High performance scanning time-delay-and-integration and staring hybrid focal plane devices with very large formats, small pixel sizes, formidable frame and line rates, on-chip digital programmability, and high dynamic ranges, are being developed for a myriad of defense, civil, and commercial applications that span the spectral range from shortwave infrared (SWIR) to longwave infrared (LWIR). An essential part in the development of such new advanced hybrid infrared focal planes is empirical validation of their electro-optical (EO) performance. Many high-reliability, high-performance applications demand stringent and near flawless EO performance over a wide variety of operating conditions and environments. Verification of focal plane performance compliance over this wide range of parametric conditions requires the development and use of accurate, flexible, and statistically complete test methods and associated equipment. In this paper we review typical focal plane requirements, the ensuing measurement requirements (quantity, accuracy, repeatability, etc.), test methodologies, test equipment requirements, electronics and computer-based data acquisition requirements, statistical data analysis and display requirements, and associated issues. We also discuss special test requirements for verifying the performance of panchromatic thermal and multispectral imaging focal planes where characterization of dynamic modulation transfer function (MTF), and point-image response and optical overload is generally required. We briefly overview focal plane radiation testing. We conclude with a discussion of the technical challenges of characterizing future advanced hybrid focal plane testing where it is anticipated that analog-to- digital conversion will be included directly on focal plane devices, thus creating the scenario of 'photons-in-to-bits- out' within the focal plane itself.