Recertification is the process whereby previously certified helmets and other athletic equipment undergo testing to determine that the equipment continues to meet the original certification requirements. The recertification testing must occur as part of a reconditioning process because the sample helmets randomly selected for testing must be tested both before they are reconditioned and then tested again after they have been reconditioned. Members of the national Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association (“NAERA”) are licensed by NOCSAE to recertify football, lacrosse, softball/baseball helmets, and face guards.
NOCSAE standards include recertification standards for a variety of athletic equipment, including helmets used in football, baseball, softball, ice hockey and lacrosse.
Recertified helmets must have a recertification label that includes the name of the recertifying firm and the year of recertification. This seal may be placed on the interior or exterior of the shell in an area in which it can be easily read without removal of any permanent component and will also contain the following language: “This helmet has been recertified according to procedures established to meet the NOCSAE Standard.”
What NOCSAE Recommends and What NOCSAE Requires
Recertification is not a requirement under NOCSAE standards, although it is strongly recommended.
It is NOCSAE’s belief that having equipment recertified is the most effective way to make sure that equipment performs as designed and intended.
NOCSAE recommends and encourages any consumer with concerns or questions about their equipment to send in this equipment to a reconditioner for inspection.
New Recertification Requirements for Helmets Became Effective in January 2017.
Since January 2017, NOCSAE standard ND001 has required that the helmet manufacturer specify a recertification frequency in order to maintain the validity of the original new helmet certification.
Helmets not recertified during the stated interval shall no longer be certified. If the manufacturer does not specify a frequency for recertification, then NOCSAE will consider the frequency to be the same as whatever may be required by the manufacturer to maintain its warranty.
Consumers should be aware that manufacturers may choose to prohibit the recertification of a helmet model. However, NOCSAE standards do mandate that if a manufacturer has obtained certification of compliance with NOCSAE standards for helmets and it prohibits the recertification of a helmet model, it must specify a useful life of the new helmet certification. The date label related to these requirements is to be permanent so there is no confusion as to when the helmet’s certification has expired. (See 9.5 under “Labeling and Instructions” in the NOCSAE Standard seen here). The useful life for this certification cannot be more than 5 years.
Helmets Manufactured Before January 2017
If a helmet has been made prior to January 2017, what the manufacturer requires regarding reconditioning and care to maintain warranty can be used as guidance for continued use.
NOCSAE recommends helmets manufactured during this time period should undergo annual recertification before use.
NAERA will not recondition or recertify helmets 10 years old and older. This is not a NOCSAE requirement and NOCSAE does not participate in the management or administration of NAERA, nor does it direct or control NAERA policies.
If your helmet was manufactured before 2017, or you cannot find any information regarding the recertification or expiration date for your helmet, it is recommended to contact the helmet manufacturer for information about its warranty.
There are currently 14 reconditioners nationally that are licensed by NOCSAE to recertify football, lacrosse, ice hockey, softball and baseball helmets. For more information about recertification and reconditioning, contact: National Athletic Equipment Reconditioners Association, http://naera.net/.
(Above) The NOCSAE Football Helmet standard test is performed.