Recent Updates regarding the HONCode

Here, you will find information about the recent updates related to the HONcode Certification process.

In the case that the certified websites are required to implement new modifications relative to these updates, the webmasters will have a reasonable period of time to do it. In addition, during the audit following the announced modification(s) the HONcode Team will check the website's compliance to the modification(s) and, if necessary, will explain how to implement the necessary modification(s).

The updates will also be announced in the HON Newsletter.

In order to comply with Principle 7, all means of financing the site or application must be clearly stated. 

In addition, it must be indicated on the site or application whether or not the authors of the content are health professionals and/or have links of interest with health products and cosmetics companies.

This part of the principle being a little complex, but nevertheless essential, you will find the necessary information in this article.

As legislation varies from country to country, we focused mainly on France, Switzerland, Belgium and the United States.

All services certified or wishing to be certified by the HONcode and which display ads must comply with publication rules:

  1. Propose a clear and easily accessible advertising policy.
  2. If advertising is a source of funding for the service, this must be mentioned in the advertising policy.
  3. All advertising must be clearly identified by the term "Advertising" or a similar term, and clearly differentiated from the information content of the service by a separate framework.


(Directive initially published on 28 March 2013, available here)

Since 2013, all services certified or wishing to be HONcode certified displaying before and after photographs (images and/or videos concerning medical treatment) must follow publication rules:

  1. Images must be taken in similar circumstances (lighting, position, camera settings, etc.)
  2. Images must not be modified except when the purpose is to

HON Commitment
In line with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) we have updated our privacy policy and initiated necessary changes such as the appointment of a Data Protection Officer (DPO) and a specific email address for any questions you may have about data protection to fully ensure that our sites comply with these regulations.

Your engagement
In connection with this, we bring to your attention the fact that your site must comply with this regulation in order to be certified.

 - Reform of EU data protection rules 2018 : ...

The HON Foundation has a policy of not certifying sites offering online trade in medicines, medical devices, cosmetics and food.
Indeed, we are currently unable to evaluate all the parameters related to online sales (sales, receipt, after-sales service, quality and product conformity).

Nevertheless, your opinion is essential and could help us frame this type of services in the future. To help us, you can complete this survey.

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