Step 1: Data gathering
We gather as much data as we can find on any health issue linked to the breed and collate that into one massive spreadsheet. The data is structured carefully against the Index framework. Mostly this is web based research but also includes KC library research, breed club publications where available, and information collected at events on health or at Discover Dogs for instance.
Step 2: Scoring
Once we are satisfied that we have exhausted lines of inquiry and have collated as much evidence about health activities as we can find in the public domain, we score each breed against the Framework using a scoring template (scores are out of 100). The template relates directly to the Evidence columns in the Framework Grid to be found on Framework page.
Step 3: Score moderation
This is a very important and time consuming part of the process. We go through the scores to ensure that they reflect the level of activity that we have found. We use a combination of breeds that have scored exactly the same and breeds that have marginal differences to do this.
In 2013, we introduced external moderators who each took three breeds and scored them separately to ensure that we arrived at the same conclusion, if not, we investigated why. External moderation worked well and will be used again in 2016.
On rare occasions, breeds have submitted an appeal in the light of missed information. We have changed our approach year on year to ensure that this happens less and less frequently. However, an appeals process is still in situ because we want to work collaboratively with each breed.
Step 4: Scores are published online and in a written report.
Once the moderating process is complete, a full report outlining the progress made in each breed community is published. This can be found on The Karlton Index Website. The report also explores current trends in breed health activity together with examples of good practice.
Step 5: Tailored feedback
Tailored feedback can be provided to any breed community wishing to receive it. As many breed clubs can testify, we are also happy to attend a number of health events where we can present our findings and explain the Index in more detail.