Certification Program Details
HTNG operates the only Branding and Certification Program for hotel technology. The "HTNG Certified" logo on a technology product gives buyers the assurance that a vendor's promises of interoperability are backed up by specific conformance to industry-defined norms. It allows conforming vendors to advertise this assurance to their customers while ensuring that non-conforming vendors cannot.
View the program overview first, if you have not already done so.
What Products Can Be Certified?
- Most hospitality software products can be certified to HTNG specifications.
- Some products, like Property Management Systems, can be certified to any or all of a large set of HTNG technical specifications.
- Because new HTNG standards are continually being developed, other software products may only have one or a few relevant HTNG technical specifications.
- Visit our Specifications by Product Type page to see what HTNG specifications are relevant to the most common hospitality software product categories.
- Most HTNG technical specifications for software interfaces may be certified.
- As of mid-2011, HTNG does not certify hardware devices, but expects to do so on a limited basis in the future.
What Does HTNG Certification Mean?
HTNG certification represents a commitment from a vendor that a specific product conforms to one or more relevant HTNG technical specifications. It does not typically mean that the product conforms to all HTNG technical specifications, because for most products, only certain HTNG specifications are relevant or meaningful. Relevance is defined in context: you may need a property management system to be able to interface to a spa system, while another hotel may not. We don't know what's relevant to you, but you do, and our documentation is designed to help you assess whether an HTNG-certified product has the relevant interface functionality you need.
To certify a product, a vendor completes a Conformance Statement (a public document that you can find posted on HTNG's Certification Register).
- The Conformance Statement identifies which technical specifications have been implemented.
- For specifications that include optional functionality, the vendor must also identify which optional functions have been implemented.
- Buyers can consult these Conformance Statements to determine exactly what claims a vendor has made, and committed to stand behind.
Certification typically says nothing about product functionality. Rather, HTNG requirements focus on interfaces and interoperability. Buyers should consult the Buy Certified page to learn how to request and obtain HTNG interfaces from vendors.
HTNG Certification says that a particular version of a vendor's product (or sometimes a combination of products) meets the requirements of a particular version of HTNG's specifications. To ensure interoperability between two HTNG Certified products, buyers should ensure that the products are certified to the same version of HTNG's specifications (e.g. 2011A), or if not, then that the relevant underlying technical specifications are compatible by referencing the Version Equivalence page). Interfacing different versions is often possible, but may require some custom development by one or both parties to the interface.
Are HTNG-Certified Products Independently Tested?
No. Vendors are responsible for their own testing. However, the program gives each vendor a real incentive to test thoroughly:
- By certifying, the vendor agrees to participate in an HTNG-sponsored process for resolving disputes.
- Anyone, including customers and even competitors, can initiate a claim if they believe an HTNG-Certified product does not in fact conform to the requirements.
- As part of certification, the vendor agrees to participate in the HTNG-operated claim resolution process.
- If a product is found not to conform, the vendor must fix the problem within a short time period, normally 60 days.
- If the vendor does not correct the problem within the allotted time, then they lose HTNG Certification and must immediately remove certification claims and trademarks from all marketing materials, product packaging, documentation, and the like. This will typically cost more than correcting the problem.
- While HTNG cannot guarantee that vendors will maintain their Certification in the future, buyers are free to cover such requirements contractually.
As a Buyer, How Can I Tell If a Product is HTNG Compliant?
First: There is no such thing as HTNG compliance, there is only HTNG certification. Any vendor that tells you their product is HTNG compliant but not certified is making a misleading claim. They are also violating the terms of the license to use HTNG's technical specifications, and misusing HTNG's trademark.
If the vendor claims the product is HTNG certified, you can verify their claim on the HTNG Certification Register. Certification is version-specific, so be sure to compare version numbers.
Second: Just because a product is certified does not mean it has implemented the particular technical specifications that matter to you. Check the product's Conformance Statement on the HTNG Certification Register to see which specifications the product has implemented. For information on which technical specifications are relevant to particular products, consult our Specifications by Product Category page.
Third: Many HTNG technical specifications include both required and optional functionality. Only you know whether you need the optional functionality. If you do, check the product's Conformance Statement to see if the vendor has implemented it.
See our Buy Certified page for more information on specifying HTNG-certified products.
As a Vendor, How Do I Get My Product Certified?
See our How to Certify page for full details.