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Verification vs. Validation: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 4, 2023
Verification ensures a product meets specified requirements, while validation confirms it fulfills its intended use.

Key Differences

Verification and validation, often used in the context of software and product development, are two distinct phases ensuring quality and correctness.
Verification pertains to a process that checks if a product has been designed to meet certain specifications and requirements. It answers the question, "Are we building the product right?" In other words, it's about ensuring that the product is being constructed according to the defined standards and specifications.
In contrast, validation is the procedure to ensure that the product is fit for its intended purpose and meets user needs. It addresses the question, "Are we building the right product?" Validation is concerned with the overall functionality and ensures the product, once developed, satisfies its intended use and user expectations.
While both verification and validation are critical aspects of a quality assurance process, they focus on different stages and aspects of product development. Verification is typically earlier in the development cycle, ensuring alignment with requirements, whereas validation is a later process, confirming the product's effectiveness in real-world scenarios.

Comparison Chart


Ensures product meets specifications.
Confirms product fulfills its intended use.

Question Answered

"Are we building it right?"
"Are we building the right thing?"


Conformance to requirements.
Overall functionality and user needs.

Typical Methods

Reviews, inspections, walkthroughs.
Testing, user feedback.

Stage in Development

Earlier, during design and development.
Later, after development, during real-world use.

Verification and Validation Definitions


Ensuring accuracy by examination and evidence.
Through verification, the team confirmed the data's authenticity.


Establishing the legitimacy of a concept or system.
Validation of the idea was achieved after successful user testing.


A process to confirm something meets specified requirements.
The verification of the software ensured it met all technical specifications.


Proving something to be sound and effective.
The validation studies showcased the technique's benefits.


Assessing if procedures adhere to certain criteria.
Verification of the manufacturing process confirmed its consistency.


Checking for relevance and applicability.
The new drug underwent validation to ensure its efficacy.


Certifying truth or authenticity.
Document verification is essential before issuing a license.


Demonstrating and substantiating a claim.
Through validation, the team provided evidence of the product's environmental benefits.


Checking against standards or regulations.
The product went through rigorous verification to meet industry standards.


A process confirming something fulfills its intended purpose.
The validation of the software ensured it met user needs.


The act of verifying or the state of being verified.


To establish the soundness, accuracy, or legitimacy of
Validate the test results.
Validate a concern.


A sworn statement attesting to the truth of the facts in a document.


To declare or make legally valid
Validate an election.


A sworn statement attesting that a pleading is true to the best of one's knowledge.


To mark with an indication of official sanction
The official validated my passport with a stamp.


When is validation typically performed?

Validation is done after product development to ensure it meets its intended use.

Is verification a form of testing?

While testing can be a part of verification, verification also includes reviews and inspections.

What happens after a failed verification?

After a failed verification, issues are addressed and the verification process is repeated.

Is user feedback part of validation?

Yes, user feedback is a vital component of the validation process.

Is validation subjective?

While there are objective measures, validation can have subjective elements based on user expectations.

Who performs validation?

Often, end-users, stakeholders, or specialized testers perform validation.

How do real-world scenarios fit into validation?

They test if the product works as intended in actual usage conditions.

Is documentation important for both processes?

Yes, documentation ensures transparency, consistency, and compliance in both verification and validation.

What tools assist in verification?

Tools like static analysis software, review tools, and inspection tools can help.

What's the primary purpose of verification?

Verification ensures a product aligns with its specifications and requirements.

Can a product pass verification but fail validation?

Yes, a product might meet specifications but still not fulfill user needs or its intended purpose.

What's the importance of validation in pharmaceuticals?

It ensures drugs are effective, safe, and meet regulatory standards.

Can one skip verification?

Skipping verification risks building a product that doesn't meet its specifications.

Can verification come after validation?

Typically, verification precedes validation, but in iterative models, they can overlap.

Is beta testing a form of validation?

Yes, beta testing is a type of validation as real users evaluate the product in real-world scenarios.

Can a product be released without validation?

While possible, it's risky, as it might not meet user needs or its intended purpose.

Which is more expensive: verification or validation?

Costs vary, but catching issues during verification is often cheaper than during validation.

Do both verification and validation apply only to software?

No, they apply to any product or system development, from hardware to processes.

Are both verification and validation essential?

Yes, both ensure quality, correctness, and user satisfaction in a product.

What's a walkthrough in verification?

It's a review process where developers present their work to peers for feedback.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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