You may or may not have come across the term “IV&V” and wondered what it meant. IV&V is an abbreviation for Independent Verification and Validation. This is a process in which a product, system, or service is checked to ensure that it meets any specification or regulatory requirements and that the result of using this product, system or service meets customer requirements. The “Independent” part simply means that the checking was done by someone not associated with the company or business (a third party, if you will) to avoid any biased testing and results. This helps to ensure that the person testing the product, service or system has no bias to overlook flaws and approve the product even though it does not meet one or more of the stipulations.
During the validation process, the product, system or service is inspected to confirm that the customer's and stakeholder’s needs will be met. Validation can uncover flaws in the design of a product or system and even in the way a service is provided. Usually the product will be tested or there will be a setup of the service or system to see that it functions as it needs to in a real life situation. If modifications need to be made, suggestions can be offered during the validation period, and then the modifications themselves will need to be tested. The end result should be that the product, system or service will serve its purpose when it is implemented. One question often asked during validation is “Are you building the right thing?” If a product, system or service has been designed to fill a void for example, asking this question can be a great starting (and ending) point to the validation process.
Verification is the process that will test the product’s compliance with any specifications, regulations, or conditions that it needs to meet. This means that those testing the product, system or service will need to be aware or have access to information on what these regulations are. For example, these may be due to safety or industry standards, but in any case, the product, service or system will have to meet these rules before it can be released. If any changes need to be made to achieve compliance , the product, system or service must be altered and verified again to determine whether or not the changes have been successful.
Sometimes a product, system or service will pass one form of inspection but not the other. It is possible that it could meet customer requirements but has not been designed in a compliant manner with regards to specifications or regulations. This means that it would pass validation but not verification. And vice versa, if a product, system or service meets all specification or regulation standards but does not fulfill customer requirements, it would pass verification but not validation.