of cover. We have partnered with Pet Business Insurance (PBI) to provide specifically designed insurance cover for canine clubs or societies, including public and products liability insurance at a competitive price. It is unlikely that any Covid-19-specific insurance will be available but general public liability will be available.

You can contact them on 01284 736874 or visit their website.

A society should make best efforts to ensure that the venue/ground is Covid-19 safe, in line with government advice available at the time (including risk assessments). This will then help in demonstrating that the society has discharged its duty of care to participants and visitors. It is not possible to guarantee a no Covid-19 risk scenario, and there will be an element of assumption of risk by the participant/visitor. The society’s job is to minimise that risk. As always in the context of health and safety, there should be clearly documented instructions and role descriptions defining the clear delegation of responsibilities for the range of health and safety issues at the event.

A statement must be included in all schedules to state that if an exhibitor, or anyone in their household, has Covid-19-related symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19, they must not attend the event.
Field trial specimen schedules

The field trial regulations specify that shows must issue a schedule which conforms to the current specimen schedule issued by The Kennel Club. The specimen schedule is available below and are regularly updated to take account of changes to the regulations or policy. Show secretaries are advised to download the most recent version of the specimen schedule before preparing any show schedule.

BASC Code of Good Shooting Practice

The field trial committee has agreed that the below wording is to be added to the licence application form for all field trials:

We confirm that all aspects of the trial ground conforms to the Code of Good Shooting Practice.

This statement is to confirm that all trial grounds used by any club/society conform to the guidelines provided in the BASC Code of Good Shooting Practice.

The revised policy will apply to all trials being held in the 2018/19 season onwards. For any queries, please contact the field trial department on 020 7518 1059.

Risk assessment

It is the responsibility of individual societies to undertake their own risk assessment at all licensed trials, to cover all likely eventualities, with respect to the health and safety of all those who attend, and to fire prevention issues.

Every society must undertake its own individual risk assessment for every event.

Any particular measures or conditions that competitors need to be aware of prior to the event must be included within the schedule.

A generic risk assessment may include:

a) Possible hazards:

  1. Personal injury resulting from the intended or accidental discharge of a shotgun, driven or falling game, noise or blast
  2. Slips and falls on ground that may be wet, uneven, sloping or marshy
  3. Hazards associated with the crossing of water courses, hedges and fences, other natural and man-made obstacles. Whether shooting, beating, picking up, competing or members of public present
  4. Injury resulting from direct contact with barbed wire, thorn hedges, low branches or other naturally occurring or constructed features of the landscape and from livestock that may be alarmed or disturbed
  5. Hazards associated with the use of vehicles on private land or public highways
  6. Hazards associated with being in the vicinity of machinery on private land or public highway. This is to include crop spraying activities and chemicals that may be associated with this operation

At risk are:

  • Persons using shotguns (referred to as guns) and their companions
  • Persons employed or volunteers or competitors that collect and retrieve shot game with dogs
  • Those volunteers, officials and judges who are present to run the field trial
  • Drivers of vehicles, onlookers and members of the public

b) Code of Practice to be observed by all persons taking part or watching an authorised field trial:

  1. The chief steward will brief all present before moving off. A copy of this risk assessment will be displayed within the registration area
  2. Vehicles provided to transport guns, competitors and officials must be suitable for the purpose and the terrain that is to be encountered. Adequate seating must be provided. Dogs will not be allowed in the driving compartment of the vehicles. The driver of each vehicle must be acquainted with the route and terrain over which they are to travel and be aware of the other vehicles in the party
  3. All persons involved should wear suitable non-restrictive clothing, adequate to provide protection from the elements and stout water-resistant footwear
  4. All guns must be competent at handling shotguns in a safe manner and must be in possession of a valid shotgun certificate, and have public liability insurance
  5. Shotguns and ammunition must not be left unattended under any circumstance. Guns must keep their weapons in a covered slip until arrival at their allocated position
  6. A shot should only be taken when it is safe to do so. Guns must be aware at all times of the proximity of those closest to them: other guns, the red flag, picker-up, officials, judges, competitors and members of the public; the location of public footpaths, bridleways, highways and livestock in the vicinity
  7. In the event of an emergency, the trial will be suspended immediately and all weapons must be unloaded and placed back in the covered slip. Should this occurrence be caused by the involvement of persons that are opposed to the activity, the organiser in consultation with the chief steward and judges must arrange to vacate the ground without the need for confrontation
  8. All members of the party must respect the property on which they are invited guests, be aware of the local terrain and any likely hazards and conduct themselves in a friendly and environmental way
  9. Members of the public and competitors that are not in line must stay behind the red flag at all times and obey the instruction of officials or members of the estate staff
  10. Everybody involved must keep away from agricultural machinery, although it will not normally be working in the areas where the field trial is taking place

If this code of practice is observed, the risk to human health and safety during this authorised activity are deemed to be low.

General data protection regulation (GDPR)
Incidents at events

Anything that occurs at an event that is ‘out of the ordinary’ should be considered an incident and logged in the incident book even if those involved do not wish to take any action. Learn more about incidents at events.

Emergency contact details

In the event that a field trial secretary needs to seek urgent assistance outside office hours regarding issues arising at an ongoing trial, the following people can be contacted: 

Retrievers: Barbara Kuen – 07778 424928 

Spaniels: Jon Bailey - 07974 651519 

Pointers and Setters: Jon Kean - 07525 208236

HPRs: Steve Kimberley - 07932 640061

Officials' meals
Hospitality and catering arrangements for judges, officials and stewards should be reviewed in line with relevant Covid-19 and food safety guidelines. If meals are being served, appropriate PPE should be worn by those serving.
If a judge has been contracted for a future show/event and is no longer willing to officiate due to concerns relating to Covid-19, their age or health, the contract should be cancelled and a new judge appointed. It must be acknowledged that everyone’s circumstances are different and therefore The Kennel Club will not take any action against a judge not fulfilling their appointment in these circumstances.
Written guidance should be sought from the venue hirer regarding any special measures the show committee must undertake during their hiring period.
Schedule of events
It is not necessary for any activity to schedule a full range of classes and therefore societies should consider carefully which classes/stakes to schedule to ensure the event is of a manageable size, taking into consideration any additional health and safety requirements. A statement must be included in all schedules to state that if a competitor, or anyone in their household, has Covid-19-related symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19, they must not attend the event.
Veterinary cover
For those events that do not have on-site veterinary cover, liaison must be undertaken with the on-call veterinary practice to ensure it is able to provide the required cover.
Field trials newsletter
To find out more about our field trials newsletter, and how to sign up and receive them in future, please visit the newsletter section on our 'already competing in field trials' page.
Find a Show/Trial

Field trial secretaries’ seminars

These seminars focus on providing essential knowledge and understanding for the management, organisation and stewarding of field trials and gundog working tests.

Who should attend?

The seminar is primarily designed for those who are newly appointed field trial or gundog working test secretaries. Club officials and current field trial or gundog working test secretaries will also benefit from the very latest information. Non-field trial secretaries can also attend and we welcome anyone who has an interest.

What happens at the seminar?

The day consists of presentations and the very popular breakout sessions which are designed around real-world issues that a secretary is likely to encounter. Each delegate will receive a comprehensive information pack including copies of the presentations, examples of the various certificates, a copy of the J Regulations and a USB stick containing template forms which can be tailored for individual use.

Refreshments and a finger buffet lunch are included.

When is the next seminar?

The next seminar will be held in Meeting Room A, The Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, Warwickshire CV8 2LZ on Saturday 11 May 2024 9am - 3.30pm.

How do I apply?

Bookings via our online shop available soon. For more information, please email our field trials team.

Working Gundog Certificate

The aim of the Working Gundog Certificate (WGC) is to provide credible proof that the handler and dog are a competent partnership, with the qualities to fulfil the general requirements of work on a shoot. Below is information on how to run a day.

Who will carry out the assessment?

Participants will be assessed by a qualified assessor and if there are more than three participants, a second assessor will be appointed. Qualified assessors are The Kennel Club's field trial judges or others who have satisfactorily assessed the certificate three times and have been approved by another qualified assessor.

Who can organise a day?

Whether you are a gundog trainer, an individual or part of an organisation you can apply for permission to run an assessment day via the field trials team as per the details below.

Who can I contact for more information?

For more details about the Working Gundog Certificate, please email the field trials team, or call them on 020 7518 1059 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. You can also download the Working Gundog Certificate Handbook.

Running a field trial seminar

All judges must be fully conversant with The Kennel Club Field Trial (J) Regulations. Societies and individuals are able to run these seminars. The seminar and accompanying examination provide participants with a comprehensive introduction to the regulations and also discuss judging procedure and etiquette. Seminar information can be found below.

How to run a seminar?
  • The seminar content must be presented by an officially appointed Kennel Club accredited presenter
  • Societies, individuals or groups organising a seminar should contact one of the accredited presenters from the list below, to invite them to conduct the seminar and arrange a suitable venue. Organisers can then advertise the seminar to attract sufficient attendees
  • The organisers charge attendees reasonable fees at their discretion and should arrange for payment of the accredited presenter's expenses with the presenter
  • Presenters will usually bring relevant literature (such as regulation books, judges' guides and judges' record books) to the seminar for purchase by the candidates - in some cases the cost may be included in the seminar fee
The Kennel Club field trial judges and presenters

The people listed below have been approved by The Kennel Club to provide training on the J Regulations (Retrievers, Spaniels, Pointers and Setters and HPRs). Registered societies, individuals and other organisations who wish to run seminars on any of the above should make direct contact with these approved presenters.

R = Retrievers S = Spaniels P&S = Pointers & Setters HPR = Hunt, Point & Retrieve breeds
Name Address Contact Discipline
Peter Bates Moreby, Yorkshire


Heather Bradley Andover, Hampshire


Sara A K Chichester Devon


R, P&S
Rosina Coley Cheltenham, Gloucestershire


Steve Crookes Sheffield


Kevin Doughty Felixstowe, Suffolk


Diana Harrison Hartfield, East Sussex


S A Jenkins Devon


Graham Stanley Rainham, Kent


Christine Bridgwater Alresford, Hampshire


Damian Kelly County Tyrone, Northern Ireland


Wendy Knight Colchester, Essex


Richard MacNicol Caithness, Scotland


William Megaughin County Antrim, Northern Ireland


Jeremy Organ Cheltenham, Gloucestershire


Jon Kean Falkirk, Stirlingshire


Godfrey Card Newton Aycliffe, County Durham


Stephen Chant Dorchester, Dorset


S Kuban Woking, Surrey


John Naylor Skirlaugh, Hull, East Yorkshire


Henrik Vilendal Northamptonshire


David Winser Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire


Michael Canham
Cawdor, Nairn


Margaret Cox Bodmin, Cornwall   S
Richard Johnston Downpatrick, County Down 07379813545 R
Michael Larkin Vale Of Glamorgan 07989572161
Meryl Asbury Abbeystead, Lancaster   P&S
Nick Coates Sturminster Newton, Dorset   R
Eddie Kania Chinley, High Peak 07974 168188 HPR
Gary Smith

Goole, Lincolnshire

07767 364183

John Yarwood

Congleton, Cheshire

01260 278777

Stephen Kimberley

Winkleigh, Devon

07932 640061

J Venturi Rose

Liphook, Hampshire

01428 751125



Seminar scripts for Kennel Club J regulations

Additional resources