Background: Public health microbiology laboratories (PHL) are at the cusp of unprecedented improvements in pathogen identification, antibiotic resistance detection, and outbreak investigation by using whole genome sequencing (WGS). However, considerable challenges remain due to the lack of common standards. Objectives: 1) Establish the performance specifications of WGS applications used in PHL to conform with CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvements Act) guidelines for laboratory developed tests (LDT), 2) Develop quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) measures, 3) Establish reporting language for end users with or without WGS expertise, 4) Create a validation set of microorganisms to be used for future validations of WGS platforms and multi-laboratory comparisons and, 5) Create modular templates for the validation of different sequencing platforms. Methods: MiSeq Sequencer and Illumina chemistry (Illumina, Inc.) were used to generate genomes for 34 bacterial isolates with genome sizes from 1.8 to 4.7 Mb and wide range of GC content (32.1%-66.1%). A customized CLCbio Genomics Workbench - shell script bioinformatics pipeline was used for the data analysis. Results: We developed a validation panel comprising ten Enterobacteriaceae isolates, five gram-positive cocci, five gram-negative non-fermenting species, nine Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and five miscellaneous bacteria; the set represented typical workflow in the PHL. The accuracy of MiSeq platform for individual base calling was >99.9% with similar results shown for reproducibility/repeatability of genome-wide base calling. The accuracy of phylogenetic analysis was 100%. The specificity and sensitivity inferred from MLST and genotyping tests were 100%. A test report format was developed for the end users with and without WGS knowledge. Conclusion: WGS was validated for routine use in PHL according to CLIA guidelines for LDTs. The validation panel, sequencing analytics, and raw sequences will be available for future multi-laboratory comparisons of WGS in PHL. Additionally, the WGS performance specifications and modular validation template are likely to be adaptable for the validation of other platforms and reagents kits.