! Product Damage Tolerance (PDT) and Package Degradation Allowance (PDA) are sometimes referred to as the Acceptance Criteria. Both criteria are to be determined prior to testing by the Shipper/Product Manufacturer (or the company representative requiring the testing), or in cooperation with the Shipper/product manufacturer, laboratory, buyer or other party with a vested interest in the testing. Typically, the test laboratory organization cannot and should not make these determinations by themselves alone, but instead work with the Shipper and other parties to determine the best criteria for the packaged-product being tested.
The Product Damage Tolerance is the criteria used to determine what constitutes damage to the product, and what damage tolerance level is permissible, if any. This could be as simple as "No Damage" or it might be more specific, including details that relate to any type of deterioration of appearance or operation, and the amount or level that would determine pass/fail.
The Package Degradation Allowance is the criteria used to determine what degradation, if any, is acceptable for the package. This could be as simple as"No Damage" or might include specific details about corner or edge crushing, scuffing, dents, etc, and the amount or level that would determine pass/fail.
The Method Used to Determine Pass or Fail is the manner in which the test results will be determined. Examples would be a "visual inspection" or a "functional test".
Additional details concerning these criteria can be found in the Guidelines for Selecting and Using ISTA Procedures and Projects .
Source: ISTA Staff