A2LA Today l December 2016 l Number 133
By Ash Morton, Accreditation Specialist
In response to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) posting of new P25 Compliance Assessment Bulletins (CABs) that outline test procedures for the P25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP), A2LA is now accepting applications for its P25 Compliance Accreditation Program. Project 25 (P25) is a suite of standards which enable interoperability among digital two-way land mobile radio communications products created by and for public safety professionals1. The accreditation requirements, used in conjunction with ISO/IEC 17025, for this program may be found within R242 – Specific Requirements: Project 25 (P25) Compliance Accreditation Program.
Following the posting of these bulletins (the full text of which may be found at https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/bulletins), the DHS has stipulated that P25 CAP-recognized laboratories must become accredited by August 2017 in order to continue participation in the P25 CAP. In addition to accepting applications from current P25 CAP-recognized laboratories, A2LA is also accepting applications from laboratories that are newly interested in this program.
The P25 CAP is a voluntary program that allows P25 equipment suppliers to formally demonstrate that their products comply with a select group of requirements within the suite of P25 standards through assessments by DHS-authorized accreditation bodies (such as A2LA). Ultimately, this chain of oversight will provide evidence to emergency response agencies that the communications equipment they purchase meets P25 standards. The program requires test laboratories to demonstrate their competence through a rigorous and objective assessment process. Such a process promotes the user community’s confidence in, and acceptance of, test results from DHS-recognized P25 CAP laboratories.
All equipment suppliers that participate in the P25 CAP must use recognized laboratories to conduct performance, conformance and interoperability tests on their products. DHS now requires these laboratories to be accredited by a DHS-authorized accreditation body, such as A2LA, in order to be recognized. P25 CAP assessments by A2LA are available to public and private testing laboratories, including commercial laboratories, manufacturers’ in-house laboratories, university laboratories, and federal, state, and local government laboratories. Additional information may be found on the www.FirstResponder.gov website.