What are experience points?

Experience Points are a mechanism we use to model judging skill gained through experience. They are used in conjunction with exam scores to determine judge rank. There are two types of experience points (judging and non-judging). The primary way judges gain judging experience points is through practical judging experience at competitions. Non-judging points can be earned in a number of ways, generally through service to the BJCP, administrative support at competitions and exams, and education. At least half of all experience points required for rank advancement must come from judging experience points.

There is often confusion about the original intent of judging experience points, and what they actually represent. They were never intended as a form of compensation for work performed. They were meant to be an abstract measure of skill learned through practical experience during judging, including interaction with other judges and the competition experience. Points are not earned for each beer or flight judged. 

Note that the concept is experience points, not points. We are tracking experience, not attendance. BJCP founder Pat Baker described the concept as a means to measure what experience one might gain by participating in events and thus expand one’s own judging abilities.  This is fully in agreement with the BJCP’s purpose of recognizing beer judging ability. Better judging is the goal, not points or rank.