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Verification is a specific term used in IEC 61511 to denote any activity of checking, review or testing. It should be planned in advance for each lifecycle step in an SIS project. It is possible to complete a verification plan alongside the safety life-cycle planning and to combine the two elements into one overall plan.
During an SIS project, verification tasks must be completed by an independent person at a minimum. Put in simple terms, if one person completes an activity then someone else should be responsible for checking or verifying it. This is a minimum requirement. At higher level of hazardous consequence or SIL, independent departments or organisations may be required. Independence is something that is commonplace in some engineering environments, but should take on a new level of rigour and importance when systems are being designed for safety.
The verification activity must be completed by those who are competent at the task being verified. This sounds like an obvious statement, but all too often verification is seen as simply a line management activity of sign-off or approval. It should not be possible for any verification task to be allocated to someone who is not already approved as competent in that task.
Verification is not just simple approval that a task is complete
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