The Home Office Body Armour Standard 2017 provides minimum performance requirements and test methods for the assessment of body armour to protect against ballistic, knife and spike threats.
The key improvements from the previous Home Office standards include:
Formed armour testing: anthropometrically derived test surrogates, more representative of the morphologies of the female torso, enabling enhanced assessment of female body armour
Ballistic protection levels: an updated set of ballistic protection levels with test rounds reflecting the current operational requirements of UK law enforcement
Rifle testing: anthropometrically derived male front and back torso surrogates for ballistic testing to provide enhanced assessment on the performance of rifle protection
Production quality testing (PQT): introduction of critical perforation analysis (CPA) as a quality assurance tool to provide increased confidence in the continued production quality of soft armour
In-life monitoring (ILM): periodical assessment of in-service body armour over a period of time to ensure performance is maintained
The guidance document is used to assist police services and procurement bodies in making informed decisions in the selection of body armour and outline elements of best practice for end-users.
It addresses considerations beyond body armour testing and certification including selecting the most appropriate armour, coverage and fit assessments, and in-service maintenance and lifecycle considerations.