Validation or Verification ?

There sometimes can be slight confusion between Validation and Verification with many people mixing the two up. This is especially true when it comes to validating Critical Control Points where some companies are actually verifying the CCP instead of validating it.


So lets have a look a them both.

What is Verifying?

When you are verifying something you actually getting evidence that a control is operating within the correct parameters or putting it bluntly checking/proving that the control is working.

For example metal detection can be verified through customer complaints (if you are getting complaints with metal then your metal detection control is not working correctly).

Depending on the control all the following could be used as verification tools; micro results, internal audits, trending of corrective actions or complaints, external audits, review of processing records.

Remember these tools are to demonstrate that your control is working or not working correctly.

What is Validation?

Validation on the other hand is the action proving that a control is capable of controlling a specified hazard.

The validation process should be completed before the control is introduced.

Validation might include Codes of Practice within the specified industry, legislation,  previous data such a micro shelf life results, challenge testing to determine if micro could grow at a specific time/temperature.

So for example using metal detection again this could be validated through the manufacturer when they set up the metal detector and also what would be norm in the industry for sensitivity of the metal detector. All this evidence should be documented to demonstrate that you actually validated the control measure.

With validation you would only be expected to validated a control once ie. Before you introduce, or when make a change in the process such as introducing a new ingredient, packaging or process which may affect the control.

Verification however should be carried on pre determined and ongoing basis.


Andy Burne is a certified BRC Auditor carrying out audits against the BRC Global Food Safety Standard Issue 6. He is a Director of Global Food Consultancy Ltd and provides advice to companies aiming to be certified to the BRC Standards. Click here for more info on Global Food Consultancy Ltd

About ABurne

Andy Burne has worked in Technical Management for many years in the food industry. Now he is a certified BRC auditor and provides consultancy to the Food Industry.