The CFA Clerking Program

Program History

The CFA Clerking Program was officially initiated at the suggestion of CFA Attorney Robert Winn at the January 1967 CFA Executive Board Meeting, with Regional Vice-President Will Thompson being appointed as the first Chairperson. In subsequent years, many individuals have served as the CFA Clerking Chair, being appointed by the current CFA President.


The Chief Ring clerk is the one of the most important positions in the Judging ring. The Chief Ring clerk acts as the interface between the Judge and the exhibitors, and manages the operation of the ring under the Judge’s direction.

The Chief Ring Clerk supervises the stewards in cleaning the Judging cages, putting up ring numbers, calling cats to be judged, and marking the catalog as the Judge hangs ribbons and rosettes indicating their awards. Chief Ring Clerks check the Judge’s awards sheets for agreement with the catalog as marked by the Ring Clerks, and resolves discrepancies with the Judge.

Each show must also have a Master Clerk to consolidate the awards from the Judge’s sheets for all the rings, into a Master Catalog. The Master Clerk rechecks the Judge’s sheets for completeness and accuracy. One of the functions of the Master Clerk is to detect any mechanical errors made by the Judge in which the Chief Ring Clerk did not catch, and resolve them with the Judge before the Judge completes Judging, or leaves the ring. The Master Clerk also makes corrections requested by the exhibitors in the Master Clerk Catalog, which is the official record of the Show. After completion of the show, the Master Clerk Catalog and associated sheets are sent to Central Office by the Show Secretary.

Clerking Program Manuals and Forms

A Clerking manual and forms are provided to assist clerks in performing their functions, such as the Preliminary Finals Form (forms are usually obtained from the Master Clerk in Charge, or Show Secretary). Clerking contracts and Evaluation Forms are provided in the Show package sent to the club, and can be asked for at the Master Clerk area, or Show Secretary. You can also download a copy of the CFA Clerking Evaluation Form. The current clerking manual can be downloaded from the CFA website (below), or purchased through the Online Catalog.

Here are some helpful worksheets, for tracking requirements at each level of the clerking program:

Clerking Program Requirements

Individuals who are interested in assisting the Judge in running a ring efficiently and effectively, are encouraged to advance their way through the CFA Clerking Program. To become a licensed CFA Clerk, individuals must complete the following requirements:

Detailed requirements for becoming a Licensed CFA Clerk are listed in the CFA Clerking Manual and the Clerking Requirements document.

Rules may vary with respect to the amount of experience required in the various Regions of CFA.

Questions regarding CFA’s Clerking Program may be directed to the Clerking Chairperson.

For a complete copy of the CFA Clerking Program Rules, please contact:

The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc.
260 East Main Street
Alliance, OH 44601
Tel: 330-680-4070
Fax: 330-680-4633

Clerking Schools

Upcoming Clerking Schools


Friday, October 27, 2023 – Surabaya, Indonesia
Location:  BG Junction Function Room, Surabaya, Indonesia
Hours:  09:00 AM – 04:00 PM 
Cost:  Rp. 250.000 (includes coffee break)
Open:  to all, limit 25 students
Instructor:  Indra Faizal
Entry:  Fadly Fuad, phone +6281218620658,
Closing date: October 20, 2023
Sponsor:  Indra Faizal


Sunday, October 29, 2023 – Online Zoom School from your home
Hours: 10:00 AM – 04:30 PM (EST)
Cost: $15
Open: to all, limit 30 students
Instructor: Bethany Colilla
Entry: Bethany Colilla, phone 614-557-9471,
Closing date: October 24, 2023
Sponsor: Bethany Colilla
 Clerking School Authorization

A. General.
To be accredited, CFA Clerking Schools must be authorized by the CFA Clerking Chair, as well as notifying the CFA Clerking Administrator at Central Office. Clerking Schools must be sponsored, and taught by approved instructors. The school may be sponsored by a club, a CFA Regional Director, or individual instructor. The school may be restricted to only members of the sponsoring club or region, or may be open to all interested students who wish to attend.

CFA Clerking Schools may be conducted by a currently licensed Master Clerk working towards advancement to MCI (Master Clerk Instructor), a currently licensed Master Clerk Instructor, or an Approved Allbreed or Specialty CFA Judge.

There is a $25.00 processing fee to register a Clerking School. Requests for Clerking School authorization received 15-29 days prior to the date of the school are subject to an additional $75.00 late fee. Requests for Clerking School authorization received less than 15 days prior to the date of the school will not be approved.

B. Authorization.
Written requests for Clerking School authorization must be submitted to the Clerking Chairperson (Bethany Colilla) and CFA Clerking Department by either the sponsor or instructor no later than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the school. The authorization request shall include all of the following items of information:

  • School registration fee of $25.00 (If applicable, additional late fee of $75.00)
  • Sponsor of the school (club, Regional Director, Instructor)
  • Date of the school
  • Location of the school (city and facility)
  • Name of the Instructor-in-Charge
  • Name of assistant instructor (if any)
  • Scheduled hours for the school
  • Will school be restricted to members of the sponsoring club or open to all?
  • Fee to be charged each student (will food be included?)
  • Entry person for the school
  • Person to contact for information regarding the school
  • Closing date for the school


Frequently Asked Questions:

Clerking Program

You can do several things: you can attend a Clerking School (which is one of the requirements), and/or you can ask the Show Manager (or clerk) if you may sit with a Chief Ring Clerk at a show. You do not have to do the Clerking School first, but in order to be advanced, you must attend the Clerking School.

You can contact the Clerking Committee Chair or CFA Clerking Administrator at Central Office to inquire if anyone is planning on putting on a school. If not, see if you can find a Master Clerk Instructor to put on a clerking school in your area. Normally, clerking schools are done in conjunction with a show.

The test gives the individual questions on newer show rules, overlooked requirements, or common misconceptions about the clerking program. It provides a refresher for most of the more experienced Clerks, and enables them to guide and instruct newer clerks on some of these concepts.

The current requirements for a Certified Clerk license calls for the candidate to complete 3 assistant ring clerk assignments under 3 different licensed Chief Ring Clerks. Then, act as a solo Chief Ring Clerk for 6 times under 4 different Judge’s. Clerking evaluations must be done for all assignments during this timeframe (assists as well as solo assignments). The last 2 evaluations must also be done by the Master Clerk in charge. Confirm that all evaluations have been received by Central Office, and pay the biennial clerking fee. Upon receipt of payment, you will be sent the exam, and once it is passed, you will become a licensed Certified Clerk! (For more information on Clerking requirements, see the current Clerking Manual and the current Clerking Requirements.)

A Clerk’s license is valid for a period of two years. Tests are administered in the even number years during the period of April thru August.

CFA Show Rules state that a cat should be presented to the ring the first time it is called. The second and third calls are ‘courtesy’ calls, and are not required. Some Judge’s may have an early flight, or otherwise may need to leave early, and may request a “one call” for all cats. However, the norm is two calls, with the third call being the absolute ‘last’ call. If an exhibitor is not in the ring, the Clerk should determine if the cat is Absent, owned by another clerk, or owned by someone in the Show Committee. If it is, the Clerk should make an effort to find the person and advise them of the call. Additionally, an exhibitor may have multiple entries in the specific class, so make sure they are not just bringing up the rest of the class.

The function of the Clerk is to certify that the Judge’s color class sheets are accurate when they are turned in to the Master Clerk. If you have marked your catalog incorrectly, or have not checked the Judge’s sheets against what you have posted, then you have no way of certifying that the Judge’s records are correct.

Approach the Judge prior to the show start, and ask if there are any special requests regarding the arrangements of the cats. Some Judge’s may turn the numbers down themselves, but most leave it up to the clerk. The Clerk is the “Executive Assistant” to the Judge, so the best way to find out how the Judge wants things done is to ask.

The best method for insuring that the cages have been cleaned, is to have the steward close the door. When you are ready to begin calling up the next set of cats, OPEN the door once the card is placed on top, so that the exhibitor does not have to fumble around to open it while putting in their cats. It is somewhat difficult for some exhibitors to hold a large cat, and attempt to open the cage door at the same time. Common courtesy rules: make it easy for the exhibitor to get their cat in the cage. Also, when a cage is not being used, make sure the cage door stays CLOSED.

There is a lot going on at a show: exhibitors trying to get their cats groomed or into class judging, spectators asking questions, as well as other activities. When a final is being called, the majority of people listen to hear if their number is called in order, so as to not have to listen to the entire group of cats. Although it is not a requirement, it is COMMON COURTESY when calling numbers to a final, that you call the numbers IN ORDER. It is not that difficult, nor does it take that much time to arrange them or write them in order.