HIMSA Certification Policy

The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice.

HIMSA II K/S MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND WITH REGARD TO THIS MATERIAL, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTY OR SUITABILITY FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  HIMSA II K/S shall not be liable for errors contained herein or for incidental consequential damages in connection with the supply of, performance of, or use of this material.

This document contains proprietary information which is protected by copyright.

All rights are reserved. No parts of this document may be photocopied, reproduced or translated to another language without the prior permission of HIMSA II K/S.

Copyright © 2016 HIMSA

Document Introduction and Style

This policy document is presented so that the reader can gain as much information they need or want to in regards to the HIMSA certification program.  There are more links to additional information depending on the type of product being integrated with a HIMSA product.

This document does not require technical experience.  This document is written with the assumption that the reader will fall into one of the following categories:

  • Software Business Manager

  • Project Manager / Team Leader

  • Quality Assurance department employee

  • Software Developer

Covered Products

The certification program covers both software and hardware – The general term “Solution” will be used in the rest of the documents.  The following HIMSA products are included:

  • Noah

o    General Noah (Engine) – Noah System

o    Noah 4 Compatible Business Systems (full business system)

o    WSI (Web Service Integration)

o    Noah 4 and 3 API modules

o    The certification process also covers hardware which is commonly used between many different manufacturers

  • Noahlink Wireless and NOAHlink

  • HIPRO (not a HIMSA product but included in testing)

  • Noah 4 Mobile API

  • Noah ES API


Certification can only be granted or maintained when related to a HIMSA supported version for a given solution. 

Goals of the Certification Program

The most important goal of the certification program is that obtaining certification represents a quality testing program.  It is very important that hearing care professionals, member companies, and HIMSA can feel that the certification program is reliable. The certification program will be continually monitored and updated to meet the ever-changing software and hardware environments.  Changes will be made to address new issues and provide the most efficient test procedures possible. 

The following is a list of goals for the certification program.  These goals provide details as to how the polices are formed.  Each item provides more details as to the goal:

  • 1.01 – Hearing Care Industry is in control


Hearing healthcare companies would like to be in control of defining how to best conduct quality testing.  HIMSA and its member companies wish to promote quality testing that is represented by the HIMSA certification process.


There is a central authority to administer and track test results (e.g. HIMSA)

Rationale / What Problem Does This Solve

If the hearing healthcare companies are not in charge or have a significant voice, then there is a risk that other organizations will define their own test procedures that may be poorly designed or incomplete.

One quality assurance standard of integration testing instead of many.

Additional Description


  • 1.02 – Prevent inter solution -company problems


A primary focus of the certification program is to catch problems that occur between different company solutions before the solution is in use by HCP’s.

The certification program is not meant to specify how well a solution looks or acts as long as the solution does not have bugs or design flaws that adversely impact other solutions/member companies/HIMSA.

The certification programs ultimate goal is to prevent issues defined as “critical” from occurring.  In order to be critical, it must have the possibility of adversely impacting a HIMSA or other HIMSA member company product.


This goal applies to solutions that are commercially available as well as in limited release (e.g. beta testing).

Rationale / What Problem Does This Solve

It is not within HIMSA’s scope to set rules for a member company on “how good” their solution is.  HIMSA’s job is to test or define tests that determine how the solution interacts with a HIMSA solution and other member company solutions.

Additional Description

Example of where HIMSA is not concerned:

A fitting module crashes if a user selects GUI A, C, and then B in certain circumstances.  The result of the crash does not impact Noah and other fitting modules can start without intervention (e.g. computer reboot).

In this case the HCP should be able to determine that this is not a Noah bug but rather a member company issue; therefore, the HCP will complain to the member.

  • 1.03 – Member companies want to avoid critical problems


Members do not wish for their software to cause critical issues for other industry solutions.  They also do not wish to be impacted by another system offered by another member company.


The HIMSA member company is highly concerned about causing problems for other companies and believes that the HIMSA certification program will help avoid problems.  It may be that they feel they have not caused any problems in the past and do not see the need to be certified by HIMSA.

Sometimes HIMSA assumes that the size of the company has an impact.  There are some companies that have 50+ software developers with a full QA department to back them up.  Then, there are some companies with 1 developer who also conducts the QA testing.

Rationale / What Problem Does This Solve

If a member company causes a problem for another system it is often considered negative advertising for the company that created the problem.  But, sometimes both companies will disagree with who is at fault and they will blame each other.

Additional Description

Q: Is the certification program responsible for testing/certifying other solutions from non-member companies?

A: No, this is out of the scope of the HIMSA certification program

  • 1.04 – HCP’s expect conflict-free solutions


HCP’s expect that the solutions they use will not cause conflicts with each other.  In a perfect world, HCP’s would like to never have a problem with software/hardware.  But what is even more difficult is solutions from different companies causing problems.


The solutions being used are only considered when made by a HIMSA member company.

Rationale / What Problem Does This Solve

If there is a conflict between two different companies there is often finger-pointing going on between the two companies and the HCP is confused as to what to do. They do not get the sense that anybody will fix the problem.

Additional Description

HCP’s would probably like it if HIMSA could include the certification process to guarantee 100% bug-free solutions; however, this is not the aim of the program.

  • 1.05 – HIMSA expects conflict-free solutions


Just like a member company, HIMSA wants to avoid causing critical issues for member company products or be negatively impacted by member solutions.


Rationale / What Problem Does This Solve

As the organization that manages the certification program, it would seem self-defeating to not support and follow its own certification program!

In rare but important cases, a member creates a critical problem for a HIMSA product but as a paying member company to HIMSA, the member company strongly suggests that the problem may not need to be addressed or addressed as quickly as HIMSA would like it to be.  It is nice for HIMSA to have well-established rules to follow in these situations, rules that are expected to be applied evenly to all companies.

Additional Description

In addition to the extensive QA testing performed by HIMSA, it does also follow the same certification procedures, examples:


  • Noah System tests as a fully integrated business system.

  • Noah 4 Audiogram module tests just like a normal audiogram module would.

  • 1.06 – Certification with little or no outside company involvement

  • 1.08 – Quickly Determine Certification Status

  • 1.09 – Data Integrity and Usability

  • 1.10 – HCP’s expect their data is secure

  • 1.11 – Easy access to other certified solutions

  • 1.12 – Certification cannot be revoked

  • 1.13 – HIMSA is neutral

  • 1.14 – Promote common interactions 

Critical Issues

A major goal is to avoid critical issues from happening to Hearing Care Professionals (HCP’s).  In order for an issue to be considered critical two main conditions must be met:

  1. The error must be consistently repeatable.  HIMSA must be able to reproduce the error more than one time.  HIMSA will routinely attempt to reproduce the problem on more than one system in order to rule out test system malfunctions.

  2. The error must be reproduced using the software in a reasonable an intended manner.  HIMSA acknowledges that almost any software package will crash if enough attempts and stress are applied.  HIMSA will always test in a reasonable manner.  This is accomplished by using the software as a typical end user would.

The following high level issues are considered critical for HIMSA certification:

  • 2.01 - Causes Noah or a certified NOAH-compatible product to be terminated unexpectedly

  • 2.02 - Fails to Release System Resources

  • 2.03 - Changes configuration or initialization files in a way that interferes with the operation of NOAH or a certified NOAH-compatible product

  • 2.04 - Causes Corruption or gives the HCP the impression of data corruption

  • 2.05 - Saves Noah actions to the Noah database without populating agreed upon public data format

Additionally, each type of Noah integration may specify special certification issues.  Please see the conformance test document for the integration product you are working on for further details.  In these cases the topic will be clearly documented in a “Special Certification Issues” section.


Public Listing and Inter Member Company Access to other Company Certified Software

There are different policies that cover the public listing of a certified product and how other member companies may have access to other company certified products.  Generally, the policies are as follows:  

  • Public listing / if a product is certified by HIMSA then HIMSA must have a way to publicly list what versions of products have been certified.

  • Inter member company access / certified products must be available for other member companies so that they can have the opportunity use they products for testing and troubleshooting purposes.

For more details see Public Listing and Commercial Availability



The text in this section applies to all products being certified.

HIMSA Test Sites and Administration

HIMSA has two offices that perform testing and administration for certification, Copenhagen Denmark and St. Paul, U.S. Solutions developed in North or South America are handled via the St. Paul office, all other countries are handled by the Copenhagen office.

Q: If my software is developed in Europe and the Copenhagen test site is booked for my desired test date is it possible for the U.S. office test site to perform the integration test?

A: No, HIMSA has attempted this arrangement in the past with no success.  In the event that HIMSA has a question or problem the time difference eventually causes the test to drag out too long.  In these cases both HIMSA and the member company found it to be an undesirable situation. 


  • The licensee is invited but not required to attend the integration testing at HIMSA.

  • The licensee will receive up to 16 hours of integration testing per calendar year at no charge.  HIMSA will assess a fee for additional testing.  The fee will be calculated as an hourly rate that reflects HIMSA’s costs for such testing.   

Reporting Results  

  • If HIMSA testing is required HIMSA will report to the licensee the results within one week of the licensee’s submittal, barring exceptional circumstances.

  • In either case, pass or fail, the integration test report may include findings that fall outside the scope of certification testing but have a potential impact on the stability or ease of use of the product. 

  • If the test fails the report details will be treated as confidential material.

  • If the test passes:

    o    For Noah 3 and 4 API modules and full business systems, the details of the test results will not be posted publicly.

    o    For Noah Mobile API applications and WSI based business systems test details will be posted publicly as documented in the respective test procedures.

  • The test report will be distributed only to the licensee that submits the software product for testing and will be treated by HIMSA as confidential material.

  • If the software product passes integration testing, HIMSA will grant the licensee the right to label the software product with HIMSA’s certification seal.  

What if HIMSA finds a critical issue during testing?

If HIMSA discovers a critical issue with the software in for testing and it is determined that the issue lies within that package the software will not be able to be certified.  When a critical problem appears as a conflict between two or more products, HIMSA will determine which product is the source of the problem.  To assist with this determination, HIMSA may require the participation of the licensees involved to isolate and diagnose the problem.

A HIMSA Member company does not agree with a HIMSA decision

In the unlikely event that a member company does not agree with a HIMSA decision (e.g. determination of fault or interpretation of a problem), the member company can, as a next step, make an appeal to the HIMSA Certification Test Review Board.  The Test Review Board will review the issue and render a decision based on viewpoints from HIMSA and the member company in question.  Currently, the Test Review Board will consist of HIMSA Management Group members or employees they wish to appoint.  The Management Group member consists of individuals for each of the 5 HIMSA partner companies.

Since spring 2006, no appeals have ever been made.  HIMSA strives to be very fair.  HIMSA only wishes to have a clearly know “next step” in the event of a dispute.

The other points apply to the test review board:

  • The Member Company must appeal HIMSA’s test results within 10 business days after receipt of the integration test report.

  • The Test Review Board will most likely meet via teleconference or email depending on the complexity of the issue.

  • The Test Review Board is required to render its decision within 10 business days of HIMSA receiving the appeal.

More Details per API Integration

The above text has discussed points that apply to all products integrating with Noah.  Each different API offered by HIMSA has additional special policies.  Please follow the links below for more details.

More details

The text in this section applies to all products being certified


The licensee should notify HIMSA three weeks in advance of submitting a software product for integration testing by email or phone(email is preferred).  HIMSA will then notify the licensee in writing of a confirmed test date.  If a specific test time is requested but cannot be fulfilled HIMSA will return with new opportunities and confirm via email when accepted by the licensee.


A member company is able to ask HIMSA to perform an unofficial test if it just wished to gain feedback.  Pretests do require that the member company required test steps be first completed before HIMSA will conduct testing.

Double Booking

Many licensees would love to be able to schedule a test and then reserve a backup date just in case an unexpected delay occurs.  It would be nice if HIMSA was able to offer this type of service but our testing resources cannot accommodate for this. Keeping this in mind HIMSA will use the following policy in regards to booking multiple tests.

  • Licensees may book one-time slot per software product per 30 day time period

  • Occasionally a licensee may wish to book a “pre-test”.  A pre-test would consist of HIMSA going through the normal integration test with the understanding that the licensee wishes to see how the module will fare in an “official” test.  Booking a pre-test with HIMSA is acceptable.  However, HIMSA will require that both scheduled time slots are used.  If one of the time slots is not used then HIMSA will charge for an 8-hour test.

Q: What is the difference between a pre-test and double booking?  A company could just as easily double book and tell HIMSA that it is a pre-test.

A: Yes, this could be the case.  HIMSA hopes that member companies will not abuse this policy.  If HIMSA starts to see a pattern where companies are double booking under the guise of pre-tests then HIMSA will be forced to make a stronger policy.  HIMSA really does not wish to come to this point and hopes that all companies will act on good faith.


If the licensee has arranged for a certification testing appointment, but for various reasons cannot meet the agreed appointment, the licensee must inform HIMSA no later than 5 p.m. 2 business days before the test.  If this notice is not received HIMSA will charge for 8 hours of testing.

Certification Seal and Copyright

Certification Seal

HIMSA will make the certification seal available to licensees in an electronic format.  The licensee may display the seal only in a manner that refers to the specific release number that underwent testing.  For that specific release number, the licensee may display the seal on any language version.  Please see “How to use the Tested and Certified for NOAHSEAL” for additional details.

If a licensee releases a product without undergoing certification testing and labels the product with HIMSA’s certification seal in violation of HIMSA’s copyright, or otherwise misleads customers, HIMSA will take whatever actions are deemed appropriate to inform its customer base and/or pursue legal remedies.

Validity of Submitted Test Materials

If HIMSA determines that the certification testing materials submitted by a licensee contain false or misleading information, HIMSA may take whatever actions are deemed appropriate to ensure full testing of the licensee’s product(s) and/or pursue legal remedies.

System Locale/Language Support

HIMSA’s integration test sites are installed on the en-US versions of operating systems (e.g. Windows).  The software must be able to be installed on this operating system setup.  HIMSA prefers that the module is able to run in English text but this is not mandatory. Support for English will enable HIMSA to perform any testing and administration work faster reducing your companies included hours for certification.