Type classification provides an independent assessment of cows in your herd reviewing the strengths and weaknesses to enhance longevity, health and welfare. It provides an overall classification score for your heifers and cows, which can substantially increase their value.

The linear classification is an objective assessment of how the animal compares to breed average for each of the 14 traits. The composite classification is a more subjective assessment with higher scores given to more desirable attributes. The composite scores are given a weighting before being added together to give a final score.

When buying a bull at a sale it is usually not possible to see its dam, so seeing how the female has been classified is a good indication of how good it is and what maternal traits will be passed to its offspring.

Look out for the final score and ranking – from poor to excellent – which is appended to the animal’s name and made visible on pedigree certificates, Breedplan records and sales catalogues.

The NBDC Type Classification Scheme currently evaluates over 130,000 dairy and beef animals every year.

The NBDC classifiers operate an internationally recognised appraisal system which is used by the AI industry in the British Isles to provide reliable type proofs.

 See your cows through fresh eyes
 Classifiers score 14 individual ‘linear’ traits
 Insight enables better corrective breeding decisions to be made
 Identify the top percentage of the herd on type to breed your replacements from
 Helps breed in good functional conformation and reduces unnecessary rearing costs
 Highly graded animals can have a considerably higher value than their non-classified counterparts

The classifier does not require you to:
 Wash or clip the animals
 Lead them on a halter
 Show them full of milk

Final score and grade

Classification involves the appraisal of an animal in comparison to the ideal. An overall score and grade are awarded, according to the following scale:

The maximum final score attributed to an animal depends on its number of calving:

Breeds assessed

The NBDC Classification Team assess multiple breeds of cattle across the UK and Channel Islands. These include:

Beef breeds
• Beef Shorthorn
• Dexter
• Gloucester
• Irish Moiled
• Longhorn
• Simmentals
• South Devons
• Red Ruby Devon
• Welsh Black
• British White

Dairy breeds:
• Ayrshire
• British Friesian
• Brown Swiss
• Dairy Shorthorn
• Guernsey Island
• Guernsey UK
• Holstein
• Jersey Island
• Jersey UK
• Montbeliarde


How do I book a visit?

If you are interested in having your herd assessed please contact Jackie Clarke on 01923 695208 or for further information please ring Meurig James on 07860438510. Alternatively get in contact with the Hereford Cattle Society.

Who invoices me?

The Hereford Cattle Society will invoice you.

What is the benefit of doing this?

The benefit to you as a breeder is that you will have a fresh pair of eyes independently assessing your herd against the standard. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses in your cows, offering you reassurance or further direction regarding your breeding programme. When buying a bull or heifer it is not always possible to see it’s parents, especially at sales, Linear scoring offers additional information on the animals ancestry.

When is the best time to do this?

At a convenient time after two months post calving when there are enough animals in your herd to classify. It is best to call Jackie in advance to ensure availability for the assessment.

How often do I need to do this?

Depends on the individual but ideally once a year.

What animals do I need to do this?

Cows and heifers.

What do I receive after the classification?

An official classification score for each animal inspected, endorsed by the classifier on all relevant registration certificated.

Full assessment report on each animals together with a choice of three individual mating recommendations are provided. NBDC classifiers operate an internationally recognised appraisal system which is used by the AI industry in the British Isles to provide reliable type proofs.