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Old 06-19-2019, 04:26 PM   #153
Got Wood.
Join Date: 10-29-16
Location: Stilwell, KS

Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
Current CBJ's can audit any Judges Class for content at no charge, but may not be able to actually sample meats. Earlier this year I volunteered to help with building boxes and table captain for the hands-on judging portion of a CBJ class. But I sat-in on the first half of the class just as a refresher for myself. The Reps reviewed the 2019 Rules, the Judges Handbook, had a Power Point (or .pdf) presentation which followed the Handbook, they had notes, and they paused for questions from the new Judges, and also paused to ask the Judges questions. There was a table set-up with 8 or 9 boxes for a garnish quiz which was graded and then discussed by the class.

During the second half of the class the Table Captains could only announce numbers, present for appearance, pass the boxes along for taste and tenderness judging, and collect the boxes..... we were instructed to answer NO questions, or volunteer any information. All questions were fielded by the Reps and then discussed with the class as a whole.

I noticed Monday that the CBJ Continuing Education Refresher Test is now on the revamped website, so I took it. The MCBJ Practice Test had not launched yet. The test is auto scoring, and the instructions say your score AND any missed questions will be emailed to you. I got my score, and I did miss a couple of questions, but the email did not list the missed questions so hopefully this is one of the small things they are working out. If you login to the Member section of KCBS, then go to Judges Portal you can see your contest score history and also the date and score of the practice tests. These are a good idea to take annually.

So, it seems there is standardization of the CBJ classes. Could there be more? Or more in depth? Likely so, but what is a good start? I would like to see "KCBS approved" training videos in the members section of the site. Maybe a lecture or interview format. And maybe sample tests with photographs would be helpful.

I definitely think this is a great start. However, I do think every judge should have a date of last certification and be required to re-certify on a set basis, whether it be every 2 years or whatever. If their certification date is beyond that, then they aren't a certified judge, which would tend to keep them from judging many contests. I don't know that a complete online re-certification will cure some judges, but it definitely can't hurt as a start.

Where the training breaks down most of the time is when an instructor provides their opinion as answers to some questions. Removing this opinion from the instructor is the challenge that KCBS has to help level the playing field. Again, you can't change taste buds or the quality of the turn-in, but you can at least make sure all the judges are starting from the same frame of mind, or framework, when it comes to scoring. This, I think, is what all the cooks are really looking for.
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