Open forum to kick-off RHS show-judging process review

The RHS has announced that it will revamp its show-judging process following criticism from exhibitors.

A review panel was convened after complaints from designers over poor feedback, judging conflicts of interest and arcane marking systems in place at the Chelsea Flower Show.

The RHS will host an open forum in January for interested parties.

RHS director Sue Biggs said: "We will make changes. The review is of worldwide importance to sponsors and designers."

Council member and garden designer James Alexander-Sinclair added: "The basic process is good but everything needs to be revised - selection, assessing, judging, moderation and feedback."

The panel, which includes Elizabeth Banks, Stephen Bennett, Sue Biggs, Sir Anthony May, Roger Platts, Alexander-Sinclair and Katie Shelmerdine, is run by Robert Hillier.

Biggs said: "We are looking at how we tune the system." A points system rather than the current judges' show of hands could replicate that introduced to the floral marquee at RHS shows two years ago, she suggested.

The RHS will trial any changes at May's show before full introduction in 2013.

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