There are two components to the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Ballistic-Resistant Body Armour Standards and Testing Program. The first is the performance standard; the second is the accompanying Compliance Testing Program (CTP).
The use of NIJ Standard-0101.06 is voluntary. Public safety agencies can choose whether to purchase body armour that is found to be compliant with the standard. Similarly, participation in the NIJ CTP on the part of body armour manufacturers is also voluntary.
Participation offers advantages to both public safety agencies and body armour manufacturers. Because the standard was developed with input from law enforcement and correctional officers, it informs manufacturers of what their customers need.
Purchasing armour listed on the Compliant Product Listing (CPL) provides agencies confidence that an armour will meet their needs. It also provides them with a resource allowing them to see a full list of compliant models that may meet their needs. In turn, the knowledge that agencies are likely to buy armour listed on the CPL provides suppliers with an incentive to have their armours listed.