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. GSP’s 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 – and all OWNERs of the GSP must be members of GSPCA at the time of the application. Certificates can be awarded retroactively and/or posthumously with proper documentation.

These awards are only offered and presented to GSPCA members in good standing and the awards will look great on your dog’s resume!

There are Three Versatility awards:

  • VC — Versatility Certificate
  • VCA — Versatility Certificate Advanced
  • VCX — Versatility Certificate Excellent

The Six venues of competition are: Conformation, Field, Hunt, Obedience/Rally, Tracking, and Agility, plus an “other category” where new sports and activities are added on a trial basis.

The Versatility Certificate (VC) is awarded to a dog who has received at least 7 points from 3 of the 7 categories, 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.

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 the different categories. At least one point must come from the field or Hunt categories. Points can be earned from any of the 6 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 in 1998! 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:

  • 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 a combination of the Rally Master (RM) and Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE) titles or the THDD Therapy Dog award
  • Agility Master Excellent (MX) or Agility Master Preferred (MXP) or the equivalent Jumpers titles (MXJ or MJP) or the Flyball ONYX title or both of the Dock Diving DMX and AMX titles together
  • Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) or Variable Surface Tracker (VST) or either of the urban or wilderness Search and Rescue (SAR-U or SAR-W) or either of the Scent Work titles SWE or SHDEE


View The Versatility Award Recipients Now!


David Nauer
620 Struthers Loop
Colorado Springs, CO 80921