Lab and Nominator Certification

Quality data is essential for quality results. CDCB has implemented a robust data quality assurance process and certifies the labs and nominators that provide data for U.S. genomic evaluations.

Quality Evaluations from Quality Data

The National Cooperator Database is the world’s largest database devoted to dairy cattle – and a sophisticated process assures the submission of high-quality data. This combination of data quantity and quality delivers increasingly accurate predictions of genetic merit and a beneficial source for research.

Those that supply genotypic data – genomic nominators and genotyping labs – must be certified by CDCB before they can nominate animals and submit genotypes into the National Cooperator Database. The high standards and certification process was established in 2018. After nominators and labs are approved to participate in the system, CDCB provides monthly reports that detail performance against key metrics. Performance audits are conducted annually.

How does this data flow into U.S. genomic evaluations?

Genotyping Lab Certification

Genotyping labs examine an animal’s DNA sequence through a physical specimen, like hair follicles, blood or semen, and compare it to a reference sequence to reveal the specific alleles (genes) that an individual has inherited and can transmit to offspring.

Labs undergo a rigorous quality certification process before they are permitted to provide genotypic data to CDCB, and their performance is audited annually.

Participating genotype labs are required to be ISO certified (or equivalent). They provide Standard Operating Procedures to CDCB, and all procedures, formats, files and genotyping results are carefully reviewed. CDCB-approved labs can then provide genotypes for the National Cooperator Database. A CDCB Quality Certification is required for each genotyping technology used.

Adherence to core requirements and performance metrics, which are supported by monitoring and reporting systems like the CDCB Laboratory Report Card, are essential for accuracy in the U.S. genetic evaluation program.

Review guidelines, application and details for genotype lab certification

View list of CDCB-certified Genotype Labs

Genomic Nominator Certification

Genomic nominators are the link between CDCB, genotyping labs and those who wish to receive U.S. genomic evaluations on dairy animals. Their role is pivotal, with responsibility to transfer genetic material to the lab, ensure correct animal identification and sample assignment, provide pedigree and fee information to the CDCB, and distribute results to the animal’s owner.

Genomic nominators must pass CDCB quality certification standards before they can nominate animals for entry into the National Cooperator Database. Nominator performance is recorded and audited annually. 

Nominator performance metrics against core requirements are monitored and reported through the CDCB Genomic Nominator Report Card and other tools to help ensure accurate information flows into the U.S. database and genetic evaluation program.

Review guidelines, application and details for nominator certification

View list of CDCB-certified Genomic Nominators

Phenotypic Data Quality

U.S. animal performance – or phenotypic – data is also held to high standards and quality assurance measures. Milk yield, reproductive data and health events are collected through the dairy herd improvement (DHI) system. The National Dairy Herd Information Association and Quality Certification Services sets data certification standards and secures uniform data collection procedures.

View list of DHI & DRPC Partners