Clerking School Authorization


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.


Written requests for Clerking School authorization must be submitted to the Clerking Chairperson (John 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 FAQs

The links below will provide answers to some common questions, as well as forms to be used in the process.

Where do I start?

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.

What happens if I can't find a Clerking School to attend?

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.

Why do I have to take a test to become a Licensed Master Clerk (or maintain current status)?

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.

How many assignments are required to be licensed as a Certified Clerk?

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.)

How long is the license good for?

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.

How many calls must I give to call cats to the ring?

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.

How important are the markings that I make in the catalog (ribbons hung, color class changes, absentees, etc) that I give to the Judge?

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.

How can I insure that the ring is run the way the Judge would like?

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.

After the steward has cleaned the cages, should I leave the doors open or closed?

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.

When calling finals, how important is it for the numbers to be called in order?

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.