The Home Office Scientific Development Branch
The Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB), also known as the Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST), is a voluntary testing programme that works in many different areas, including supporting ministers, policy formulation and frontline operations. The HOSDB are a group of independent scientists and engineers who are responsible for developing and testing a range of solutions used to fight crime. They focus on providing advice, innovation and support, in areas such as crime investigation, protective security and contraband detection. The HOSDB works closely with academics and industry leaders in each area that they are assigned to, allowing them to develop their abilities to find cost effective solutions to problems faced by the Home Office and its frontline agencies.
The HOSDB are responsible for producing the body armour standards for ballistic, stab and spike protection in the UK, and their testing methods for stab and spike protection for body armour are considered the best in the world.
When testing body armour the HOSDB works closely with the American NIJ, the government funded agency responsible for setting the standards used for body armour in the U.S., and a piece of body armour that passes HOSDB standards will also pass the equivalent NIJ standard. For body armour their standards are used by The Police Federation of England and Wales, meaning that only body armour that passes the HOSDB standards will be used by their police forces. The HOSDB perform tests on all ranges of body armour, from the lowest level HG1/A soft armour up to rifle resistant RF2 hard armour. The tests performed by the HOSBD cover all aspects of protection, ensuring that every piece of body armour certified by them will provide full protection up to it's stated levels. The HOSBD provide full details of the tests performed on each level of body armour, and their ballistic and stab and spike standards have detailed information on the threats that each piece of body armour will stop.
All of SafeGuard ARMOUR™'s body armour meets both the NIJ's and HOSDB's minimum protection levels, so you can be completely confident with the protection you have every time you wear a piece of of our body armour.