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Certified Judge's Program

What to Expect

Prior to submitting an application for Candidacy, all prospective candidates are expected to:

  • Have at least three experiences on a judging room floor within the previous five years. An experience may include acting as a judge, fanner, scribe, holder, or even observer, if observation is exclusive of other simultaneous responsibilities such as quilt show chair or director. Hanging or taking down a quilt show does not satisfy the requirement for continuous dedicated attention to the judging process for an entire judging day. One of the three experiences must be with a NQA certified judge.
  • Have judged at least 35 quilts at a single show in the previous five years.
  • Be a member of the National Quilting Association.

The certification process involves three separate steps:

  • Submission of the completed application and enrollment fees. Once the Certified Judge Coordinator receives the application the Candidate will be sent a list of in-depth judging and technique questions which are referred to as the Paperwork, a Credential Questionnaire, and additional Program information.
  • Completion of the Paperwork portion of the certification
  • Completion of the Panel Review.  This generally takes place during show week.

General Requirements

  1. The enrollment period for a Candidate is up to five years, during which time the Paperwork and Panel Review should be successfully completed.
  2. Candidates must maintain their NQA membership during their enrollment period.
  3. Candidates are required to serve as judges' aides for at least two full days at two different NQA Annual Quilt Shows: once before submitting their Paperwork and again before their Panel Review. Candidates are highly encouraged to aide at all NQA Annual Shows during enrollment.
  4. The two-day "Introduction to Quilt Judging" seminar is highly recommended to all candidates. This seminar is offered at all NQA shows and seminar information is to be found in the Show Registration Brochure and in the online registration pages on this website in the Spring prior to the Annual Show.
  5. Candidates are encouraged to actively pursue judging and aiding jobs for as many different judged shows as possible. These jobs are one form of educational opportunity.
  6. When pursuing jobs at judging venues, a Candidate may use the phrase "currently enrolled in the NQA Judges' Certification Program," but may NOT represent themselves as NQA Judges or as being sponsored by the National Quilting Association.

To obtain an enrollment application, please contact the NQA office. The completed application and the enrollment fee ($125 U.S. Residents; $150 Non-US Residents) should be returned to:

National Quilting Association, Inc.
ATTN: Certified Judges's Program
P. O. Box 12190
Columbus, OH 43212-0190