The National Institute of Justice Compliance Testing Program (NIJ CTP) communicates safety concerns to criminal justice agencies via two types of notices:
Advisory Notices inform interested parties that the NIJ CTP has concerns with a body armor model (or models) identified in the Advisory Notice. Additionally, the model(s) in question are temporarily suspended from the Compliant Product List (CPL), pending completion of a review and evaluation process. The NIJ CTP will promptly communicate the resolution of an Advisory Notice to criminal justice agencies.
Safety Notices communicate recognized safety concerns identified by the NIJ CTP to criminal justice agencies. Body armor models identified in a Safety Notice are removed from the CPL due to these safety concerns and any body armor units of the model(s) listed in the Safety Notice should be replaced as soon as possible by criminal justice agencies possessing or using them.
In most cases, Advisory and Safety Notices are the result of the NIJ CTP’s follow-up inspection and testing (FIT) process. Read more about the FIT process here. If a model of armor tested through the FIT process has performance or other noncompliance issues identified and these issues result in an Advisory Notice, the NIJ CTP has an established process to attempt to satisfactorily resolve those issues. As noted, the model(s) in question are temporarily suspended from the CPL while this resolution process is ongoing.
Through the review process, the manufacturer must meet the following conditions:
- Identify and account for all production units of armor related to the Advisory Notice.
- Notify all affected end users in possession of units of armor identified in the Advisory Notice.
- Conduct a root cause analysis and identify the specific issue(s) that caused the performance issue or noncompliance.
- Provide the NIJ CTP with evidence that the applicant has implemented appropriate corrective actions to remedy the concerns and ensure repeated occurrences of the identified issue(s) do not occur.
The NIJ CTP considers an Advisory Notice to be closed when the applicant has provided sufficient documentation and evidence that all of these conditions have been met. When the Advisory Notice is closed, the affected model(s) are restored to the CPL.
In cases in which an applicant cannot meet the conditions to successfully close an Advisory Notice in a reasonable amount of time, or if the FIT test failure or noncompliance issue rises to the level of an immediate or a significant officer safety concern (e.g., multiple perforations during a single test), the NIJ CTP will issue a Safety Notice and immediately remove the model(s) in question from the CPL.
Criminal justice agency personnel are always encouraged to continue wearing any armor for which a notice has been issued until the issue has been resolved or until the armor can be replaced.
For more information, contact:
NIJ Compliance Testing Program (NIJ CTP)
3040 E. Cornwallis Road
Hermann Building, Room 216
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194