Equipment Testing Programs

Backing and vest after testing

Image courtesy of NIST/OLES

NIJ administers two testing programs: (1) standards-based testing and conformity assessment and (2) comparative evaluations. These two programs ensure that the equipment used in the field is safe and reliable and meets the needs of the users. NIJ also works with other public and private sector standards bodies to develop and maintain needed conformity assessment programs.

Standards-Based Testing

In our standards-based testing program, products are tested in accordance with voluntary national performance standards.

Conducted at NIJ-approved independent testing laboratories and confirms equipment's compliance with NIJ standards.

Many public safety agencies require compliance with NIJ standards before equipment is purchased. Compliance may also be a required condition for federal grant funding. For example, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, requires that body armor purchased with federal grant funds must be listed on either the NIJ Ballistic-resistant body armor or Stab-resistant body armor compliant product list.

Testing of this type is being performed on:

NIJ's oldest compliance testing program — testing body armor to the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Standard 0101.01 Ballistic Resistance of Police Body Armor — was established in 1978.


Comparative Evaluations

Comparative evaluation — field testing and publishing test data — allows users to select the product that best suits their needs and requirements.

Testing of this type is now being performed in coordination with the Michigan State Police on patrol vehicles.

Date Modified: July 23, 2018