General Principles of Software Validation; Final Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff – Fre PDF Download




This guidance describes how certain provisions of the medical device Quality System regulation apply to software and the agency’s current approach to evaluating a software validation system. For example, this document lists elements that are acceptable to the FDA for the validation of software; however, it does not list all of the activities and tasks that must, in all instances, be used to comply with the law.

The scope of this guidance is somewhat broader than the scope of validation in the strictest definition of that term. Planning, verification, testing, traceability, configuration management, and many other aspects of good software engineering discussed in this guidance are important activities that together help to support a final conclusion that software is validated.

This guidance recommends an integration of software life cycle management and risk management
activities. Based on the intended use and the safety risk associated with the software to be developed,
the software developer should determine the specific approach, the combination of techniques to be
used, and the level of effort to be applied. While this guidance does not recommend any specific life
cycle model or any specific technique or method, it does recommend that software validation and
verification activities be conducted throughout the entire software life cycle.

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