According to the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Judge Procedures Manual, "a judge is any participating person whose scores count when evaluating competition entries. BJCP judges are participants in the Beer Judge Certification Program who have taken the BJCP exam. It is recommended that novice judges be paired with BJCP judges."

Further, again according to the BJCP Judge Procedures Manual, "a novice judge is someone relatively inexperienced at judging beer in competition, but who has been approved to evaluate entries by the competition organizer. Novice judges are not members of the BJCP. Participating in a homebrew competition with experienced judges is an excellent educational opportunity for aspiring judges."

For purposes relating to the Brew Competition Online Entry and Management (BCOE&M) program, there is not a distinction between the two. However, the program does allow participants to:

Administrators can assign judges to specific tables, flights, and rounds.

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