21 CFR 11.10(g): Authority Checks

FDA regulated computer systems should enforce user roles within a system. This process of verifying a user role within a system is called an authority check. For example, only a member of the QA group should be able to provide QA approval, and only a system administrator should be able to create a new user.

Text of 21 CFR 11.10(g)

Persons who use closed systems to create, modify, maintain, or transmit electronic records shall employ procedures and controls designed to ensure the authenticity, integrity, and, when appropriate, the confidentiality of electronic records, and to ensure that the signer cannot readily repudiate the signed record as not genuine. Such procedures and controls shall include the following:


The system should authorize users before allowing them to access or alter records. This may include different levels of security within the system. The number of security groups in a system will be dependent upon the complexity of the system and the amount of granularity that an organization requires for use of a computer system. For example, a laboratory instrument may have only a few user groups (Standard User, Tester, Administrator, etc.), while a large eDMS may have dozens of user groups.


Document the levels of security within the system. Verify appropriate implementation of user-level security during the validation process.

If you need more information or assistance with training on authority checks or assessing your systems to see if they have adequate authority checks, please contact us to arrange consultation services.

Compare this requirement with Annex 11 Section 12, Security and 15., Batch Release.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: At a minimum, how many security levels should our system have?
A: There should a General level to allow use of the system (add or edit records but no rights to delete records) and an Administrator level that can delete records or perform user administration tasks.

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