A) Administration 

 A sound and cost-effective administration service needs to be developed to support all 11 key elements. It needs to assist with the development and monitoring of policies and procedures regarding: 

  • Records and archives – databases, including the welfare, temperament and health of all breeding stock, puppies, dogs in assessment and training, graduated dogs, retired and withdrawn dogs;
  • Client services – applicant, student and graduate records and agreements; 
  • Breeding stock, puppy , and dog adoption/career change agreements;
  • Fundraising records; 
  • Public relations/media contacts;
  • Human resources – including a non-technical and technical staff and volunteer education and performance management systems, which need to incorporate supervision, peer reviews, performance appraisals and development reviews, staff and volunteer recruitment, induction, exiting and grievance procedures.  

To obtain IGDF membership, the organization shall ensure the integrity, security and controlled access to client’s records and other confidential data.  


B) Record-keeping systems 

As record-keeping is essential for the successful operation of a guide dog organisation, the types of information that need to be kept include:  

  • Dog data – identification, health and genetic data, progress in puppy-raising and training, outcome of puppy-raising or training and information on reasons for release from the programme, health and progress during the working life with a client;
  • Breeding data (if breeding programme exists) – heat records for bitches, mating and whelping records, stud related data; 
  • Client data – information on applicants, outcome of an application, progress in training with a guide dog, progress during the working life with a guide dog; 
  • Volunteers, staff, PR and fundraising contact persons – contact details, CVs where applicable, agreements. 

To obtain IGDF membership, an organisation shall ensure the integrity, security and controlled access to client’s records and other confidential data, regardless of the record keeping system used.  

It is not a requirement of IGDF standards to use databases for record keeping, however, electronic data storage is more efficient because information can easily be shared, and data analysed. A database should help organisations maximize improvement in providing quality dogs and quality service and support. Most often, organisations use three different databases; one for dogs, another for client information and thirdly for fund-raising. There are many commercial databases available.  

Organisations of any size can subscribe to use the International Working Dog Registry (IWDR), which is a web-based database that more than meets the IGDF requirements for data storage of dog, volunteer and client data. More information can be found at https://www.iwdr.org/  


C) Buildings  

Organisations with plentiful resources might opt to invest in buildings including offices, client facilities, kennels, facilities for dogs involved in breeding and rearing, assessment and training, temporary boarding and isolation. Note that not all the facilities and buildings mentioned are needed for running a successful guide dog programme. Refer to alternative solutions for each type of facilities under the key elements covering the respective topics. However, if the buildings are to be built and used for the programme, they must comply with all local applicable laws, and be designed and constructed with materials that promote best practice where consideration must be given to: 

  • Hygiene and cleanliness;
  • Proper drainage;
  • Ventilation, humidity and temperature control – protection from prevailing weather and drafts;  
  • Clear visibility for volunteers and staff, clients and dogs for safety reasons;
  • Sewer systems;
  • Fresh, clean hot and cold running water;
  • Power supply;
  • Security;
  • Comfortable, safe and appropriate accommodation for dogs;
  • Adequate spaces for treatment and care;
  • Adequate free running and relief areas;
  • Appropriate kennel size/dimensions so the dog can fully stand, stretch and turn around without restriction.  

To obtain IGDF membership all buildings shall meet the requirements of the IGDF Standards, which may exceed the requirements of local laws 


D) Transport 

If organisations provide vehicles, they must comply with all relevant local laws and ensure safe and comfortable transportation for dogs and people, and to obtain IGDF membership, organisations must meet the requirements of the IGDF Standards, which may exceed the requirements of local laws. 

 Information and examples may be acquired through the IGDF and its Members

Refer to IGDF Standard 1. Administration, Risk Management and Business Continuity


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Section 3. Fund raising and public relations – media and communications