There are seven Regional Judging Panels which administer the AOC judging system in their respective regions. The Regional Registrars of these Regional Judging Panels, together with the AOC Registrar General of Judging comprise the AOC Judging & Awards Standing Committee. Some of the Regional Panels have established Sub-regional Panels for logistical reasons. These Sub-regional Panels, where they exist, are under the management of the Regional Registrar and operate as authorised by the Regional Registrar according to the rules of the AOC.

 Duties of the Registrar-General of Judging:

 a.   The Registrar-General of Judging shall be responsible for administering all matters affecting judging and the Regional Judging Panels, and shall chair all meetings of the Judging and Awards Standing Committee where possible.

 b.   Where the Registrar-General of Judging chairs any meeting of Judges, he shall have a deliberative vote only. The Registrar-General of Judging shall be responsible for:
  1.   Determining and approving applications for Council awards;
  2.   Keeping records on all judging matters;
  3.   The conduct of the correspondence in relation to judging matters;
  4.   Keeping a due and proper record of all awards granted by the Council;
  5.   The maintenance of judging standards and the facilitation of a uniform judge training system.

A number of judging methods have been employed over the years and standards have been, and continue to be, constantly reviewed to allow for new developments.  Since January 1999, all orchids are judged by general appreciation rather than the former regimented system of points for certain features of the bloom.  A panel of at least five fully accredited judges is required to make an award.  The panel then passes the application, photos etc on to the Australian Orchid Council's Registrar General via the state Deputy. Awards are now shown thus:  FCC/AOC (year).

The following are the AOC Award categories:

FCC First Class Certificate 85 points or more of possible 100
AM Award of Merit 80 to 85 points
HCC Highly Commended Certificate 75 to 80 points
AD Award of Distinction awarded for distinctive attributes e.g. colour
CBM Certificate of Botanical Merit  
ACE Award of Cultural Excellence 85 points or more of possible 100
ACM Award of Cultural Merit 80 to 85 points
ACC Award of Cultural Commendation 75 to 80 points
ASR Award of Special Recognition  

Each year, the various panels nominate their choice for the AOC Awards of the Year in four categories from those orchids awarded in the previous calendar year.  The categories are:

AOC Orchid Hybrid of the Year           view awards
AOC Species Orchid of the Year         view awards
AOC Award of Distinction of the Year view awards 
AOC Culture Award of the Year          view awards

Copies of award images of these are circulated to each panel for voting.  The finalists are published in Orchids Australia magazine in August.  The winners are announced at the Annual General Meeting of the AOC, usually in September or October. Winners of awards since 1966 may be viewed on this site. View now

Growers who wish to have their plants judged for any AOC award should make the necessary contact with their Regional Registrar of Judges (Contact info.). Each region (currently based on states) has its own Regional Registrar, and in the larger states, there are to be found several Sub-Regional Registrars who deputize for the Regional Registrar. All award applications are sent to the Registrar General via the Regional Registrar for processing.
It is possible for a grower to present a plant for an award, and to present the same plant at a later date for consideration for a higher award.