May I start by saying what a privilege it is to have been asked to take on the role of Judging Manager. I feel extremely honoured and look forward to continuing the work of Nigel. I can assure you all that whilst we are not perfect Nigel has left us in a good situation.
I have met with the Visual Caption Head, Mark Nicholson, and the Interim Chair of Performance Portfolio, Paul Cartwright. During this meeting, I have outlined my thoughts and vision for both 2018 and beyond. We have left the meeting with a robust strategy for 2018-2020. This commences with the Members Open Forum on 3rd February, where I hope we will hear the views and opinions of the membership and the Judges.
My biggest aim is to provide more transparency with regards to the judging system and the judges. I intend to breakdown the traditional barriers that have existed between the member units and the judging team. I will be calling on the member units for both their opinions and assistance in making the system and the team as approachable and accountable as possible.
I can understand that for the bands and their members it may appear that the judging team have become complacent in what they do. Let me assure you all that this is not the case. However, to ensure this, I have today notified all judges, including myself and the Visual Caption Head, that all judge’s accreditation has been withdrawn and all judges will be required to regain their full accreditation prior to being rostered to any judging assignment. Please accept that this will not simply be a rubber-stamping exercise. We, the judges, owe it to the marching members to strive for perfection just as they do in the pursuits.
During the coming season I intend for all judges to be continually monitored and held accountable with regards to both numbers management and quality of commentary.
During 2018 we intend to instigate a complete redevelopment of our judging system. This WILL be presented for acceptance at the National Conference in November. Of course, you will be kept abreast of its development as we progress. This is naturally an area for discussion on 3rd February.
Finally, I would like to let you know that my door is always open, and I will always listen to each one of you as we continue with the fantastic activity. We may not always agree and, in a strange way, that’s how it should be. If we all agreed all the time the activity would be easy and its not meant to be easy. That’s why we all love it so much.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible on Saturday and throughout the year.