Introduction to Personal Flotation Devices - An Overview of Testing and Certification: Recorded Webinar


This 35-minute webinar provides participants with basic knowledge and a fundamental understanding of UL testing services and certification requirements for Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs). This webinar was developed to assist both new and existing stakeholders in the PFD industry with understanding UL’s certification offerings for PFDs in partnership with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), as well as understanding the tests and follow-up requirements for the various performance and buoyancy types of PFDs. As this industry continues to grow and evolve to increase the PFD wear rate and provide innovative new products, UL aims to be the source of technical knowledge and resource for the industry.

Participants will gain a general overview of UL, UL’s relationship with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and other Authorities, the importance of PFDs, PFD constructions, and UL’s product type certification. An overview of certification requirements for construction, testing, and performance of PFDs in accordance with the applicable UL Standards will be discussed.


Course Topics:

  • What is a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)?
  • Types of PFDs
  • PFD statistics as related to wear
  • UL’s certification offerings
  • PFD Markings
  • In-water performance, PFD evaluations and testing
  • Mechanical PFD testing
  • PFD Factory Inspections
  • Follow-Up Service Testing and Examinations

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this webinar, participants should:

  • Understand the relationship between UL and the USCG
  • Understand UL’s Certification Offerings for PFDs, including markings
  • Understand the performance and buoyancy types for PFDs
  • Understand the basic mechanical and in-water performance testing requirements
  • Understand the PFD Factory Inspection process and the UL Field Representative’s Role in inspections

Target Audience

  • Product Development Engineers
  • Design Engineers
  • Retailers
  • Boating Safety Associations
  • Manufacturers


Denice Durrant, a UL Staff Engineer in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) department primarily works in the certification of products within Personal Flotation Devices and Components for US and international certifications. She also works within other categories in the PPE industry related to first responder clothing and equipment and serves on a NFPA Technical Committee. Denice has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Textile Engineering as well as a dual Master of Science degree in Materials Science & Engineering and Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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Time Requirement


Web-Based 35 minutes

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