- General Definition - Approach, procedures and philosophy used by the staff and judges to evaluate and otherwise handle entries. It is also intended as guidance to help entrants maximize ranking and scores.
- Judged Contest - All judging is done in accordance with the Achievement Program Judging Guidelines with the exception that the maximum point score on the scratch built factor for models entered in the Kit Built classification is limited to 8 points.
- Module Contest - All judging is done using a simple ranking system based on an overall impression to determine the top three modules in each classification.
- Photo Contest - All judging is done in accordance with the National Photography Contest Judging Guidelines based on a complex review procedure addressing multiple factors.
- Railroad Pass Contest - Judging is done using a simple ranking system based on four factors: Esthetic appeal, balance & readability, color match & attractiveness to determine the top three passes.
- People's Choice Awards - Winners are selected by popular vote of convention attendees based on an overall impression.