This article describes the role of Genetic Test Providers (GTPs) in the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) initiative, provides information on who they are and why they participate, and defines processes and levels of participation for current and prospective collaborating GTPs.
HGTD Initiative Description
The IPFD Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) is a multi-stakeholder, collaborative effort to create an open access, sustainable online resource that:
• Catalogues information provided voluntarily from Genetic Test Providers (GTPs) including information on their company and services, quality measures and expertise, tests offered, and more. We are continually engaging more GTP participants.
• Has collated and assembled existing and new resources for genetic counselling and education; and provided the foundation for further developments
You can read more here.
Who are the Genetic Test Providers?
The collaboration of the Genetic Test Providers (GTPs) is fundamental to the effectiveness of the HGTD. You can find all the GTPs' logos here, or search on GTPs in the database to see a list. Currently, GTPs can be listed on the GTP database as: Participant, Supporter, Sponsor, Leadership Sponsor, and Non-Participant. The main funding for HGTD comes from IPFD Contributing Partners and other major HGTD Sponsors (see below). However, the GTPs who are active with us form the backbone of the HGTD project, and all donations are important to the continuation and expansion of this resource.
Participant – includes non-profit research groups or GTPs. This group of active participants provides a donation or donation in-kind to HGTD, as well as data and often expert advice and guidance. Their donations help to offset the day to day costs of handling their data.
Supporter – includes primarily commercial GTPs or larger non-profit research groups. This group provides a donation to HGTD, as well as data and expert advice. The significant donation not only helps with maintaining HGTD databases, but it is also a major contribution to HGTD’s resource-building and development.
Sponsor – includes a spectrum of GTP types. This group’s donations help to make HGTD sustainable and dynamic, and able to continue putting transparency and therefore trust, at the core of everything we do. The sizable Sponsor donations and their vision enhance our ability to create new HGTD resources and improvements in a timely manner.
Leadership Sponsor – part of the initial HGTD development in 2016-2017, these GTPs were some of the first to put their support behind HGTD.
Non-participant – a GTP that is not actively collaborating with HGTD. We list them for awareness, but we do not, generally, provide any further information on them.
For further details on GTP participation and benefits at the various levels see below. Participation is Easy!
Why do Genetic Test Providers participate?
HGTD catalogues Genetic Test Providers (GTPs), describing characteristics of ‘quality’ and information on tests, by breed/type. By participating, GTPs are helping to build a robust and transparent resource that will inform consumers and other stakeholders on the availability of genetic testing, the quality of those offerings, and a description of the GTPs.
All collaborating GTPs recognize the importance of supporting breeders, veterinarians, and owners in accessing robust genetic testing that promotes health improvements and a sustainable future for healthy dogs. Benefits of helping to advance the HGTD initiative include:
• Improving consumer confidence in DNA testing
• Supporting breeding practices to reduce inherited diseases and promote healthy dogs
• Furthering scientific understanding of inherited diseases
• Providing a comprehensive catalogue of over 350 phenes
Is HGTD funded primarily through GTP donations? No…
HGTD was founded on a strict principle of transparency and impartiality. This is fundamental to us being an independent and trustworthy resource. Irrespective of an individual GTP’s ability to donate to either HGTD or IPFD, our approach has always been to work with all participants to describe their company and processes in a transparent way that allows consumers to compare and contrast quality measures, expertise, and services. That said, moving HGTD from initiation to sustainable application depends on the collaboration of the wider community in supporting the resource financially, providing leadership, and highlighting the need for this resource to advance the best practices in providing and using genetic testing.
Currently, the bulk of financial support for HGTD comes from IPFD Contributing Partners and HGTD Sponsors who are not GTPs. Donations from GTPs are important for maintenance and enhancements. Support by GTPs through donations also shows that the commercial community is committed to seeing this resource expand.
You can learn more about IPFD, including HGTD efforts and funding, in our 2020 Annual Report, as well as our milestones for 2021.
Participating is Easy!
GTPs can start by contacting us using the information below. We will then support them through the process of adding data and information to our HGTD database. Everyone can help us further by encouraging other colleagues and labs to participate in the HGTD, or by or sending us suggestions of potential GTP contacts. Participation levels apply to new and ongoing GTPs.
Description, and benefits levels for genetic test providers (correct as of December 2022).
GTPs come in all types and sizes. While HGTD works collaboratively to include all GTPs wishing to participate, we depend on donations to contribute to the sustainability and growth of HGTD.
Participants (this level is not available beyond 2022)
• Data included in HGTD
• Welcome message in IPFD’s Digest e-newsletter
• Participant badge on HGTD
• 2022 Participant digital emblem for marketing/branding
Supporters (Donations of 1000+ EUR)
All of Participant level, plus:
• social media feature
• Listed Supporter on HGTD
• Supporter badge on HGTD
• Annual Supporter digital emblem for marketing/branding
Sponsor (Donations of 5000+ EUR)
All of Supporter level, plus:
• listed Sponsor on HGTD
• Sponsor badge on HGTD
• Annual Sponsor digital emblem for marketing/branding
• option for key indicators/comparison rating
• option to list relationships - e.g. any breed or kennel club relationships
• option to contribute branded information on Breed Database (e.g. breed-specific reports), by IPFD approval
• included on data update acknowledgements, e.g. mentions in blogs, social media, etc. as appropriate
What is a badge? The "badge" refers to the colored emblems next to a GTP's name on the GTP listing section. Badges provide a quick visual summary of the important, or most recognizable quality measures.
What is a digital emblem? A dated "medal ribbon" is created each year to indicate your donation level for that year. We encourage you to incorporate this emblem into your marketing materials and website, as an easy way for customers to see your active participation in HGTD. Our canine community looks out for this symbol when choosing a GTP. The digital emblem is not an award, “kite mark” or other indication of IPFD/HGTD approval, validation, or recommendation of a GTP or products.
What are all these "options" for Sponsors? As a Sponsor, you likely have a desire not only to demonstrate responsible practices by being a part of HGTD, but that you also have additional resources to share and support the wider canine community. Indicators and comparison ratings help highlight those GTPs who have gone out of their way to put into place exceptional quality measures - this is in addition to the current "badge" system. Incorporating additional branded resources and information (by approval, and not in conflict with our policy of transparency/product advertisements) will allow Sponsors to have increased visibility across HGTD and DogWellNet.com more broadly.
Does HGTD provide accreditation? No. The International Partnership for Dogs (IFPD) is not an accreditation body. Participating in HGTD or supporting IPFD’s work is not an endorsement or accreditation of a participant. A GTP who participates in HGTD may provide data on other independent accreditation (such as International Organization for Standardization (ISO)) as part of their GTP descriptions.
To participate, or for further information on the HGTD initiative, please contact Project Director, Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, at firstname.lastname@example.org.