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Standards and Testing Program. National Institute of Justice. Debra Stoe Physical Scientist Body Armor and Standards and Testing Program October 21, 2009. Agenda. Introduction to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) NIJ Standard Development Process

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standards and testing program
Standards and Testing Program

National Institute of Justice

Debra Stoe

Physical Scientist

Body Armor and Standards and Testing Program

October 21, 2009


Introduction to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

NIJ Standard Development Process

Summary of Standards Under Development or Revision

nij s mission
NIJ’s Mission

Research, development and evaluation arm of the Department of Justice

Advances scientific research, development, and evaluation

to enhance the criminal justice (CJ) system

to increase public safety

Emphasis on State and local practitioner needs

Committed to scientific process of open competition, peer-review, publication of reports and archiving data

NIJ’s Organization

NIJ Director

Dr. John Laub


NIJ Deputy Director

Kristina Rose

NIJ Deputy Director

Dr. Ellen Scrivner

International Center

Office of Science& Technology

Chris Tillery, Associate Deputy Director

Office of Research & Evaluation

Angela Parmley-Moore, Acting Deputy Director

Crime Control & Prevention Research Division

Justice Systems Research Division

Operational Technologies Division

Investigative & Forensic Sciences Division

Violence & Victimization Research Division

Information & Sensor Technologies Division

nij standards for law enforcement and corrections equipment
NIJ Standards for Law Enforcementand Corrections Equipment
  • Purpose:
  • Establish minimum design (weight / size) and performance requirements for equipment and define tests methods to measure performance
  • Benefits:
  • Provides the end user with performance information on key equipment characteristics
  • Allows comparison of products based on common testing and minimum requirements
  • Provides a level of confidence in a product’s fitness for use
why are nij standards used
Why are NIJ Standards Used?
  • Manufacturers: Develop products that meet NIJ standards because of grant funding tied to standards and law enforcement procurement requirements specifying certified products
  • Purchasers: Specify and buy products that meet NIJ standards because of grant funding requirements and the need for confidence in performance
  • Notes:
  • NIJ Standards are voluntary
  • No regulatory authority to compel conformity
nij standard development process
NIJ Standard Development Process

Previous Process:

NIJ funded technical partners to develop standard; practitioner involvement was limited.

Sometimes conformity assessment requirements were established. (Example: Body Armor Compliance Testing Program)

Sometimes users’ guides were developed.

New Process:

Practitioners, technical experts, and stakeholder organizations collaborate.

Conformity assessment requirements always established.

Selection and Application Guides always developed.

Basic flow chart on next 2 slides.

nij standards development process
NIJ Standards Development Process
  • NIJ convenes practitioner group to develop operational needs and requirements.
  • NIJ evaluates need and determines path forward.
  • Need identified through Technology Working Groups, stakeholder groups, or practitioners.
  • NIJ establishes a Special Technical Committee.
  • Draft documents posted for public review and comment on
  • Committee works to develop draft documents over ~ 6 months.
nij standards development process continued
NIJ Standards Development Process(continued)
  • Conformity assessment begins.
  • NIJ reviews and publishes documents.
  • NIJ has any necessary validation testing performed.
  • Committee addresses comments and refines documents.

Standards Technology Working Group: Assists NIJ in managing standards and revision cycles.

committees involved
Committees Involved

Special Technical Committee (STC)

Advisory Working Group (AWG)

Steering Committee (SC)

special technical committee
Special Technical Committee


Law enforcement and corrections practitioners with relevant experience and expertise

Stakeholder organizations represented may include: FBOP, DEA, FOP, IACP, NSA, NTOA, LAPD, NYPD.

Technical experts (engineers, scientists, test labs, conformity assessment bodies, standards development organizations)

No manufacturers allowed on the STC

NIJ and other support:

Facilitator, NIJ PM and technical support, editors/note takers


~ 12 months meeting once per month for 2 days

advisory working group awg
Advisory Working Group (AWG)
  • Provides oversight/guidance to the STCs during standard development effort
  • Senior-level personnel representing major stakeholder organizations, such as:
    • National Institute of Justice
    • National Institute of Standards and Technology/Office of Law Enforcement Standards
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Fraternal Order of Police
    • National Tactical Officers Association
    • International Association of Chiefs of Police
    • National Sheriffs’ Association
    • American Correctional Association
steering committee
Steering Committee

Purpose is to provide overall direction of the effort and approve the completed standard and related documents

Consists of the following senior advisors:

NIJ Deputy Director for Science and Technology

Standards Executive, Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology

Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology/Office of Law Enforcement Standards

nij standards 3 related documents
NIJ Standards: 3 Related Documents
  • Standard - Defines minimum design and performance requirements and test methods to assess performance
  • Conformity Assessment Requirements – Details the requirements for demonstrating that products conform to the standard
  • Selection and Application Guide - Provides information to assist law enforcement and corrections agency decision-makers, procurement officials, and end users; directly tied to 1 and 2

Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armor

NIJ Standard-0101.06

  • Primary users: Manufacturers and test labs
  • Contents:
    • Chapter 1: Purpose, Scope, and Application
    • Chapter 2: References
    • Chapter 3: Definitions
    • Chapter 4: Design Requirements
    • Chapter 5: Performance Requirements
    • Chapter 6: Test Methods
    • Chapter 7: Labeling and Information

** This standard developed under previous process

conformity assessment requirements
Conformity Assessment Requirements

Independent Oversight: Trust but Verify

NIJ Restraints Conformity Assessment Requirements


Independent, Third-Party Certification or Compliance Testing Program

  • Ensures products are tested and meet the requirements of the standard
  • Requires ‘type testing’ in which samples are initially tested for conformity to the standard
  • Includes additional requirements for ongoing factory surveillance and periodic follow-up testing
  • Manufacturer’s Declaration of Conformity not typically an NIJ option due to safety issues
conformity assessment example
Conformity Assessment Example

Body Armor Compliance Testing Program

  • Administered by NLECTC National the CT Program now follows requirements of ISO/IEC Guide 65
    • General requirements for operating a product compliance system
  • Compliance Testing Program Document Series:
    • Posted on
    • Body Armor CTP Administrative Manual
    • Ballistic Body Armor Applicant Instructions and Applicant Forms
    • Ballistics Test Laboratory Instructions, Application and Agreement
    • BA9000: NIJ Body Armor Quality Management Requirements
  • Laboratory Accreditation and NIJ Approval
  • Conformity Assessment Follow-up Testing
laboratory accreditation and nij approval
Laboratory Accreditation and NIJ Approval
  • Test Laboratories must be accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP)
    • Verifies that laboratories meet minimum quality requirements and are capable of performing test methods consistently and accurately
    • Reduces inter-laboratory variability
  • Laboratories must meet additional requirements to become NIJ-approved
    • Ensures independent laboratory testing with no conflicts of interest
    • Ensures all approved laboratories meet reporting requirements
Conformity Assessment Follow-up Testing
  • Purpose is to ensure continued conformity of subsequent production compliant armor.
  • Involves periodic announced and unannounced sampling and re-testing of production armor.
  • Frequency of sampling and testing depends on the manufacturing location’s having or not having a registered quality management system – ISO 9001 and BA 9000 registration.
QMS Options Impacting Frequency
  • Option 1: Manufacturing location does not have a registered QMS based on ISO 9001 in conjunction with BA 9000.
    • Frequency: Sampling will be conducted 6 times within a 5 year listing cycle for each manufacturing location on each model.
  • Option 2: Manufacturing location have a registered QMS based on ISO 9001 in conjunction BA 9000.
    • Frequency: Sampling will be conducted 3 times within a 5 year listing cycle for each manufacturing location on each model.
Follow-up Testing Requirements and Outcomes
  • Requirements for passing the test:
    • 2 armor sizes will be tested.
    • 6 shot-testing for perforation.
    • No perforations allowed.
    • CTP-filed build sheet, follow-up

build sheet, and sample construction

must all be consistent.

  • Numerous possible outcomes.
  • NOTE: CTP reserves the right to deviate from the defined conformity assessment follow-up actions at any time that circumstances warrant such deviation.
NIJ Compliant Products List

Current Numbers


selection and application guide
Selection and Application Guide

NIJ Restraints Selection and Application Guide


  • Purpose:
  • Provides information to assist law enforcement and corrections agency decision-makers, procurement officials, and end users
  • Directly linked to the standard and conformity assessment requirements
  • Contents may include:
  • Non-technical description of the NIJ standard and conformity assessment process
  • Types/Categories of equipment
  • Example scenarios for use of the equipment
  • Guidance on procurement, selection, use, maintenance, care and disposal of equipment
  • Recommended Training
Other Standards in Progress

CBRN Protective Ensemble Standard

Bomb Suit Standard

Restraints Standard

Holster Standard

  • Hand Held and Walk Through
  • Metal Detectors Standards
  • Electronic Monitoring
  • Standard

NIJ Standards and Testing Program ManagerNIJ Body Armor Program ManagerDebra [email protected]