Stringent test requirements are just word documents on paper. Through two testing programs, Snell assures that the premium protection riders expect in M2010 helmets is actually there. First, helmets must meet all test requirements in initial certification testing to demonstrate that the helmets are designed to satisfy each one of the M2010 standard requirement. Then, when the helmet manufacturer brings the certified helmets into the market, Snell will randomly buy helmets from shops and distributors to test them again to make sure that certified helmets continue to meet the standard.
This first round of testing is performed on helmets submitted to the Snell lab by manufacturers. Depending on the size range a helmet is designed for, five or six identical helmet samples are tested in hot, cold, wet, ambient conditions to see if the helmets meet each requirement for impact, face shield, chin strap, chin bar, visual clearance, penetration, etc. Only when every helmet sample passes every test requirement, that helmet model and size will be granted the Snell M2010 certification. Its name will be added to the certified helmet list and published on the Snell website.
This second round of testing is conducted on helmets Snell buys randomly from shops and distributors based on the quantities of production. Each Snell certified helmets carries a Snell sticker with a serial number and the manufacturer reports to Snell its production and distribution every three months. If there is a failure in any RST tests, three more identical samples will be purchased and tested to verify that the helmet definitely does not meet the requirements of the standard. These helmets are tested only in Snell labs by Snell technicians. Should a currently certified helmet fail, the helmet manufacturer must take corrective action to Snell's satisfaction.
Once a helmet model is certified, the manufacturer cannot make any design change. Any structural modification automatically invalidates existing certification, because it could affect the performance quality of the helmet. Snell keeps a helmet archive of every certified helmet model for future inspection and verification.