Its purpose is to provide a higher level of safety and efficiency for "mission-critical software". Using a rigorous software engineering approach both ground and in-flight software systems are independently evaluated during planning, coding and testing in an effort to circumvent mission failure, the loss of equipment or personnel, and to meet time and cost constraints. All phases of software development are examined: concept, requirements, design, coding, testing and operation. Human operated software, robotic software, instrument software and data analysis software may all be assigned to IV&V by NASA.
The IV&V Facility's efforts have contributed to NASA's improved safety record since the Facility's inception.