Independent Verification and Validation


Independent Verification and Validation, often abbreviated as IV&V, refers to the process used in systems engineering, software product development, and quality assurance. It involves examining a system or software during and after its development by an independent entity to ensure it meets specified requirements and works as expected. The aim of IV&V is to improve the quality, reliability, and risk management of the developed system or software.


Independent: ɪndɪˈpendəntVerification: ˌvɛrɪfɪˈkeɪʃnand: ændValidation: ˌvælɪˈdeɪʃn

Key Takeaways

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  1. Quality Assurance: Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) is an important step in ensuring the overall quality of a system or product. By having a completely independent entity perform these tasks, the objective is to eliminate any potential bias in the validation and verification process. IV&V ensures that the system or product meets the predefined requirements and performs as expected.
  2. Reduces Risk: IV&V helps to identify issues early in the development life cycle. It uncovers any potential deficiencies in the function, performance, or operation of a system or product. As a result, it reduces the risk of failure upon deployment, saving both time and resources.
  3. Cost Effective: Although some may view IV&V as an additional expense, it is actually considered to be cost-effective in the long run. This is due to its ability to identify and correct issues early in the development process, minimizing the cost and time it would take to fix these potential problems at a later stage.

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Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) is crucial in technology due to its role in enhancing the quality, reliability, and efficiency of software products. By using a neutral third-party entity to assess and evaluate software systems, IV&V ensures that the developed systems meet the specified requirements and function as intended. The process helps in identifying potential discrepancies, design weaknesses, or operational glitches that may have been overlooked during the initial phases of development. Therefore, IV&V promotes objectivity and impartiality, reduces risks of system failures, and increases confidence in the system’s functionality and performance. The importance is heightened in critical systems wherein system failure can result in substantial monetary losses or pose safety threats.


Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) is a crucial process utilized in technological sectors to ensure the overall safety, quality, and reliability of software systems. The fundamental purpose of IV&V is to provide an unbiased evaluation of the software throughout its life cycle. This technique facilitates an impartial assessment of the system’s design, functionality, and performance. It is used for identifying potential problems and risks before they manifest themselves during operations. The objective is to assure that the developed system meets the predefined specifications and functionalities while working under specified conditions.IV&V serves as an effective risk mitigation mechanism, mostly used in high-stake domains such as space exploration, healthcare, aviation, finance, and nuclear power where software failure could lead to significant losses or catastrophic consequences. This process also optimizes resource utilization by identifying and rectifying issues on the go. This makes it economical, effective, and imperative for the successful deployment and operation of mission-critical systems. Furthermore, it helps organizations achieve compliance with regulatory standards and improves project predictability by providing objective insights into system readiness and stability.


1. NASA’s IV&V Program: The NASA Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Program was established in 1993 as part of an agency-wide strategy to provide the highest practicable levels of safety and cost-effectiveness for mission critical software. NASA’s IV&V Program is a component of NASA’s Software Assurance process, built on best practices for Software Assurance spanning areas including: management, assurance, risk, and software engineering. The IV&V efforts help to identify any issues or discrepancies in the software program early on to avoid any future mishaps or failures during the mission.2. Air Traffic Management System: Verification and validation are utilized extensively in the development of air traffic management systems. They are used to ensure that the system has been designed correctly, performs as intended, can manage the anticipated volume of traffic, and can interact effectively with human operators. The procedures are used to verify and validate the system before it is fully implemented.3. Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare: In the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, IV&V is critical to ensure that medical software, equipment and processes are functioning correctly and safely. For example, the software controlling a medical device such as a pacemaker would go through extensive IV&V to ensure it functions as intended and does not pose any risk to patient health. The validation part also includes ensuring the software meets all regulatory and compliance requirements set by bodies like the FDA.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Sure, here’s a frequently asked question section for the technology term, Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V):**Q: What is Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V)?**A: IV&V refers to a process used to check the integrity and quality of software. An external group separately checks and confirms the software product to ensure that it meets the specified requirements and is fit for its intended use.**Q: Why is IV&V important?**A: IV&V is essential as it improves the quality of software by identifying bugs and defects early in the development process. It also ensures that the software meets customer needs and expectations. **Q: What’s the difference between Verification and Validation in IV&V?**A: Verification refers to the process of checking that a product meets specified requirements at all stages during the development process. In contrast, Validation checks that the product, as provided, will fulfill its intended purpose.**Q: Who typically carries out the IV&V process?**A: A third-party organization not involved in the direct development of the software typically carries out the IV&V process, ensuring an unbiased assessment.**Q: When should IV&V be implemented in the project lifecycle?**A: Ideally, IV&V should be implemented in the early stages of a project lifecycle as it helps detect and correct issues before they can impact costs and schedule substantially.**Q: Is IV&V mandatory for all projects?**A: While it’s not legally mandatory for all projects, it is highly recommended for complex and high-risk projects where the cost of failure can be significant. Many system safety critical and regulatory industries also consider it a best practice or a requirement.**Q: What is the end product of an IV&V process?**A: The IV&V process typically culminates in a detailed report that includes an evaluation of the software product, identified issues and inconsistencies, and recommendations for improvements.

Related Tech Terms

  • Quality Assurance
  • Software Testing
  • System Integrity
  • Compliance Checks
  • Quality Control

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