On March 24, 2015, CDISC published Version 1.3 of its ADaM Validation Rules.
So, what’s changed?
In the simplest terms: the release’s biggest enhancement is the ability to recognize and validate ADAE (Adverse Event Analysis) and BDS-TTE (Time-to-Event Analysis) datasets. CDISC has added 75 new rules in total, and, at the same time, cleaned up some of the checks from the prior release to ensure that their failure criteria is machine-testable.
So, what should concern you?
These published business rules conform to the definition of CDISC’s intention that each rule requirement be broken down into its constituent parts and should be machine-testable. For example, a simple rule which states “C BETWEEN A and B” will be stated as C >= A and C<=B. This normalized model works for business requirement capture … but it can make implementation, testing and human understanding more complicated than they need to be.
Beyond that, these newly enhanced ADaM validation rules still don’t provide a complete solution. Since ADaM IG v1.0, CDISC has been providing mere specifications documents. ADaM validation requires more than that. You need the ability to supplement the ADaM rules with sponsor-specific checks, especially for sponsor defined controlled terminology and value level metadata. And you need to be able to test those checks with the same software used by the FDA.