Working Test Toolkit

Timeline: Before The Test

Timeline: During The Test

Timeline: After The Test

Important Dates:
• Application submitted- 4 months prior to test
• Premium lists out - 6-8 weeks prior to test
• Closing Date - at least 12 days before the test
• Catalog Advertising close date - confirm with catalog printer
• Confirmation Letters mailed - at least 10 days before the test

Form Your Team:

Test Committees should be formed by enthusiastic fanciers who have good organizational, communication and people skills. The test chair, secretary and one other member of the test committee must be NCA members. First priorities for a test committee are to select a site, choose a date, and select a judges panel. Once these issues have been determined, an application can be filed with the NCA

A Test Committee from a recognized regional club of the Newfoundland Club of America (NCA) may apply to the Working Dog Committee (WDC) of the NCA for permission to sponsor a water or draft test. Application must be made using an approved WDC application.

The WDC's approval or rejection of the Test Application is usually communicated to the test chairperson by the designated Working Dog Committee member within forty-five (45) days following the receipt of the completed application. When the Working Dog Committee is considering a regional club's application for an NCA Working Test, the committee considers any past violations of the regulations at its previous tests.

Select Your Judges:

Judging Panels can be made up of a number of combinations of judging levels - mentor/mentor; mentor/partner; partner/partner and mentor/provisional panels will be automatically approved. Panels made up of partner/provisional judges will require WDC approval.

Judge's Compensation:
While the majority of NCA regional clubs compensate the judges they invite to judge their NCA Water Tests and Draft Tests, the NCA Working Dog Committee is encouraging all regional clubs to adopt a compensation plan that meets at least the following minimal standards.
Since NCA judges are frequently traveling outside their geographical areas to judge events, and national specialty draft tests are becoming the norm, the NCA Working Dog Committee believes that every NCA Judge is entitled to receive a similar compensation package from a regional club. Our NCA Judges expend the same time and effort as AKC Judges, and we can show our appreciation by establishing a standard NCA compensation and hospitality plan.
To help your club establish an appropriate guideline for compensating NCA Judges, the Working Dog Committee offers the following suggestions:
• Provide meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) while the judges are in the regional club’s care. This includes: the day before the test when the judges are to be on site and the day or days of the test.
• Provide lodging the night before the test and the following night if the test runs for two days. If a judge is unable to obtain a flight until the next morning, the host club should provide lodging for the additional night. Many NCA Judges have enjoyed staying with a member of the host club or camping out along with the entrants at the test site.
• Provide travel reimbursement: gasoline mileage if a judge drives or an economical plane flight booked 21 days in advance if the distance is too far or too costly to drive. Use the current IRS Standard Mileage Rate
• If the judge is traveling a distance that requires air travel, the host club should offer to make the flight arrangement only after approval has been established with the judge that the time schedule is convenient for both the judge and the host club. Some clubs may prefer to let a judge schedule an economy flight and then provide full reimbursement.
• If air is the means of travel, a member of the host club should pick up and return a judge to the airport at arrival and departure times.
Perhaps your test chairperson might prefer to call the potential judge to verify availability for judging the assignment. If the person accepts, this would be an appropriate time to discuss transportation and housing arrangements. Follow up the phone call with a letter verifying the compensation and commitment for the test event.
• The NCA Working Dog Committee would like to see all regional clubs provide a consistent level of compensation to our NCA Judges, and we hope that this guideline helps your club adopt a standard plan. If you have any comments or questions, please call any member on the Working Dog Committee or write to the Draft Test Application person or Water Test Application person.

File Your Application

You must apply not more than 12 months and not less than 4 months prior to the date of the proposed test. When you apply to hold a working test, you must enclose the following:
• The names, addresses and telephone numbers of the Test Chairperson, the Test Secretary, and a third person from the test giving club. All must be NCA members, and a member of the regional club’s board of directors must also sign the application..
• The Provisional Judges’ Profile Forms, completed and signed by any provisional judges. Each Judge’s Profile Form must be filled out in full, including the judge’s name, address, qualifications for judging, and individual experience.
• The written guarantee that steward assistance and all equipment (other than the equipment furnished by each entrant), and other necessary provisions will be available at the test site.
• The certification that all NCA Test regulations will be followed.
• The date of the Proposed Test, the test site address, (a description of the site including a detailed site map with descriptions of the terrain and/or beach conditions must be included if the site has been used less than two times). The WDC recommends that Test dates be coordinated with neighboring Regional Clubs to avoid conflicting dates.
• The signatures of the Test Chairperson, the Test Secretary, and the third member and a board member of the Regional Club sponsoring the Test signing on behalf of the Regional Club.

Submit Water Test Applications by mail to Dwight Gorsuch

Submit Draft Test Applications by mail to Patti Pigeon

The WDC Test Applications Secretary usually communicates the WDC’s approval or rejection of the Test Application to the Test Chairperson within forty-five (45) days following the receipt of the completed application. When the Working Dog Committee is considering a regional club’s application for an NCA Test, the committee considers any past violations of the Regulations at its previous tests.

Build Participation

Once your test has been approved, it is time to spread the word with potential volunteers. stewards & entrants. Premium Lists, Newsletter Articles, formal and informal training groups are all good ways to build interest amongst potential entrants. Contact your clubs' webmaster to have the premium list posted on your Regional Club's website homepage- this will be linked directly from the NCA events calendar. Premium lists may be distributed via email, hard copy (snail mail), and club newsletters. Announcements on social media are useful to inform potential entrants when your premium list is available for download from your Regional Club's website.

The Test Committee will print a Premium List and make it available to Newfoundland owners potentially interested in entering their dogs in the proposed Test. The Premium List must include the following information:
• The date and location of the test; a detailed description of the test site describing ground surfaces, slope and other features to help entrants determine proper equipment (draft) or water conditions and the distance from shore where the average Newfoundland dog begins swimming (water); and requirements or regulations specific to the test site.
• The judges’ names.
• The entry limit, that there will be an alternate list if the entries exceed the limit and the method to be used for determining alternates as specified in Section 12: Entry Limitations.
• The beginning date for accepting entries, which should be no less than ten (10) days after the mailing date of the premium list. Be sure to list the date for NCA members and non-NCA members.
• The closing date for accepting entries.
• The approval date of the Test Regulations being used at the NCA Test.
• A statement regarding entrant’s responsibility for obtaining the NCA Test Regulations and that they are available on the NCA website..
• The name and address of the Test Secretary to whom the entries shall be sent or the link for an electronic entry..
• Paper entries must be made on an official NCA entry form containing the notice that a copy of the entered dog’s AKC, ILP, or foreign registration paper must be attached.
• Entered dogs must be 18 months of age for Draft Tests (effective 7/1/06)
• The Premium List must not be mailed/emailed before the regional club receives approval from the NCA WDC to conduct the test.

Assign Tasks

Many hands are required to hold a successful test. Hospitality can include breakfast, lunch, judges transport and accommodations and a pre- or post- test dinner. A photographer on hand to record the day is always appreciated by entrants. Equipment set-up is required. A Safety Officer needs to be on hand for the duration of the test to interact with spectators and exhibitors in a calm and efficient manner. Remember to gather a clean-up crew for the end of the day when everyone will be hot and tired. Stewards must be recruited and trained. To avoid conflicts with calling stewards, these positions should be recruited early in the training season, and stewards should know what exercise(s) they will be used for, so they can avoid training with dogs entered in those divisions. Remember to make sure that all Water Test stewards have appropriate footwear and lifevests for those in the water and boats.

Stewards assist the judges, and they may act only on the judges' instructions. Stewards will not give information or instructions to owners and entrants except as specifically instructed by a judge, and then only in such a manner that it is clear that the instructions are those of the judge. Exhibitors are not permitted to give instructions to the stewards. Any harassment of stewards must be reported immediately to the judges.

Care must be exercised to ensure the calling steward(s) are not overly familiar with a dog being tested. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
• The steward(s) has cared for the dog within the past year.
• The steward(s) has called the dog during training frequently within the past year.
• The steward(s) has trained the dog for obedience, conformation, or working events.
• In no case should a member of the owner's or handler's immediate family steward exercises for their own dog, a dog they co-own, or for one with which they are overly familiar.
• For consistency in the test, calling steward(s) should be prepared to steward for the entire test. Changes of stewards should be limited to substitution for a steward that is ill or in distress.


Confirmation Letters should be sent to all exhibitors, including information about spectators. Contact local news outlets with a press release about the event, including logistical information, as well as any specific details about spectator behavior such as on-leash unentered dogs, parking, seating availability, etc. Be sure to have a photographer on hand to record the events of the day for the club newsletter, website, Newf Tide article and other publicity.

After the closing date for entries, the Test Secretary will notify each exhibitor, at least ten days before the test, of the following information: test location (including a map and/or written directions), judging time, judges' names, exhibitor number, and any changes in the test information that occurred since the premium list was sent. If entries exceed the published entry limit, the Test Secretary will notify alternates of their position on the alternate list.

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