Representing Taxidermy in the UK

CREDIT SYSTEM - explained

The Guild of Taxidermists runs the only qualification for taxidermists within the UK. The system is built around a certain amount of credits that a member can earn. There are only two types of credits: STANDARD credits and HIGHER credits.

Standard Credits

The judging is conducted by a team of qualified members who will examine the work and pass comment on anatomical accuracy, quality of workmanship and finishing. If the piece is of a suitable standard, then a Standard credit is awarded. 

Higher Credits

Specimens need to be of an exceptionally high standard in the following categories:

  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • Fish or Reptiles
  • Game Heads
Specimens will be judged by a panel on the same basis as above and then thrown open to the membership present for comments. If no valid objections are received, then the award of Higher credit is given. 

Rules for Judging Higher Credits

  1. Work to be judged must be solely the entrant's own work.  Evidence in the form of images to prove this should accompany the work or be available for the judges.
  2. Commercial forms, even if substantially altered, are not allowed in this category.
  3. It is compulsory to include a portfolio.  

It is possible for a Higher credit to be awarded at any time, for any piece that is judged to be of a high enough standard. Opportunities to present specimens for judging are given at each of the Conferences (AGMs) and at seminars. Higher credits can only be awarded at a Conference.

Accredited

Accredited TaxidermistAccredited is a qualification that can be gained by showing an all-round capability in the field of taxidermy. To achieve this status, a taxidermist must present for judging a total of six mounts covering the following three categories:

  • Birds 
  • Mammals 
  • Fish / Reptiles / Amphibians

Six Standard credits (provided there is at least one credit in each of the three categories) will earn an Accredited status.

Specialist

Specialist MemberThe taxidermist must present for judging six specimens over a period of time within one of the following five categories with the aim of becoming a Specialist in that category:

  • Birds - includes at least one raptor, one game bird and one passerine
  • Mammals - includes one large mammal of fox size or larger, one medium and one small
  • Fish / Reptiles - includes one game fish/snake, one sea fish/lizard and one other
  • Game Heads - includes one large, one medium and one small game head
  • Freeze Drying

Again the specimens are judged as above and once six Standard credits are earned in, for example, the bird category, that taxidermist is then awarded ‘Bird Specialist’. The same can be achieved for each category.  

The credits awarded in Accredited membership can be carried over to earn Specialist membership.

Master

Master TaxidermistThe highest qualification in the Guild is that of Master. To achieve such an award, a taxidermist must gain any of three Higher credits within the same of the following categories:

  • Birds
  • Mammals
  • Fish or Reptiles
  • Game Heads

Three Higher credits in one category will achieve Master status for that category. For example, three Higher credits for bird mounts will earn the title of Master Bird Taxidermist.

Novice

This indicates  a taxidermist who is still learning and working toward a qualification.

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