Judges’ Certification

Click here to view our list of active NAN-certified Judges.
Click here to order the NAN publication, A Needleart Judge’s Reference.

The National Academy of Needlearts offers certification for those interested in developing skills as a professional judge, juror, or critic of the needlearts. This program takes from two to three  years to complete and begins with the candidate attending the Judges’ Certification Workshop held prior to the annual Assembly for Embroiderers. The next Workshop is scheduled to be held March 15-17, 2023.

Judges’ Certification candidates are required to attend Judges’ Certification workshops, review a variety of books relating to needlearts, participate in judging on a trial basis in various venues, and submit written documentation of their work, written critiques, and complete stitched samples of some techniques. Candidates are mentored throughout the certification process. Part of this program includes an open-book written examination followed by a final interview with the Judges’ Certification Committee.

The Judges’ Certification Program is open to any candidate who meets one of the following requirements:

  • Year 3 Teachers’ Certification from NAN
  • Teacher Certification from another recognized needleart organization
  • Degree in fine arts
  • Comparable qualifications and needlework expertise

The Judges’ Certification Program also provides candidates with an opportunity to become a Master Judge or an Exhibit Administrator’s Associate. For the Master Judge program the candidate must be a certified judge with at least one recertification. An Exhibit Administrator’s Associate is a person who works with exhibit administrators and assists in the administration of needlework exhibits and shows including the hanging of needlework exhibits.

Anyone may audit the Judges’ Certification Workshop. It is open to those who are interested in gaining insight into the judging process and/or to possibly improve their needlework by developing a better understanding of what judges consider when evaluating needlework.

For additional information about any aspect of the Judges’ Certification Program or about auditing the Judges’ Certification Workshop, please contact the Director of Judges’ Certification.