BA 9000 is the application of ISO 9001, specific to ballistic-resistant body armor manufacturing. When a manufacturing facility operates a quality management system (QMS) certified as conforming to BA 9000, the manufacturer provides additional confidence in its ability to meet the needs of criminal justice practitioners and to consistently produce armor that continues to represent those samples used for initial performance testing.
In addition to ISO 9001 requirements being applied to the manufacture of ballistic-resistant body armor, BA 9000 also includes the following requirements:
- The manufacturer’s ISO 9001 certification must apply to the manufacture of ballistic body armor.
- Documentation requirements concerning both the preservation of raw materials and body armor “build sheets” (construction details).
- Specifications that the NIJ Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor Standard and NIJ Ballistic Body Armor CTP documents—including forms, applications, and standard operating procedures (SOPs)—be included as documents that must be controlled.
- Specifications that test reports referenced by the NIJ CTP and communications with the NIJ CTP be included as records that must be controlled and maintained.
- Specifications that staff members with approval authority shall have competencies defined.
- NIJ Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor Standard and NIJ Body Armor CTP documents, forms, applications, and SOPs shall be considered to contain criteria for product acceptance.
- Purchase requirements and specifications for both ballistic materials and material used for panel covers shall consider the impact on ballistic performance and include lot testing of bulk materials.
- Product traceability from raw materials to individual end products using serial and lot numbers unique to each model of armor.
- Ballistic materials shall be protected from detrimental environmental factors throughout the production cycle—such as temperature, humidity, contamination, rough handling, and ultraviolet radiation.
Although demonstrating the QMS’s conformity to BA 9000 also demonstrates compliance with ISO 9001, the QMS’s conformity to ISO 9001 does not demonstrate compliance with BA 9000. Therefore, ISO 9001 certification alone is not sufficient for the NIJ CTP’s purposes.
Additional confidence in the manufacturer’s consistency then permits for the frequency of manufacturing location surveillance inspections related to the NIJ CTP Product Conformity Assessment System—Ballistic Body Armor Follow-up Inspection and Testing (FIT) Scheme to be reduced. This also leads to reducing surveillance inspection costs for manufacturers—proportional to the number of models being actively manufactured.
For ballistic body armor manufacturers to have their QMS certified as conforming to BA 9000, they must identify an acceptable certification body accredited by the American National Standards Institute/American Society for Quality National Accreditation Board (ANAB) or the International Accreditation Service (IAS) to perform this work. Links to the ANAB and IAS Certification Body (CB) Directories are provided in the following resources.
Following certification, the manufacturer must alert and provide evidence of certification to the NIJ CTP before the frequency of surveillance inspections can be reduced.
Additional resources are available below:
- NIJ CTP Memorandum, BA 9000 (PDF)
- BA 9000, NIJ Body Armor QMS Requirements (aligned with ISO 9001:2008) (PDF)
- New BA 9000, NIJ CTP Body Armor QMS Requirements (aligned with ISO 9001:2015) (PDF)
- ANAB CB Directory
- IAS CB Directory
- Evidence That Sets the Record Straight: How Management System Standards Add Value to Any Organization (PDF)
- Common Myths Associated With the Use of Management System Standards (PDF)