What Are the Versatility Awards? And...What Is the Versatility Awards Program?

This is an exclusive award given by the German Shorthaired Pointer club of America to members of the GSPCA for their achievement in obtaining titles and other achievements in the many different venues that AKC offers! The Award was created to encourage members to expand their participation in the many different activities that are recognized within this program.

The Versatility Certificates can be earned on achievements in the following venues: Conformation, Field, Hunt, Obedience/Rally, Tracking, Agility, and a new “other” category for achievements that do not fit the other prior areas. This program is a tiered approach and will encourage the single focused enthusiast who has only participated in one activity to try out the many other and different activities that a GSP can do!

A system of point values has been established based on the titles that can be earned in each of these venues (refer to the chart of qualifications.) 

A bit of history:
The original program represented by the VCX started in 1998. Two additional levels were added in 2006. A third major revision effective 1 October 2016 added a seventh category and greatly expanded set of activities. The program’s intent is to offer a meaningful, achievable, and verifiable recognition that the club can embrace. If the title is too easy, it isn’t meaningful. Even the lowest level title should challenge the owner so that, when earned, the title is treasured!

So how do I start?
The owner must apply for this title. This application form is available here. The GSPCA Versatility Chairman will maintain a central record keeping function to track the history of this title so that the winners, over time, are recorded in the official GSPCA records. GSPs with accomplishments earned before this program was created are eligible for the award. Members wishing to recognize dogs must file the application and (if not available on the AKC web site) provide documentation on the dog’s achievements. The date of the submission of the request will determine the criteria used to determine if a GSP is eligible – not the date of the title -- this means that grandfathering will only happen against the rules in effect when the submission is made. All OWNERS (Owner/Co-Owner) of the GSP must be GSPCA members in good standing at the time of the application. Certificates can be awarded retroactively and/or posthumously with proper documentation.

There are Three Versatility awards:

  • the VC  which is the  Versatility Certificate
  • the VCA which is the Versatility Advanced Certificate
  • the VCX which is the TOP Title:  Versatility Excellent Certificate

Seven venues of competition are: Conformation, Field, Hunt, Obedience/Rally, Tracking, Agility, and Other.

The GSPCA Versatility Certificate (VC) is awarded to a dog who has received at least 7 points from 3 of the 7 venues, including at least one 4 point or greater achievement from one of the categories. Any of the 7 venues could contribute to the points, but at least one venue must include a 4 point or higher award. At least one point must come from the Field or Hunt categories (and can include the GSPCA RD or RDX certifications).

The GSPCA Versatility Advanced Certificate (VCA) requires 11 points from 4 of the 7 venues, including at least two 4 point or higher achievements from two different categories. At Least one point must come from the field or Hunt categories (and can include the GSPCA RD or RDX certifications). Points can be earned from any of the 7 categories. Since four areas are required, some regard the VCA more difficult than the VCX.

The GSPCA Versatility Certificate Excellent (VCX) is considered the TOP TITLE! This is the “original” program that started the Versatile awards! It is not point based like the VC and the VCA. It requires a dog to achieve three titles from three of the following venues. At least one of the three venues must be either Hunt or Field – if not the dog must also achieve a minimum of a one point equivalent achievement (as listed in the table of points) from the Field or Hunt categories, and can include a GSPCA Water Test Certificate (other than the NRD):

  • Champion (CH)
  • Master Hunter (MH) or Master Hunter Retrieving (MRH)
  • Amateur Field Champion (AFC) or Field Champion (FC)
  • Utility Dog (UD) or Preferred Utility Dog (PUTD) or Distinguished Therapy Dog (THDD) or Rally Advanced Excellent Three (RAE3)
  • Master Agility Excellent (MX) or Master Agility Excellent Preferred (MXP) or the equivalent Jumpers titles (MXJ or MJP), or Flyball ONYX (ONYX)
  • Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) or Variable Surface Tracker (VST) or Search and Rescue Urban (SAR-U) or Search and Rescue Wilderness (SAR-W)



David Nauer
620 Struthers Loop
Colorado Springs, CO 80921

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