Precision glass molding is the technology of choice for the production of complex-shaped optical components. Protective coatings can significantly extend the lifetime of the molding tools, but the coating properties have to be exactly customized for individual application conditions. The current biggest challenge is to ensure the reliability of newly developed coatings without resorting to extensive and expensive practical testing. However, the usual coating qualification methods either cannot be used or don't provide meaningful results. In this work a new three-tier, application-specific methodology for the qualification such coatings is presented. First, the basic characterization of coating properties is discussed, taking into account the specific characteristics of the coatings used for precision glass molding tools. In the second step, application-specific testing methods are devised, based on the analysis of the loads during glass molding. Finally, a new machine for testing the lifetime of the coated molding tools is proposed. Three case studies are presented where nanoscratch, nanoimpact and glass contact tests are performed with Pt-Ir, TiAlN, and CrAlN-coated samples in combination with various glass types, showcasing the usefulness of the proposed three-tier methodology.