KENNEL CLUB AGM 2018
Report from Kennel Club Chairman, Simon Luxmoore
On behalf of the Board, I’m pleased to report on the activities of the Kennel Club since its last Annual General Meeting in May 2017. This report complements the Annual Report which was sent to you prior to this meeting.
You will hopefully have seen in the introduction to the annual report, that there has been a complete reorganisation of the Kennel Club staff in the last six months, and I would like to provide the members with further information on this.
This review of the organisation structure has been carried out to ensure that the Kennel Club is able to face future risks and challenges and modernise and simplify the way it works. This was the culmination of the project, started in 2015, when the Board revised the strategic objectives and assessed how the Kennel Club’s products and services align themselves with each objective.
The project has resulted in the introduction of a leaner, more functional way of working and the re-structure was the final piece in the jigsaw. The Board has committed to make an investment in a Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM for short, for the Kennel Club. The spend on CRM, and the need to modernise and re-shape the organisation was even more appropriate at this time, as we must be ready to optimise the benefits and opportunities of CRM.
The CRM project involves investment to update information technology within the Kennel Club. However, I can assure members that we are using this opportunity to maximise the potential for the new systems, by tying together this project with both the Judges Competency Framework and the recently launched Judges’ Critiques website. The positive response from both exhibitors and judges alike since the launch of this latest facility has been remarkable. Now approaching 900 people have signed up to this facility during the first seven working days and judges and exhibitors alike have expressed their appreciation to the Kennel Club for providing a free-to-access, easily-found public forum on which critiques can be promptly uploaded and read.
Amalgamation of the CRM project and the Judges Competency Framework has allowed for price structure changes, to offer a new lower fee for those who only wish to award CCs to one breed. The IT start date for the JCF has been pushed back to the summer of 2019 to ensure the best return on the investment, but nevertheless clubs can start to schedule breed appreciation days and arrange mentoring sessions from the start of 2019.
We have held regular Q&As around the country about the JCF, as well as drop in sessions at a number of forthcoming general championship shows. We have listened to feedback on many areas of the framework and made changes accordingly.
We are extremely grateful to the 14 pilot breeds’ clubs who are now coming to the end of trialing the new breed appreciation days and multiple choice breed exams and mentoring. Their hard work and feedback has been much appreciated by the JCF working party. An incredible amount of work has been achieved by the working party and the professional staff in the last six months to get us to the current position and they are to be applauded for this.
Following the restructure of the Kennel Club staff organisation mentioned earlier, we have now turned our attention to a complete review of our sporting governance, which is being led by your Vice Chairman, Steve Croxford. This will encompass both the processes and the committees themselves. We have already discussed this as a Board, and now the terms of reference for a wider review of sports governance will be put to the Board at our July meeting.
Another area where changes are shortly to take place, albeit this time required of us rather than necessarily of our own choosing, is of course the new GDPR changes.
Some of you may already be aware that very shortly a new Data Protection law will be in force in the UK – the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR which will replace the current Data Protection Act.
The GDPR will have such a wide application to all of us as data obviously touches almost every area of day to day life. Greater protection of individual privacy is at the heart of GDPR and I don’t think anyone would argue with that as an important objective given modern technology.
Whilst the general principles of data protection will remain the same, there are broad implications and challenges both in terms of compliance but also in the use and value of data being shared with trusted partners such as Agria and Purina.
We have been following the messages given out by the Regulator, the Information Commissioner, in doing what we can to be GDPR compliant. We have a varied data catchment and for the moment have to manage legacy IT systems until we can move to the more manageable and up to date CRM system I referred to earlier. Compliance will always be a work in progress rather than a finite project.
We are ensuring that our staff have awareness training, data audits, updating online consents and compiling a comprehensive Privacy Notice. We will shortly be providing all members with further details for your information and reassurance.
We have also been providing some guidance to help our registered clubs and societies – because although the intention of the GDPR is laudable enough – the application and compliance issues do represent a challenge and in some respects are adding another overlay in documentation and regulation.
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GDPR is ultimately part of best practice for any organisation, and this was also precisely what we had in mind when we introduced the new Kennel Club Code of Conduct earlier this year. The code is addressed to all Kennel Club members, KC committee members and KC volunteers, and sits alongside the already-established Kennel Club Code of Ethics for breeders who register litters, Code of Best Practice for Kennel Club Judges, Codes of Conduct for participants at Kennel Club licensed events, as well as codes in respect of the welfare and safety of dogs.
We very much appreciate that you, the members, committee members and volunteers do sterling work on behalf of the Club, and overwhelmingly uphold the principles enshrined in the code’s various clauses. However, we felt that it was important to encapsulate these principles formally for the benefit of everyone who chooses to take on these roles in the future. I warmly encourage all of you to familiarise yourself with this on our website if you have not already done so.
Whilst I appreciate that Miss Lanning wishes to bring this up under Item 19 of today’s agenda, we had already planned to inform members that a working party has been set up following concerns from individual breeds regarding the significant rise in colour not recognised or ‘CNR’ registrations, notably for the Pug, Bulldog and French Bulldog
This group is comprehensively reviewing the context around CNR puppy registrations and what potential actions the Kennel Club could take to address the concerns and issues raised by breed representatives.
The following remit was set for the group:
• To develop a system for recording exactly what colour each puppy is for CNR litter registrations to enable the Kennel Club to build up data on registrations of this type.
• The need to monitor those statistics for future decision making.
• To develop stronger messaging around purchase and ownership of CNR puppies to hopefully impact future breeding and owning decisions and primarily to inform puppy buyers at the transfer stage.
• The importance of educating the public about the correct colours via the KC website and other means.
As a result of the group’s work so far, breeders are now required to state the exact colour of the CNR puppies at the time of registration and these are recorded on the database. The Kennel Club is gathering CNR puppy statistics which are being analysed and this analysis will be ongoing so that the Kennel Club can get a clearer picture of the situation.
The Kennel Club has also added advice to the Find A Puppy section of its website entitled ‘What colour should my puppy be?’ which aims to encourage puppy seekers to buy a puppy of a standard colour. In addition to this, similar wording has been added to the current registration colours area of each breed in the Breed Information Centre part of the website.
The group has acknowledged the complexities surrounding CNR registration. However, it continues to work to consider appropriate measures that could be taken and therefore a report is being developed which will be presented to the Kennel Club Board with a view to seeing what further can be done about this complex issue in consultation with the breeds most affected.
This year’s Crufts was a superb success, as Gerald will tell you shortly, with a record gate for the second consecutive year. One of those in attendance was the Kennel Club’s President, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent. Prince Michael has given great support to us in recent years, demonstrating a great willingness to attend not only Crufts, but also Discover Dogs in London. We are extremely grateful for this ongoing support of the Kennel Club’s work.
Finally, I am very pleased to advise the members that our registration figures for the first quarter of 2018 continue to go from strength to strength, and have risen by over 4 per cent from the same period in 2017. This follows an increase of over 15,000 registrations last year.
I hope that this report, combined with the information previously circulated to members in the Kennel Club Annual Report gives members an insight into the wide variety of work which the staff and committees of the Kennel Club are undertaking at this time.