Ask your supplier to provide evidence of compliance this should include UK independent test results
NIJ Compliance Testing Program
NLECTC-National may require the following documentation at any time:
- Quantity of each compliant model sold
- Model and serial numbers to demonstrate traceability
- Maintain a record of complaints
- Carry out and document corrective action for complaints
Periodic Sampling and Retesting:
- Periodic Sampling and re-testing to be conducted six times within a 60-month listing cycle.
- Ballistic testing may be included
- The inspector will come to VestGuard and designate 2 body armour production samples to be tested along with the build sheets
- The inspector will observe the packing of the armour as well as the build sheets, which will be packaged separately
- Body Armour will go to a laboratory
- Build Sheets will be sent to NLECTC-National
- Test laboratory will confirm the correct model and quantity were received
- Test laboratory checks labelling and workmanship as initial inspection
- Test laboratory will also take photos of the samples
- The ballistic testing is then carried out by the laboratory and results are recorded
- Test laboratory submits the PTR (Periodic Testing Results), the samples and the digital photos to NLECTC-National
- NLECTC-National performs a post-test armour inspection in which the armour construction, submitted build sheet, and the CTP-field build sheets are compared.
- NLECTC-National maintains the armour samples in an archive
- NLECTC-National prepares a recommendation for NIJ according to the outcome of laboratory testing and post-test inspection
The manufacturer must ensure that the following is adhered to in addition to the ISO 9001:2008 requirements:
Demonstrate ability to design and manufacture body armour intended to protect the torso against gunfire or stab, inconformity with the standard.
Have in place an appropriate vigilance system to investigate and respond to reports of defective or non-compliant body armour
All requirements of this standard are intended to be applicable to all organisations involved in the design and/or production of body armour for law enforcement and correction use.
Where exclusions are made claims of conformity to this standard are not acceptable unless these exclusions are limited to requirements within clause 7 and unless such exclusions do not affect the organisation’s ability or responsibility to provide products that meet the current performance standard for body armour and applicable regulatory requirements,. And there is an appropriate vigilance system. Exclusions are not allowed for clauses from ISO 9001:2008 that have been modified by this standard.
The Quality Management System documents must include construction details, test performance data, design/manufacturing change control information, and documentation communicating information on product conformity assessment follow-up processes such as the NIJ Compliance Testing Program and periodic retesting program (for example, build sheets).
Records required by relevant conformity assessment follow-up processes shall be included in the records covered by the requirements of this clause.
The requirements of this clause shall be applied to personnel, tasks and responsibilities required by relevant conformity assessment follow-up processes.
The work area shall be managed to reduce the likelihood that storage, handling, processing, and/or transport of goods and/or transport of goods and materials negatively affect body armour performance. Control of environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, rough handling and ultraviolet radiation must be addressed.
Arrangements for customer communication shall include:
- Coverage under a conformity assessment follow-up process
- Performance test results
- Process for reducing errors in communicating a product’s performance rating and its compliance status with respect to the NIJ Compliant Products List
Design and development changes shall be communicated through the conformity assessment follow-up process and changes that could affect body armour performance shall be authorised under the appropriate conformity assessment follow-up process.
Purchase requirements and specifications shall include an evaluation of material and/or component characteristics that could negatively affect body armour performance. Consideration shall be given to developing purchase requirements based on test that can measure the critical performance characteristics of materials or components.
Accreditation requirements for laboratories developing test data on material or component performance metrics that could negatively affect body armour performance.
Test data on performance metrics for material or components that could negatively affect body armour performance shall be accepted as verification if the data:
- Is developed by a laboratory accredited by a recognised accreditation organisation to comply with ISO/IEC 17025 or
- Comes from a supplier accredited to specific body armour QMS requirements.
A comprehensive system to reduce the likelihood of errors in the number and arrangement of protective material layers, type of protective material, and material attachment shall be implemented.
An identification and traceability system shall be implemented to facilitate user notifications and recalls and provide information required by relevant conformity assessment follow-up processes. This system shall be able to identify critical protective materials and components (generally the smallest unit package) used in the production of individual body armour units and the place of manufacture to the degree necessary.
Consideration shall be given to factors that could negatively affect body armour performance. Control of environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, rough handling and ultraviolet radiation must be addressed.
Shaun Ward Founder Vestguard