British Dressage has put the finishing touches on its new judge education system, with the first online assessments scheduled for autumn this year.
The launch of the new system followed three years of development and would revolutionise how officials learn, develop and progress within the sport, BD said. More than 750 judges had already registered on the new system.
The bespoke online platform has been developed with German software company, which founded the paperless judging solution eDressage and the Spectator Judging app. More recently it developed the FEI Dressage Performance Dashboard.
BD said the online platform will transform the level of information that judges can access about their own performance, whether they are using it for one of the many training seminars available for Continuing Professional Development (CPD), as part of the practice tests before an exam, or the actual assessment itself. Each judge using the system will receive a colour coded report with a mark by mark, comment by comment analysis, providing feedback to aid their learning.
Under the old system, candidates had to sit three separate assessments at a designated venue on specific dates.
Now, candidates will judge 10 previously recorded tests against a benchmark set by master judges. The scores must be within acceptable ranges, ensure the class ranking is in the correct order and, just like a driving test, that they do not ‘hit the curb’ or make any major mistakes. Each candidate will receive a post-assessment report that highlights their areas of strength and outlines any development needs. In pilot tests, those sitting the online assessment achieved double the pass rates of the old system.
BD Training and Education Manager Charlotte Osborne said the key objective from the outset was to deliver an innovative, world-leading system that would not only improve the learning that judges receive, but also enhance the competitor experience, through consistent judging and high-quality feedback.
“Finalising the system has required a mammoth effort from all involved, but none of it would have been possible without the knowledge and expertise of our Judges’ Education Working Party and Committee, so we really value their input.
“Judges are critical to our sport, and we want to give them the tools to do the job to the best of their ability. We also recognise that the future of judging lies in digital systems, so it is vitally important that how we train, monitor and evaluate judges takes full advantage of the technology available.”
British Dressage CEO Jason Brautigam said the development of officials was a key part of the five-year strategy launched last year.
“We recognise that everyone learns in different ways, at different speeds, and the online platform will therefore provide a much-improved experience all round. We hope it will help to significantly raise standards in our sport, as well as encourage a culture of life-long learning and continuing professional development to make our judges the best in the world.”