Your Alexa Dashboards Settings

Flash Briefing Skill Certification Checklist

Prior to submitting your content skill for certification make sure that its content, associated images, URLs, and descriptions meet Amazon’s policy, content and and security guidelines. In addition, you should thoroughly test your skill’s functionality. This checklist will help ensure that your content skill will pass the certification process.

Policy Guidelines

The policy guidelines help maintain a trusted experience for customers from a variety of ages and personal backgrounds. Adherence to these guidelines protects copyrights and guards the privacy and security of Alexa users.

Make sure you are not violating copyrights

  • Check that all content is original and either owned by you/your company or that you/your company have rights to distribute the content.

Make sure all aspects of your content skill meet the Alexa policy guidelines. For example, check the following for compliance:

  • Skill name, image, and descriptions
  • Feed content
  • URL destination pages

Content Guidelines

A content skill is intended to give a customer a quick overview of news and content that is important to them. Because of this, your skill must comply with Amazon’s content guidelines.

  • Make sure that your content skill or any of its feeds does not emulate an audio book experience.
  • Make sure that your content skill or any of its feeds does not emulate a music streaming service.

Security Guidelines

Customer trust is important to us. To protect customer data, your skill must meet Amazon’s security requirements.

  • Make sure you are using HTTPS where required. URLs for content links must be HTTPS, however it is recommended that all URLs provided with your skill are HTTPS.
  • If you have provided a URL for a privacy policy and/or terms of use page, make sure the page content loads when the URL is visited, that the page does not redirect to another site, contain malware or viruses, or cause a download to initiate.
  • If you have provided a URL to display in the Alexa app when a feed plays or is read, make sure the page content loads when the URL is visited, that the page does not redirect to another site, contain malware or viruses, or cause a download to initiate.

Format Guidelines

Each feed you provide with your skill must be provided as properly formatted JSON or XML/RSS. For format details, see the Flash Briefing Skill API Feed Reference. In addition, prior to submitting your skill for certification, check for the following common formatting mistakes:

  • Make sure that your text-to-speech content does not contain any special characters such as HTML, XML, SSML tags or nonstandard punctuation.
  • Ensure all required item elements such as date and unique ID are present.
  • Ensure the date entries for your feed items accurately reflect the date of the content. Older items maybe be ignored by Alexa.
  • Make sure your JSON or XML is formatted properly with the correct opening and closing brackets and no extra characters.
  • For audio feeds, make sure the URL for the feed audio is HTTPS.

Functional Tests

Skills that operate as expected are important to us. You need to perform functional tests of your content skill to ensure that the descriptions display in the Alexa app and accurately describe the skill and its feeds. In addition, you need to make sure that when enabled, the feed is read or played as expected.

In the developer portal

  • Play the skill’s error message by using the Listen button in the developer portal. Make sure the error message is understandable and accurately refers to this content skill.
  • Listen to the preamble you provided for each feed by using the Listen button. Make sure the preamble is understandable, starts with “in” or “from”, is free from errors, and correctly identifies the feed.

In the Alexa app

On your mobile device, fire tablet or on the web at http://alexa.amazon.com:

View your skill in the list of skills:

  • Read the name of the skill. Make sure it does not contain errors and reflects the purpose of the skill.
  • Read the short description. Make sure it is in the same language that your skill targets, does not contain errors, and accurately describes the content provided by the skill.

Select your skill and read its full description

  • Make sure the full description is in the same language your skill targets, does not contain errors, and accurately describes the content provided by the skill.
  • Make sure the full description includes a list of all the feeds that your skill offers.
  • Make sure the full description identifies the default feed for your skill.

Enable the skill and each feed and ask Alexa for your flash briefing.

  • Ensure that you hear the correct preamble for the feed, and that the feed content is then played or read by Alexa in the same language the skill targets. Note that older items may not be play or read by Alexa.
  • View the home card for the feed as it plays. Verify that the content displayed in the home card is related to the feed content that is playing.

For audio feeds

  • If your feed contains multiple items, ask for the next and previous items in the skill language to make sure that Alexa moves between items as expected. Ensure the audio for each audio clip is a similar loudness to Alexa’s voice. See Audio Content Requirements for more details.
  • Visit the links in the home card and ensure that they navigate without error to content specific to the current feed or the general website for the content provider. Links to unrelated content do not meet certification requirements.
  • Ensure that the related content is readable on small and large screens.

For text feeds


Next Steps

If you discover issues with your skill when completing this checklist, make sure to resolve them and then reevaluate your skill with the checklist.

Once you have submitted the skill, it shows “Certification” in the Status column on list of skills. While it is in the certification process, you cannot make any further edits to the configuration. If you change your mind, you can select the skill, then click the Withdraw from Certification button.

After Amazon completes the review, you will receive an email at the address associated with your developer portal account:

  • If the skill has been certified, the email will provide an estimate for when it will become available to end users.
  • If the skill could not be certified, the email provides information about the issues you need to correct. You can make any necessary changes and then re-submit.