Compliance Testing: Everything You Need to Know

Compliance Testing Everything You Need to Know in 2023

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Welcome, software testers and compliance geeks! Today we’ll look into Compliance testing, which can sound like a dry and daunting task, but we will make this fun.

Consider yourself a software tester who has just been set with verifying that your company’s latest application complies with all the necessary regulations and standards. This might be intimidating, but don’t worry; we’ve got your back. In this blog, we’ll go over everything you need to know about compliance tests, from what it is, why it is important to the many types, and how to do them efficiently.

So fasten your seatbelts, sit back, and embark on this compliance-testing adventure together. Who knows, by the conclusion of this article, you could even find compliance exciting. (Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but it won’t be as boring as watching paint dry.)

What is compliance Testing?

Compliance testing is like being the rule enforcer in a game of tag. You know, the one who ensures everyone plays fair and doesn’t cheat. But instead of playground shenanigans, compliance testing ensures software plays by the rules set forth by regulatory bodies and industry standards.

Compliance testing, in its most basic form, is testing software to ensure it meets specified regulatory and industry requirements. These regulations address various topics, including security, accessibility, and data privacy. This testing functions as a virtual checklist, ensuring that software fulfills all the standards necessary to coexist with others in the computer world.”Wow, that sounds tedious,” you may think.

Consider compliance tests the software world’s hidden superhero, guaranteeing that software does not create chaos and ruin. So, in a manner, compliance testers are the Batman or Wonder Woman of the technology world, keeping everything in check and ensuring software functions within legal limitations.

Types of Compliance Testing

Regarding compliance tests, there are a few different types to remember. Each type has unique powers and abilities, like a different tool in a superhero’s utility belt. So, let’s dive into the different types of compliance testing and see what they’re all about:

  • Accessibility testing: This form of testing functions similarly to the ramp that allows superheroes to enter buildings and rescue the day. Accessibility testing guarantees that software is useable by persons with impairments, such as the blind or those with restricted mobility.
  • Security testing: Security testing is analogous to the shield that shields superheroes from damage. This testing assures that software is safe and that anyone cannot simply attack or exploit it.
  • Data privacy testing: This form of testing is similar to the invisibility cloak superheroes use to hide who they are. Data privacy testing guarantees that software follows data protection rules and that user data is safe and secure.
  • Performance testing: Performance testing resembles the lightning-quick actions of the superhero flash. This testing guarantees that software operates effectively under various circumstances, such as excessive usage or traffic.
  • Regulatory compliance testing: This type of testing is similar to the rules that superheroes must abide by. Regulatory compliance tests guarantee that software complies with specific legal standards established by regulatory organizations.

Software testers can combine many testing methods to guarantee that software is functioning and by all applicable legislation and standards. This is similar to a superhero utility belt.

Why do we need compliance Testing?

Compliance testing might not be the most glamorous aspect of software testing, but it is critical. This testing is similar to a superhero’s origin story: it might lack excitement, but it provides the groundwork for all that follows. So, let’s go through why we need to test compliance:

  • Legal compliance: This testing guarantees that software is by certain laws and regulations, such as data protection legislation and accessibility standards.
  • Protecting user data: It also protects user data from being stolen or exploited by unscrupulous parties.
  • Avoiding penalties and fines: This testing assists businesses in avoiding hefty penalties and legal action due to non-compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Building trust: Testing fosters user trust by demonstrating that a firm values data privacy and security and is committed to doing things right.
  • Improving software quality: This testing ensures that software is of high quality and conforms to industry standards, making it more dependable and less likely to create problems in the future.

Compliance tests are essential for software testing, allowing the program to stand out and operate optimally. Without it, the program would be like a superhero without a cape.

What Do We Need To Test?

Regarding compliance tests, certain areas of the software need to be tested to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and industry best practices. Think of these areas as the different superpowers a superhero must have to save the day. Let’s take a look at what needs to be tested:

  • Functionality: Testing functionality ensures that software does what it’s supposed to and has no bugs or glitches that could cause problems.
  • Usability: This testing ensures that software is easy to use and accessible to people with different needs and abilities.
  • Security: This testing ensures that software is secure and can’t be easily hacked or exploited by bad actors.
  • Performance: This testing ensures that software performs well under different conditions, such as heavy traffic or high usage.
  • Compatibility: Testing compatibility ensures software works seamlessly with different operating systems, browsers, and devices.
  • Data privacy: This testing ensures user data is kept safe and secure and complies with data protection laws and regulations.
  • Accessibility: This testing ensures that software is accessible to people with disabilities and complies with accessibility standards.

Each area is like a different superpower that software needs to have to be compliant and meet industry standards. By thoroughly testing each area, software testers can ensure that software is functional, secure, accessible, and compliant with all relevant regulations and standards.

When and how to perform compliance Testing?

Before starting with compliance testing, it is essential to take a note of all the standards that your application needs to follow. For example, you might need to follow standards for accessibility, standards for privacy like for the EU, and there could be some other standards that are set for the industry you cater to or the area you cater to. Once you know the scope of your compliance testing, below are steps you can follow:

  1. Start early: It’s crucial to begin compliance testing early in the development process. This can help catch any issues early on and prevent bigger problems.
  2. Create test cases: Create specific test scenarios for all the standards that need to be followed by your application. Example compliance criteria include screen reader compatibility, keyboard navigation, data privacy and security, and color contrast adherence.
  3. Execute tests: Execute the tests following the established test cases and methods, ensuring comprehensive coverage of compliance areas.
  4. Analyze results: Analyse the test findings to detect any faults or breaches with compliance. Analyze the data to acquire insight into areas that need improvement or improvement.
  5. Report issues: Document and report any compliance concerns or breaches during testing, providing clear explanations, evidence, and suggested corrective steps.
  6. Verify fixes: Verify compliance and efficacy of remedial activities by retesting impacted regions to confirm compliance and effectiveness.
  7. Automate recurring issues: Automating the testing process can help detect and handle recurrent compliance concerns more effectively. First time, tests are executed manually, but to make sure that every release follows these standards, it can be automated.
  8. Perform regular audits: Regular audits can help ensure that compliance testing is up to date and that software always complies with the latest regulations and standards.

By following these tips, compliance testing can be performed in a way that ensures software is compliant and meets industry standards. Compliance testing is an essential part of the process that can help prevent more significant problems.

Compliance Testing: Critical Views

While compliance testing is an important part of software testing, it’s not without its criticism. Let’s take a look at some critical views of compliance testing:

  • Compliance over innovation: Some critics argue that compliance tests can stifle innovation and creativity in software development. By focusing too much on compliance requirements, software developers may be less inclined to take risks and explore new ideas.
  • Limited scope: Some critics argue that compliance tests can be limited, focusing only on specific regulations or standards. This can create blind spots in software testing, leaving other areas vulnerable to issues.
  • Resource-intensive: Compliance testing can be resource-intensive, requiring time, money, and personnel. Some organizations may struggle to dedicate enough resources to compliance testing, which can put them at risk of non-compliance.
  • False sense of security: Compliance tests can create a false sense of security, making organizations think they are completely compliant and safe from any issues. However, This form of testing is not foolproof and may not catch every potential issue or vulnerability.
  • Lack of flexibility: This testing can be rigid and inflexible, focusing only on specific requirements and not allowing for variations or changes in different situations.

Considering these critical views of compliance testing and finding ways to address them in the software testing process is important. While compliance testing is necessary, it should not come at the expense of innovation or other essential aspects of software development.

Compliance Testing for Mobile System

Mobile systems have become essential to our lives, and compliance testing is crucial to ensure their security and functionality. Let’s take a look at some tips for performing compliance testing for mobile systems:

  • Identify relevant regulations: Compliance tests for mobile systems should start with identifying the regulations and standards that apply to the software and its use on mobile phones. This can include regulations related to data privacy, security, and accessibility.
  • Consider different platforms: Mobile systems can run on various platforms, including iOS and Android. It’s important to consider the specific compliance requirements for each platform and ensure that the software meets those requirements.
  • Usability test: Mobile systems require usability testing to guarantee that they are user-friendly and the compliance features are also understandable for the users.
  • Accessibility test: In addition to usability testing, particular accessibility testing is required to ensure that the mobile system conforms to accessibility standards such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. This includes screen reader compatibility, keyboard navigation, color contrast, and picture alternative text.
  • Security test: Security is a major concern for mobile systems, and compliance tests should include testing for security vulnerabilities. This can include testing for encryption, authentication, and other security measures.
  • Perform regular audits: Regular audits can help ensure mobile systems comply with the latest regulations and standards. This can include both internal audits and external audits by regulatory bodies.

By following these tips, compliance testing for mobile systems can be performed effectively and efficiently, ensuring that software is compliant and meets industry standards. Compliance testing is especially important for mobile systems, as they are often used to access sensitive data and can be vulnerable to security breaches.

Read More on Software Testing Standards

Example Use Case

Lets go through an example to understand how compliance testing can be executed. We are taking the example of testing the compliance with “EU security standards” for a mobile application.

We are taking the test case for “data consent”.

Test Case: Data Consent

Test Objective:

The test objective is that before collecting and processing personal data, ensure the application has express user consent.

Test Steps:

  1. Open the application and proceed to the data collecting or registration process.
  2. Enter some sample user data and analyze the behavior of the consent popup or checkbox.
  3. Determine if the application explicitly informs users about the data collection and processing purpose.
  4. Confirm that users must give express consent by actively choosing the consent checkbox or button.
  5. Run scenarios where users decline or do not consent to ensure the application collects their decision.
  6. Run the test again with alternative user profiles and data collection points to ensure that all relevant consent situations are covered.

Expected Results:

  1. The software must display a clear and informative consent prompt explaining the data collecting purpose.
  2. Users must actively offer explicit consent by checking the consent checkbox or clicking the consent button.
  3. If users deny or do not grant consent, the application should not collect or process data.
  4. Consent preferences should be correctly documented and followed throughout the application’s operation.

Implementation Process:

  1. The development team works with legal and compliance experts to understand GDPR data consent regulations.
  2. The exact test case for data consent is developed based on the compliance standard and the application’s functionality.
  3. The test phases are carried out by testers, who check the application’s behavior and compare it to the intended outcomes.
  4. Any variations or difficulties with compliance are noted and reported.
  5. The development team fixes the problems, upgrades the program, and retests the data consent feature.
  6. This step is repeated until the application fulfills the GDPR data consent compliance standards.
  7. Regular audits and continuous monitoring are carried out to guarantee that GDPR laws for data consent are followed.

The application can ensure GDPR compliance by getting explicit user consent for data collection and processing by following this process for the data consent test case.

How automation can ease your testing process:

When compliance is implemented, it makes sense to execute the test cases manually, to report all issues in all expects. But once, the compliance is tested and is stable, it does need to be tested for every release. This is where automating these tests make sense.

Testsigma, a no-code test automation platform, allows testers to save time and effort while increasing testing efficiency. Test cases are as easy to automate as writing sentences in English.

Testsigma can help you execute:

  • Automated tests as part of the Test Execution use case.
  • It can execute automated tests locally and in the cloud across multiple environments, browsers, and devices.
  • Testsigma also provides comprehensive reporting and analytics features to help testers quickly analyze test results and identify issues.
  • It can handle the Test Results and Reporting use case by providing detailed and customized test reports and dashboards.

By incorporating Testsigma into the testing process, testing teams can improve;

  • Testing efficiency
  • Reduce time to market
  • Increase overall product quality.


Compliance testing is critical to software testing, ensuring that software meets regulatory and industry standards. It involves identifying relevant regulations, creating test cases, and performing regular audits. Compliance testing can help prevent issues down the line and ensure the security and functionality of the software, particularly in the case of mobile systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of compliance testing?

Compliance testing is essential in healthcare, finance, and government industries to ensure software meets regulatory and industry standards. It helps identify potential issues before they become major problems and ensures that software is secure, functional, and accessible to all users.

What is an example of compliance testing?

Testing software for compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a type of compliance testing. It involves developing test cases to check that the software processes personal data by GDPR rules, such as acquiring consent for data processing and applying data security measures. Regular audits are also conducted to verify ongoing compliance.

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