Are you undertaking a risk assessment and found that your team needs body armour, or are you buying body armour for yourself? Learn about certification standards and find out if your body armour is recognised by governing bodies.This page will help you to:
Buy armour that meets health and safety standards to avoid liability in case of injuries
Ask which standards an organisation should meet for your protection
Know that you are buying body armour that protects from an increasingly uncertain world.
The ‘Centre for Applied Science and Technology’ (CAST) integrated with the DSTL on 1 April 2018, which is part of the UK Home Office. They set guidance on the minimum performance requirements and test methods for body armour intended for UK law enforcement agencies.
This certification is still referred to as the definitive standard for body armour in the UK, and was originally established alongside the NIJ certification in the USA.
NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S Department of Justice. This institute sets the standard for tests of ballistic, stab, and spike resistant body armour. Their certification is subject to an annual review following studies generated by the military, prisons, and police.
Vereininigung der Prüfstellen für Angriffshemmende Materialien und Konstruktionen (VPAM)
A testing body based in Germany which established the country's certification of ballistic, stab, spike, needle, and blunt force trauma resistant body armour. However, the foundations of these tests are largely based on CAST and NIJ standards with the addition of varying testing temperatures.
CAST certification - SP1 (Spike) Protects from makeshift 'shivs', such as sharpened screwdrivers, and doubled edged weapons including flip knives. These weapons are not currently protected by armour only offering KR1.
VPAM certification - W5 (Blunt Force) Blunt force trauma is the highest cause of injury faced by frontline personnel. We worked hard to make sure our armour protects against up to 100 joules of impact from blunt objects including metal pipes, baseball bats, and crowbars.
We are committed to ongoing research and testing, watch this space as we test the limits of our new high-performance carbon-fibre body armour with additional certifications. Also, we are committed to helping you buy the right armour for your organisation's PPE needs. Finally, we have over 100 years of combined operational experience in body armour, and we believe in our product. Find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org.