Validation and Verification – what’s the difference?

Validation and verification are terms that often get confused, so we thought we’d set the record straight on validation and verification and how it can be used within your business.

Verification and validation are independent procedures that can be used together to test that a product, service, or system fulfills its intended purpose. These procedures are commonly used as part of a quality management system or within third party standards such as ISO 9000.

The purpose of validation is to prove that a system will sufficiently achieve it’s goal, verification is concerned with whether that system is effective.

An example of validation and verification within the food industry would be to measure the time and temperature needed to ensure a product is cooked sufficiently enough for it to be safe to consume. By testing the micro count of the product after it is been cooked, you can validate the length of time and optimum temperature a product needs to reach in order to be safe for consumption.gourmet thermometer

Moving forwards, verification is carried out each time you test that a product has been cooked for the necessary period of time and reached the necessary temperature. This ensures that the system is successfully meeting the goal set out by the validation process.

Why is this important?

If you haven’t efficiently carried out a validation, then you can’t prove that your process or systems are capable of maintaining product safety. Verification alone is not enough to prove that you are ensuring product safety.

Testing needs to be done within the validation process to prove that its purpose has been fulfilled. If you are presenting evidence to an auditor that you believe to be a validation exercise, whereas in fact it is just verification, you will pick up a non-conformity. It is essential to understand the differences between validation and verification fully to make sure that the tests have been carried out efficiently enough to comply with third party standards.

For more advice on food safety and achieving certification success, give us a call on 08450 267 745, and we’ll advise as best we can.


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