All riding hats and skull caps must conform to specific standards testing in order to be sold in the UK and Europe. These standards are reviewed every five years, and a new standard has emerged every ten years or so historically. However, PAS standards are managed by the BSI (British Standard Institute) and reviewed every 2 years.
PAS stands for “Product Approval Specification” and was developed in response to concerns of how long it was taking to develop what would become the up-to-date EN1384 standard. The first version of the PAS015 standard was formulated by looking at the drafts for the European standard and testing against the highest option in each case.
The most current standard of the PAS015 was revised in 2011. Since the original PAS015 standard was launched in 1998, tests were improved further by the helmets being testing for improved protection from 30% greater heights, 20% stronger impact forces and 27% greater crush resistance.
All riding helmets carrying the PAS015 must carry the BSI Kitemark – this indicates that the manufacturer complies with the rigorous system of regulation and testing. Riding hats are only released for sale once randomly chosen samples have been batch and audit tested and are deemed to meet the specification.
All new helmets being produced by reputable companies such as Charles Owen, Champion and Gatehouse are to PAS015 standard, and legal for use in affiliated competition, Riding Clubs and Pony Club on the date of publishing.