Project 25 is a set of standards that are designed to create interoperability for users. This allows for users, often public safety officials, to effectively communicate across different manufacturers. In emergency situations, this is critical for the safety of both the officials and the public. To ensure that the radios manufacturers are using are P25 compatible, the U.S. government introduced the P25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) in 2008.
The P25 CAP came about from a partnership between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the U.S. Department of Commerce Public Safety Communications Research program. The purpose of this voluntary program is to give these users confidence that the devices they are using are actually P25 compatible. The program tests participating radios against P25 standards for performance, conformance, and interoperability to ensure that the radios are, in fact, P25 compatible. The results of the tests are then publicly published allowing the first responders who use the radios to see the results for themselves.
The impact that this program has is that it promotes the use of P25 radios by showing first responders which radios are P25 compatible and which are not. The more manufacturers feel pressured to switch to P25 radios, the more interoperability there will be for the public safety officials that rely on them. Inevitably, this makes these personnel and the public in general much safer.
P25 compliant radios are key for the safety of the public and those that protect them. But public safety officials want to be sure that the radios they use are P25 compliant. That is where the P25 Compliance Assessment Program comes in. By testing the products that claim to meet the P25 standards and publicly publishing the results, these safety officials that are charged with protecting the public will be able to see for certain that they are using the right product. RELM Wireless completed the assessment program in 2011 and continues to provide top-quality P25 equipment to public safety personnel around the country.