What is PAS 68?

What is PAS 68?


PAS 68 is a publicly available specification (PAS) for impact testing and rating hostile vehicle mitigation products such as bollards, blockers and barriers used for security and counter-terrorism purposes.

In the world of physical security, the PAS 68 specification is something many of us will already be familiar with.


It’s become the de facto test standard for hostile vehicle mitigation (HVM), but for those outside the industry, PAS 68 is either completely unknown or not fully understood.

There does seem to be growing awareness of the standard, due to the tragic, recent rise in vehicle as a weapon attack. As a result, there has been a greater demand for hostile vehicle mitigation products.

The increased interest in the test standard has been reflected in the number of inquiries for PAS 68 bollards and barriers from a more varied type of client base; everyone from architects to small business owners.


However, PAS 68 and other impact test standards like IWA 14 can be confusing for the uninitiated. As a result, we decided to put together a handy guide to explain the impact test standard and its history.


What does PAS 68 stand for?


First of all, you may be wondering, what does PAS actually stand for? Well, a PAS is a Publicly Available Specification and PAS 68 is one of the many standards overseen by the British Standards Institution (BSI).


PAS 68 was originally drawn up in 2005, becoming the first British impact test specification.  Recognized as one of the premier crash test specifications around the world, PAS 68 has played an integral role in shaping all the impact test standards that have followed.


Since its original development, PAS 68 has gone through a number of versions, with 2013 being the most recent. PAS 69, its sister standard is just as important, supporting PAS 68 in ensuring the effectiveness of the installation of high-security products.


PAS 69 provides guidance on the installation of high-security products, as well as the considerations which need to be reviewed when selecting and installing an impact tested product.


What does PAS 68 rating mean?


A common misconception we come across when fielding PAS 68 inquiries is that all rated products are the same.  In fact, the PAS 68 rating covers a wide range of products that can vary depending on the level of security needed.


Factors such as the size of the attacking vehicle you need to stop and the speed it’s potentially traveling at, help decide which PAS 68 rated product is best suited to your needs.


This is often determined by carrying out a ‘Vehicle Dynamic Assessment’ which is usually completed by an accredited Security Consultant or a Counter Terrorism Security Advisor.


For example, you may have one site where you need protection against a vehicle traveling at 30mph, at another you need to protect against the same type of vehicle traveling at 50mph, in each case, you would need to select a PAS 68 rated product suited to those requirements.


But how do you tell the difference?


The easiest way to demonstrate this is to show you how a PAS 68 rating is laid out. You may have seen a string of letters, symbols, and numbers similar to this when looking at impact tested products – V/7,500(N2)/48/90:0/0.


If you’re seeing it for the first time it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but once you understand what each section means it’s actually quite simple.



Test metode

Firstly, we have the test method, in this case, it’s ‘V’ for the vehicle, meaning that the product has been tested using an actual vehicle; this is the most common method you will find.


Other testing methods you may come across are ‘D’ for design, where the test is simulated. Finally, you have ‘P’ for pendulum (though this is only suitable for testing bollards at lower energy levels).


Vehicle Type


Vehicle Type

Next up is the mass and type of vehicle. The weight is measured in kg, so in our example, it was tested with a 7,500kg vehicle. Then the (N2) refers to the vehicle category. A more detailed breakdown of the different vehicle types can be seen below.


Vehicle class

As you can see there are a variety of vehicles that may be used for the impact test.


Test speed

After that we have the test speed, this is measured in kilometers per hour (kph). So, looking at our example rating it was tested at 48kph.

Angel of impact

The next section gives you the impact angle of the test, which is usually 90°.

impact penetration

This is followed by the impact penetration achieved during the crash test.


This measurement communicates how far (in meters) that the load-carrying part of the test vehicle traveled past the back face of the product being tested before being drawn to a complete stop. In our example, the bollard achieved 0m penetration.


The level of penetration considered acceptable depends on where the perimeter line is in relation to the asset being protected. The distance between the asset being protected and the line of protective measures is known as “stand-off”.

Debris dispersion

Finally, we have the dispersion distance of major debris. This measurement indicates the furthest point that debris weighing over 25kg traveled during the test.  In the case of our example rating, it had a dispersion distance of 0.


This is included to help security engineers visualize the test and should not be a focal point for end-users. This has caused some confusion in the past, resulting in the IWA 14 standard not including the dispersion distance measurement.