Are you putting your safety at risk because of deceptive practices by other armor manufacturers? Your life depends on body armor that meets high standards and quality assurance, the same level which tens of thousands of officers and operators around the world have come to expect from HighCom Armor. But how do you really know that the armor you are purchasing has met quality and performance standards?
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Compliance Testing Program (CTP) spells out performance requirements for ballistic armor and partners with independent NVLAP accredited laboratories nationwide to inspect and test armor products for compliance to these standards.
The NIJ CTP is authorized pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to “establish and maintain a program to certify, validate, and mark or otherwise recognize law enforcement technology products that conform to standards established and maintained by the office in accordance with the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995.”
The aim of the NIJ CTP is to provide law enforcement with an assurance that their ballistic armor has met or exceeded applicable requirements and performs as expected. To achieve this, the NIJ CTP must independently evaluate products and communicate the results of those evaluations to practitioners.
Up until last year, manufacturers indicated participation in the NIJ CTP by using the following NIJ CTP statement of compliance on their labels: “This model of armor has been determined to comply with NIJ Standard-0101.06 by the NIJ Compliance Testing Program and is listed on the NIJ Compliant Product List.”
Unfortunately, the statement of compliance was susceptible to manipulation, and many companies used carefully crafted statements similar to the NIJ CTP statement of compliance to imply participation in the CTP. This has created false perceptions concerning those products’ NIJ CTP compliance status, making it difficult for buyers to make informed decisions.
To counter misuse of the CTP label, as of October 2016, NIJ’s CTP began to phase out the NIJ Statement of Compliance in favor of a new NIJ Mark of Compliance, a logo of sorts, to indicate that specific models of armor have been determined to meet the current ballistic-resistant body armor standard and NIJ CTP requirements, and have been approved by NIJ.
The new NIJ Mark, which is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, indicates that a specific model of ballistic-resistant body armor has been tested by the NIJ CTP and found to comply with the current version of the NIJ ballistic-resistant body armor standard. By placing the NIJ Mark on the label, a manufacturer communicates that the armor was manufactured in the same manner as the original test items evaluated as compliant by the NIJ CTP, and that armor was constructed under the oversight of the Follow-up Inspection and Testing (FIT) surveillance program that periodically inspects and tests production samples.
All armor models manufactured after March 1, 2017, must carry this mark on the label to be considered NIJ-compliant body armor and listed on the NIJ Compliant Products List. Manufacturers must complete legal agreements and have draft labels approved for production before they can begin placing the Mark on production units. Manufacturers have received specific implementation guidance through a revised Applicant Agreement and NIJ CTP Product Conformity Assessment System documents.
The NIJ Mark cannot be manipulated as the statement of compliance had been, and it is illegal to use it without first meeting the NIJ CTP rigorous compliance standards and adherence to strict legal agreements by the manufacturer.
If you are responsible for evaluating and purchasing body armor for your agency, the new NIJ Mark may be a helpful tool in identifying NIJ compliant body armor. Armor buyers should look for the NIJ Mark as added assurance when researching ballistic-resistant body armor.
HighCom Armor is proud of the fact that we are authorized to implement the new NIJ Mark. With the NIJ Mark, there is no doubt that armor with this label is NIJ compliant or commonly referred to as NIJ certified.
Below are the models that HighCom currently has listed as NIJ 0101.06 compliant on the CPL:
|Level III Plates||Level IV Plates||Soft Armor|
|Guardian 3s9™||Trooper 3a300™|