compliance testing in software testing

Compliance Testing in Software Testing

Creating high quality software solutions is one thing. But then, every company has a set of protocols, procedures, and processes to follow. What’s more, there is a set of external laws and regulations every software solution must meet. That is why it is essential to ensure all software solutions for a specific company align with both external and internal policies and procedures of a specific company. But then, how can you measure if the software product aligns with the company’s standards, policies, and procedures? That is where compliance testing in software testing comes in. This guide explores what compliance testing on software testing is all about and the processes to follow.

What is compliance testing in software testing?

Also known as conformance testing, compliance testing is a form of software testing to ensure the software solution aligns with the defined program, processes, and system of external and internal standards before releasing it for production.

External standards include the set industry guidelines and regulations for specific software solutions. An example is the (HIPAA) Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act for the healthcare industry.

Internal standards, on the other hand, are the guidelines and processes set by a specific company. Therefore, all software solutions should meet the internal company’s protocols and procedures to maintain consistency across all software development projects.

Note: The aim of compliance software testing in software development is to ensure all the deliverables are met across all phases of the software development life cycle.

Importance of compliance testing

There are a number of reasons why compliance testing in software testing is vital. Among the key objectives of compliance testing include the following:

  • Enhancing software quality – Different industries have set software standard requirements. All these requirements ensure the stability of the software solution, ensuring no future issues with the software solution once released. Therefore, compliance testing ensures the software meets all the necessary standards & complies with industry regulations.
  • User data protection – compliance testing ensures user’s data is protected against being exploited or stolen by malicious people.
  • Avoid penalties and fines – If the software doesn’t meet or comply with the set regulatory requirements, then expect harsh penalties that could even cost the entire project. Compliance testing helps evade such risks.
  • Legal compliance – there are set laws and guidelines that govern the software industry. For instance, accessibility, legislation, and data protection standards. Compliance testing ensures that the software solution meets all the legal regulations.
  • Building trust – by demonstrating the commitment to protect user data and reinforce reliable security measures through compliance testing, clients gain ultimate trust with the respective software service providers.
  • Customer satisfaction – through compliance testing, the software development company ensures ultimate trust with their clients, protects their brand reputation and ensures overall customer satisfaction.

Types of Compliance Testing

Under compliance software testing, there are different forms of compliance testing, which include the following:

  • Regulatory compliance testing

These are compliance tests performed to ensure the software solution aligns with the legal guidelines and rules set by regulatory bodies. Regulatory compliance testing protects the business against hefty fines that could cost the business venture a big deal.

  • Performance testing

Performance testing is done to ensure the final software solution functions well under different scenarios. For instance, should there be massive traffic or an increased user base, the software solution should still function seamlessly.

  • Accessibility testing

Accessibility testing is performed to ensure all people, including those with a disability, can use the software solution smoothly. For instance, users with mobility disability or blind users should be able to use and navigate the website easily.

  • Data privacy testing

There are set guidelines that protect user data. Performing data privacy compliance testing ensures all the privacy guidelines are put in place, and user data is secure from unwanted or unauthorized access.

  • Security testing

Software solutions are vulnerable to different forms of threats and attacks. Performing security compliance testing protects the software solution against malicious attacks and possible threats that could exploit information and details of the entire software product.

How to perform compliance testing in software testing

How to perform compliance testing in software testing

Having explored the different forms of compliance testing in software testing, how or what are the processes of executing compliance testing? Below are the steps to follow:

  • Create a list of requirements

Different companies have different requirements for the testing process. Despite the variations, the process of compliance software testing should start with creating a list of all testing requirements.

These requirements define the set standards of software products or services. Include all the contractual agreement details and legal or regulatory requirements depending on the maturity of the software product. If you aren’t sure of the exact requirements based on the type of software solution, get a professional from the respective industry for more guidance.

As you create the requirement checklist, make sure they align and are applicable to your company’s culture. You can verify this by analyzing possible risks your company might face if some compliance requirements aren’t met.

When you have a final checklist, let all employees across different departments from the planning, production, and marketing teams review the checklist to ensure all employees are on the same page.

  • Evaluate compliance risk

With the checklist in place, you now need to analyze and establish the approaches to use to actualize the compliance testing process. Do this as you evaluate the different categories and components you want to check. This will help you streamline the testing process, ensuring it meets all the required guidelines.

Don’t forget to explore the potential risks involved should you fail to meet the set standards. Also, highlight possible solutions available to overcome the possible risks. Once you can establish possible risks and respective control measures, you can now think of an effective testing approach.

  • Create a compliance testing methodology

To determine how to execute the testing in your checklist, you will need a compliance testing methodology. Use the following parameters to establish an accurate and reliable testing methodology:

  • Highlight sampling techniques applicable while performing the test
  • Outline the objective, strategy, and scope of testing
  • Highlight the steps to follow should there be a compliance violation
  • Create compliance violation steps to follow to resolve the issue

Again, with a compliance methodology in place, share it with the product and testing teams to ensure you are all on the same page.

Make sure you share the compliance methodology with the relevant teams to prepare for the testing process.

  • Set the testing schedule

Of course, you must plan and set a viable timeline to perform testing. This is essential to ensure the process doesn’t affect other activities within the company. Think of the time and frequency of performing compliance testing, then set an appropriate schedule.

You can use the requirement checklist to define the frequency of performing specific test requirements. This depends on the team size and the goals of the company.

  • Perform testing

At this stage, you have everything in place. Therefore, notify the relevant teams and heads of departments in advance of the processes you want to execute to prepare them.

Collect all the resources and any details you might need beforehand. Now, you can use the selected testing methodology in the previous stages.

Don’t forget to record all the testing processes, ensuring you capture every single detail. With the insights collected, do extensive research to establish their viability to the software solution.

Let the relevant teams review the results and get their consent for all the issues found for the next steps.

Before you move to resolve the issues, draw a final copy of the results and share it with the relevant teams (auditing committee and stakeholders).

  • Resolving the issues processes

Depending on the issues you have established, create a procedure to follow and implement how to resolve the issues.

Do this by first adding the issues you highlighted to the system. Make sure you know the business function responsible for compliance violations for accurate reference to the relevant business unit. Above all, weigh and measure the impact of such a violation on the company.

Above all, establish potential causes of every violation requirement so that together with the department in charge can come up with a viable plan to avoid future issues.

  • Validate remediation

This is the final phase of compliance testing in software testing. It is all about validating the solutions, ensuring the actions taken will resolve the issues and offer a lasting solution, preventing such issues from reoccurring.

But then, how do you validate all the compliance testing processes? It is all by re-doing the tests again.

Most importantly, don’t forget to share evidence of carrying out the remedial process with other relevant parties.

Requirements for compliance testing in software testing

Below is a list of all requirements of compliance testing in software testing:

  • Updated licenses
  • A fully functional with all required features software solution
  • User manuals and documentation to verify compliance requirements
  • Updated online support and documentation
  • Complete integration and functionality testing that meets the set guidelines

When to conduct compliance testing in software testing

There are several instances when performing compliance testing in software testing is vital. Below are three instances when you should perform compliance testing.

  • Before the final software release

This is done to ensure end users don’t experience issues with the product once it is released to the market. The testing should include updated industry-specific guidelines, localized standards, and jurisdiction laws.

  • During external and internal audits

Compliance testing when performing audits, both external and internal, helps evaluate and identify issues, if any, to implement measures to resolve such issues before things escalate.

During auditing, you can identify possible issues early enough before facing compliance-associated risks. The checks during this period involve security and data breach issues with plans for how to resolve them.

  • During continuous gap analyses by governance teams

This compliance testing is performed to identify any new updates concerning compliance testing in software development. Using the latest test automation tools and dedicated compliance testers helps assess the target areas quickly collect and analyze results for quick upgrades.

Who should carry out compliance testing?

You can either use an in-house team of experts, outsourcing a third-party company, or regulatory bodies to oversee adherence to the set laws, policies, and guidelines.

Pro tips when doing compliance testing in software testing

The following tips will help you actualize the compliance testing faster and more accurately, putting your company in the required state.

  • Start early – If possible, start compliance testing in the early stages of software development to identify any possible issues early enough and draw a practical plan of how to resolve the issues.
  • Always create test cases – under different compliance testing scenarios, there are specific guidelines and requirements. Creating test cases for these instances helps you draw a perfect plan to actualize the process. Examples of test cases include color contrast rules, data privacy & security concerns, ease of navigation, and screen reader compatibility.
  • Automate repetitive issues – For all repetitive issues, always automate the compliance testing processes for easy handling of such issues. Of course, tests are performed manually for the first time to ensure all the guidelines and rules are in order. After the manual testing, you can automate the next testing.
  • Conduct audits regularly – performing audits regularly helps you check updated software requirements and policies you should follow, especially for specific industries.
  • Know the set standards and regulations – before you execute the compliance testing process, make sure you understand the required software standards and guidelines, and they should be updated.
  • Always have a checklist – A defined checklist will guide you on how to plan and actualize the compliance testing process.
  • Repeat the testing processes – once you finish compliance testing, always repeat the processes to ensure all checks are in alignment with all the software standards and regulations.


Software testing is one of the software development lifecycles that makes the entire process complete. In software testing, there are different forms of testing with compliance or conformance testing being one of them.

Compliance testing is vital in software testing as it ensures the final product released aligns with the industry-specific standards, government laws & regulations, and the company’s set guidelines.

Through compliance testing, you can identify issues that could put end users and even the software development company at risk. That is why having test cases, starting early enough, performing audits regularly, and repeating the testing processes are among the best ways to ensure a successful compliance testing process.

Any queries? Get in touch with our software testing company : Aalpha information systems!


Written by:

Stuti Dhruv

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.

Stuti Dhruv is a Senior Consultant at Aalpha Information Systems, specializing in pre-sales and advising clients on the latest technology trends. With years of experience in the IT industry, she helps businesses harness the power of technology for growth and success.