Body Armor Compliance Testing

Comments sought! NIJ is seeking feedback from the public on two draft documents.

  • A proposed revision of NIJ Standard 0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor.
  • A proposed specification of the threat levels and associated ammunition intended for use with voluntary NIJ Standards that specify a minimum performance requirement for U.S. law enforcement equipment intended to protect against handgun and rifle ammunition.

Comments must be received by 5 pm on May 23, 2018.

Download the draft documents and comment sheets.

On this page find:

Overview of Compliance Testing

NIJ administers a program to test commercially available armor for compliance with the standards to determine whether the vests will perform as expected.

In addition to being tested for NIJ compliance, body armor models must meet workmanship and labeling requirements.

Follow-up Inspections

Learn about follow-up inspections of body armor in the NIJ Journal.

NIJ also has a follow-up inspection and testing requirement to ensure that the body armor worn by officers is safe and reliable. Each body armor manufacturer with a model that meets the standard is subject to six follow-up inspections and testing over a five-year period, consisting of:

  • Inspections of recently manufactured vests to determine whether they are constructed in the same way as the original samples.
  • Follow-up ballistic testing.

NIJ's National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center manages the compliance testing program.

Manufacturers' Role in Compliance Testing

Manufacturers: Get Your Armor Tested

Find information and forms for submitting armor:

During compliance testing, manufacturers:

Testing at Approved Laboratories

How to Participate

Learn how your lab can participate:

NIJ requires that body armor models being tested for NIJ compliance must be tested at an approved laboratory. To be approved, a lab must:

  • Be accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology as meeting general international standards for laboratory technical competence and quality management, as well as meeting specific technical requirements to perform the body armor tests included in the NIJ standards. Learn more about the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program.
  • Be an independent, third-party laboratory and conduct all body armor compliance testing within the United States.
  • Demonstrate freedom from potential conflicts of interest and maintain independent decisional relationships from its clients, affiliates, contractors and other organizations.
Date Modified: February 22, 2018