I don't want to use this process to generate false impressions but I need a way to gather data and report that ads are functioning correctly.
Just view the site. All you're doing is confirming that the ads are showing up. The few impressions it takes to do that aren't anywhere near what ad servers are looking for as far as "false impressions." They're after people creating enough fake hits to actually have an effect on payout. It's accepted you're going to generate a certain relatively small amount of traffic just using your own site, making updates, and so on.
From a more utilitarian standpoint, for one client, I once created a couple of non-site documents with all of a given "set" of ad blocks all together(there were a lot of slots and zones), so that we could do a review quickly without a lot of navigating and scrolling.