In many industries validation is defined as the documented evidence that a procedure, process and activity will consistently lead to the expected results. It often contains the qualification of systems and equipment. It is a requirement for Good Manufacturing Practices and other requirements.
Validation according to FDA's is "Establishing Documented Evidence that provides a high degree of assurance that will consistently producing a process specifies a product meeting its pre-determined specifications and quality attributes." (FDA 1987). A properly designed system will ensure a high level of assurance that each step, process and change is well assessed before the implementation takes place. Testing a sample of a finished product alone is not regarded as sufficient evidence that any product within a party meets the required specifications. Validation is also related to automated systems. The ISPE GAMP ® 5 Guide a risk-based approach to compliant GxP Computerized Systems, published in February 2008, provides pragmatic and practical approach for the industry to ensure that automated systems are suitable for the intended use in an efficient and effective manner.
Title 21 CFR Part 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations deals with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)