"Research shows that upfront software costs account for only 30% to 40% of the total cost of implementing HR information solutions. Discovery, analysis, custom interface development, and ongoing maintenance account for the other 60% to 70% of many HR information system solutions. HR Open can simplify your HR integration.”


Certify your organization’s HR Open Standards implementation signaling to your customers and trading partners that your organization has taken steps to simplify your integrations, thus saving integration costs for both of you.

  • Authorized use of the HR Open Standards Certified logo
  • Listing on the HR Open Standards website
  • Announcement in a Press Release and e-mail message distributed to over 7,500 HR Professionals
  • Validation of your organization’s HR Open Standards Implementation efforts
  • HR Open Standards technical assistance while testing your implementations
  • Indicate that your company meets customer procurement criteria. Customers want HR suppliers that can integrate easily!

Step 1: Pretest your implementation by validating your files against the HR Open schema.

Step 2: Send a certification request to info@hropenstandards.org. Include the schema and version you are planning to certify against.

Step 3: A certification specialist will contact you to begin the process.

Step 4: Draft conformance statement with help from certification specialist.

Request a Certificate


What is HR Certify?
  • HRCertify is the registry of software and services that use the data exchange standards developed by the HR Open Standards Consortium, Inc.
  • Organizations that successfully complete the product certification process are awarded a logo to use on their websites.
  • The HR Open Standards Certified logo signals that a vendor is a technology leader and is ready to integrate flexibly and opportunistically with customers and partners.
How can my business benefit from HR Data interchange standards?
  • Research shows that upfront software costs account for only 30 to 40 percent (or less) of the total cost of implementing HR information solutions. Discovery, analysis, custom interface development, and ongoing maintenance account for the other 60 to 70 percent of many HR information system solutions.
  • Data interchange standards can reduce the amount of expensive customization required for product implementation. The HR Open Standards Consortium’s data interchange standards provide flexible, extensible templates that can readily be used to integrate disparate systems. Without industry standards, ad hoc data interchange formats must be developed or employers are left to adopt a proprietary format provided by vendors.
  • Data interchange standards based on XML and JSON also support other employer business priorities. For example, it is increasingly common to deliver employee and manager self-service through portals. However, it is much less common for changes submitted through portals (for example, address changes, changes to dependent information, etc.) to be reflected in real-time in the downstream record-keeping systems maintained by providers of benefits and HR services. Integrating data across systems in real-time is the very thing that XML and JSON-based standards are designed to support.
How can I ensure my HR vendors use Open Data Exchange Standards?

If you are the person responsible for making or influencing decisions about HR information solutions, you often can reap the benefits of HR Open data exchange standards simply by asking your vendors the right questions!

Ask current and prospective vendors:

  1. Are you capable of processing XML or JSON?
  2. Have you implemented (or do you plan to implement) HR-XML or HR-JSON data exchange standards?
  3. Are you members of the HR Open Standards Consortium?
  4. Have you successfully certified the relevant data exchange standards with HRcertify.org?

You should also modify requests for proposals (RFPs), contracts, and other vendor requirements to ensure vendors are willing and able to support HR Open data exchange standards. Use the four questions above as the basis for your RFP language.

What are the benefits of certifying my HR software or service?
  • Vendors that successfully certify their solutions are awarded the HR Open Standards Certified logo.
  • Being awarded the HR Open Standards Certified logo signals that your organization is a technology leader and is ready to integrate flexibly and opportunistically with customers and partners.
  • Going through the certification process will also provide your development team an opportunity to validate their work and their understanding of HR Open standards. In addition, being certified will position your company to meet customer procurement criteria. 
How can I register my product or service? 

Certifications give vendors the opportunity to register software and services that implement HR Open Standards’ open data exchange standards. In addition, consulting firms can register their HR Open Standards implementations between a client and a trading partner.

It is easy to certify your products. If you represent an HR vendor or service provider, you can begin the certification process by pre-testing your files and contacting HR Open staff with your request. After receiving your application, a certification specialist will send you instructions on the certification process and request you to provide XML or JSON instances that represent what your solution generates or consumes. The specialist will use the instances to validate against the relevant schema and to examine whether the use of data is semantically appropriate.

Finally, the specialist will work with you to draft a conformance statement that briefly describes your solution and its use of the associated HR Open specification.

What criteria are used in awarding certifications? 

The following criteria must be satisfied to be awarded HR Open Product Certification:

  • The implementation must be on the most recent release of the 2.5, 3.3, or 4.X architecture.
  • The HR solution offered must be capable of generating and/or receiving compliant HR Open documents.
  • Extensions to specifications should be implemented within extension mechanisms prescribed by the HR Open’s Technical Steering Committee.
  • The implementer’s use of components specified in the HR Open specifications should be semantically appropriate.
  • The application or service relying on an HR Open specification must be commercially available or must otherwise have actually been implemented with a customer or client.
What is a conformance statement? 

In addition to receiving the HR Open Standards Consortium Certified logo, each organization achieving certification will receive an entry in a searchable registry and a Company listing on the HR Open Standards website. This entry will contain the organization’s “conformance statement.” A conformance statement contains two parts:

  1. The first part describes how the certified solution uses the associated HR Open Standards Consortium standard.
  2. Optionally, the registrant can include a brief, descriptive statement about the certifying company and product implementation. The language that is overtly promotional, rather than descriptive or informative, is not appropriate.
What are the terms for use of the HR Open Standards certified logo? 

Implementers of HR Open specifications that successfully certify their applications or services are awarded the “HR Open Standards Certified Logo” to use on their website and in marketing materials. Use of the HR Open Standards Certified Logo is limited to the product certified and website usage is confined to the hyperlink specified on the conformance statement.

Organizations, in good standing, with certified applications/services will have use of the logo during a two-year period.

Certifications are awarded at the sole discretion and judgment of the HR Open Standards Consortium. Certifications can be withdrawn at the discretion of the HR Open Standards Consortium. The HR Open Standards Consortium Certified logo is a trademark of the HR Open Standards Consortium, Inc.

Can my organization renew its certification after expiration or an initial two-year certification period? 

If your organization has already certified an HR solution it may apply for renewal of it is certification. Recertification is subject to applicable fees and review by an HR certification specialist. Certified companies are required to maintain their compliance with HR Open standards for the duration of their two-year certification.

Can I certify against a deprecated specification? 

New certification may only be completed against a 4.X version. Re-certification may be completed against the 3.3 or 4.X versions. Thus, if your organization has invested in the development of an HR Open Standards interface, there is an incentive for you to certify without delay to protect your eligibility for certification.

What are the fees for certification? 

The certification fee covers certifications against up to five major schemas. If you have multiple products or modules that implement the same schema, up to three such products/modules can be covered within the same certification request. The schemas against which you would certify and any related fees would be identified in an invoice provided to you after you submit the certification request form.

Fees for HR Open Standards Consortium Certification:

Member Level

Fee (per two-year certification)

Vanguard, Premier



$1,000 USD is due each year of the 2-year certification


$3,000 USD is due each year of the 2-year certification

If an organization’s membership should expire during the two-year certification period, the organization will be responsible for the balance of non-membership certification fees.

NOTE: HR Open Standards’ Individual Membership is a personal membership for individuals. Individual Members that want to certify the applications or services would be subject to non-member organizations fee.