Test Secretary

So you agreed to be the Test Secretary for the next Earthdog Test?   Good luck. 

That is the general attitude when you first step up to volunteer.  Don't let it scare you off.   It can be a daunting job but most people can handle it.  You will be handed a box of stuff, most of it useless and told the past Secretaries will be happy to answer any questions you have.  Unfortunately, you do not know what questions to ask until it is too late.  After my first couple of experiences I decided it would be a good idea to gather together some hints that I gained through experience.  


(Updated 3/30/06)

These are some general notes and guidelines that may help make your term as an Earthdog Test Secretary a little more bearable. They are guides, not the official rules. 
For help with that read the next paragraph.

First and foremost, if at all possible, attend an Earthdog Judge Seminar before serving as a Test Secretary.  Although this Seminar is aimed at becoming an Earthdog Judge, much very useful information about putting on a test is taught at that time.  Many of the attendees will have served as TS before and can answer your questions and the AKC Rep teaching the course is always very helpful. You may not be aware of it but as Test Secretary you are the most important person there.  You are in charge of all the information that goes to AKC to award titles etc. Be wise and kind and very patient.

   When you receive the AKC packet, check the contents against the packing sheet that is included.  Make plenty of extra copies of all judging sheets, normally you receive one each which is never enough, particularly if you have Apprentice Judges sense they will need their own sheets to score the dogs judged.  Included in the packet will be several Earthdog rulebooks and a number of others concerning Discipline.  KEEP ONE EARTHDOG RULE BOOK FOR YOUR OWN USE and mark one as the “Desk Copy” or something similar, it will put out for entrants to check if they wish.  One must be available for them at all times.  In the event an “incident” happens, a hearing will have to take place and you have enough of the Discipline books so each person on hearing panel has one.   If any item listed on the packing sheet is missing, contact AKC immediately.   NOTE:  You will need your “Event Number” as assigned by AKC, it goes on some of the documents you mail in and is now required for the Premium.  If you have not received it already you can find the Event number on the packing slip.

2.   I have found it very helpful to get two 13 pocket expandable folders and use one for each day.  This keeps the information for each test and the entries separate.  Label the pockets as you see fit but I have one for each class plus a separate one for each blank judging sheet.

3.   On the first day of the test you will receive entries for the next day.  I usually put them on a clipboard reserved for that purpose.  HINT: if it is a windy day, you cannot have too many clipboards.)  Pay close attention to the “class entered” on any next-day entries you receive late in the day on the first test date.  There may be move-ups about which the handler failed to alert you.   

4.   As you get the entries, use a big marking pen and put a LARGE IQ/J/S/M as needed on the top of each entry. It is easy to misfile them using only the small print on the entry form. This is most helpful when accepting day-of-test entries.  That is when most of your errors will occur as you are pressed on all sides for all the information about anything and everything.

5.  As you input data into the computer, note any entries in more than one class, paying special attention to Intro and JE.  Using a color code will help you to spot them later.  When you are doing the running orders, it will help if they are all run first in the class that starts first and later in their other class. This will help avoid the problem of people in JE who have not had their run in Intro yet.    Also note who has more than one dog in one or more classes and separate them as much as practical. 

6.   As the entries arrive, list the dogs on the appropriate Judge’s Work Sheet.  They are different for each class offered.  Any work you can do in advance makes your job easier when the test arrives.

7.   Prepare a Judge’s Book information in a folder for each judge. You may include a “Breed List” in each book.  If they judge fills it out, this will make your final count for each breed easier.  You will need to include the number of dogs in each breed on the paperwork that you do after the test is over.

8.   After Pre-Entry is closed.  Print the running order for each class.  Note: If you use the dog’s registered name, ALSO include the Call Name.  Not many people will know who “Brainstorm’s King of Tasmania” is but everyone may know which dog “Devil” is when the Steward is looking for him.   You can print the main list ahead of time on heavy cardboard or use a wipe board, which is cheaper. This will be used by the Gate Steward to control the running order for that test.  Also print smaller lists for the Check-in table so entrants may not keep bothering you about where they are in the running order.

9.  As each of the Classes are finished, fill out Qualifying Dog Report /Earthdog Test Report

CHANGE: The Qualifying Dog Report is now called the Earthdog Test Report and the IQ class has been added to the completed forms to mail to AKC.  There is still no AKC fee for the IQ dogs but number of dogs and judge info must be completed and signed.

a.      Make sure the number in the upper right matches the first line “Starters” of the Test Secretary Certification

b.      Each Judge and the Test Sec need to sign ONLY the page with the Last Entry on it.   (It helps to “x-out” all other unused areas and after the “last dog” information.) I also mark each page as 1 of 2, 2 of 2 etc.  If you or AKC misplace one page it will be easier to determine the problem and correct it.

c.      As you fill out this sheet, double check the Judge Sheet and count the Pass/Fail.  Occasionally the Judge will accidentally mark a dog that passes as a Fail.

d.      When each test is completed, get the Running Order list from the Steward.  If there are problems with the number of dogs or who ran in each test, you may be able to resolve it using these sheets.   Make sure the Gate Stewards mark down all move-downs, absentees etc in a manner that you can understand.


10.   Make sure the Brown Page of the Judge Book is filled out.  Instructions are on the bottom of that page.

11.   Complete the Hunt Test Report (JHSEC1-90G) Fill in the hours committee members were there.  The Committee is a minimum of 5 people EXCLUDING you. Ignore “bird” references; you do not have to make “rat” comments.

12.   (See #14 & 15 below) CAREFULLY discuss any problems and complaints that may have come up during the day with the Chair and determine if they must be addressed and reported.  Note as needed on the Hunt Test form and attach any necessary documents.  If there is something that comes up but is determined not needing to be reported, include the information in your records in event it should arise at a later date.

13.   List the total number of dogs entered in Regular Classes, JE-SE-ME.   Do NOT include non-regular classes, Intro or FEO (For Exhibition Only).  Make any adjustments for “move-ups” on the second day.  Each dog should be counted only ONCE since they can run in only one regular class each day.  This “total” count determines how much money is sent to AKC.  They receive $3 for each dog.  (AKC does not receive the fee for IQ or FEO dogs, do not include them.) Be sure arrangements have been made to re-reimburse you for these funds if you pay them.   Since the final report is to be sent to AKC in a very timely manner, this may happen. 

14.   Send the Judge Book, Hunt Report and all Entry forms to AKC.  INCLUDE THE CHECK, with the Event number on it, for total dogs as determined above. Separate checks and envelopes for each day.  NOTE: Early 2004 rule changes said to retain the entry forms; a later amendment has restored the old policy. SEND IN ALL ENTRY FORMS.  AKC provides large envelopes for this, use them. THE TIME LIMIT HAS BEEN CHANGED.  It must be RECEIVED at AKC within SEVEN DAYS.

15.  If you have to make any changes from the scheduled event, include a short precise accurate note of the information as in this example:

Great Western Terrier Assn. Earthdog Test, 
Event #2004113209.                                       Event Date: Sunday, November 14, 2004

After it was noted that the JE test was starting later than scheduled on Saturday, a JE tunnel was put in place for the Sunday Test in order to make the planned event schedule more closely approximate the actual time schedule.

Dennis Broderick, Test Secretary                                                                                   Attachment 1 of 2. (if you have more than one)

16.  In the event there is any kind of biting or major occurrence (at the site or any other locale immediately associated with the event), an Incident Report must be included with the papers.  Copy the Executive Sec of AKC with the report and be sure your club has a copy.  Include all the pertinent information, including names and address of all parties, Reg Name and AKC number for any dogs.   Copy anyone mentioned.  IF THIS IS A BITING INCIDENT: The dog is IMMEDIATELY excluded from ALL AKC events.    Have the Test Chair inform them and remove the dog from the premises immediately.  The owners will receive a notice of this from AKC and they must apply to AKC for a hearing to re-admit the dog.  Just be as accurate as you can be and send the Report to the Executive Sec of AKC immediately.

17.   Keep copies of everything you send to AKC, except entry forms, for later reference if  needed.  Include a copy of your Master Entry List, which should include everything on the entry form if you can.  It will be handy next year if a past entrant submits an incomplete or incomprehensible premium.  Also include a Financial Report that you will make out for the Chair. This report should include all expenses and monies received.  Keep a couple copies of the premium.  If there were errors on that premium, highlight them so they can be corrected at the next Trial.

I have made this from my past experiences; if you have any ideas, suggestions, additions or changes, feel free to send them to me.  

Share your knowledge with the next new Secretary and make someone's Earthdog life much easier. 

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