pat testing test

Your Ultimate Guide to Portable Appliance Testing

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is a process of inspection, testing and recording of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. 

The tests are carried out using PAT testing equipment to identify any damage or risk of shock or fire that may be present. PAT testing is usually carried out by a qualified electrician or PAT tester.

What is PAT Testing?

The phrase PAT testing stands for “portable appliance testing” (sometimes referred to as “PAT,” or “PAT Inspection,”) is used to describe the inspection of electrical equipment and appliances to determine their safety for use. “In-service Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment” is the official name of the procedure. 

The majority of electrical safety flaws may be seen or examined, while certain flaws can only be detected by testing. 

It is crucial to realize that visual inspection is a crucial step in the process since some types of electrical safety flaws cannot be found by testing alone.

It is untrue that every portable electrical item in a low-risk setting, such as an office, needs to undergo an annual PAT test. The legislation doesn’t specify what has to be done or how frequently, just that employers make sure that electrical equipment is maintained to avoid hazards.

It is usually carried out by a qualified technician who will inspect the equipment and carry out tests to make sure it is safe to use. 

If you are ever in need of looking for PAT testing near me, you can search online for local PAT testing providers or contact your local electrical safety authority or trade association for advice.

Legal Requirements for PAT Testing

PAT testing is not yet subject to any severe legislative requirements. However, the government has established standards for the upkeep of electrical equipment, and the best method to guarantee that these requirements are followed is through legal requirements of PAT testing for landlords according to the following guidelines:

  • All electrical equipment used in a workplace must be safe and maintained in a safe condition.
  • Records must be kept of the test results, including details of any failed tests and any remedial action is taken.
  • All electrical equipment must be visually inspected before each use and any faults should be reported to the appropriate person.
  • All users must be made aware of their responsibility for the regular inspection and testing of electrical equipment.
  • A qualified engineer must be used to carry out the tests, and they must be provided with the necessary test equipment and documentation.
  • If a fault is found, it must be rectified in accordance with the Health and Safety Executive’s regulations.
  • All portable appliances must be labelled with the date of their last PAT test.

According to the primary safety regulation, the legal requirements in care homes are that employers must ensure that any electrical equipment they provide to their employees is maintained in a safe condition. 

This includes all portable appliances (PAT) used in the home. The regulations require that all portable electrical appliances used in a care home should be inspected and tested at regular intervals to ensure that they remain in a safe condition.

PAT testing Regulations in the UK

The legal requirements for Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) vary by country. The PAT testing Regulations in the UK under the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. 

It is generally accepted that PAT testing is the best way to comply with this. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK has published guidance on PAT testing, which states that all employers should take reasonable steps to ensure that every piece of electrical equipment made available for usage at work is kept in a secure state. 

This includes having an appropriate system in place to detect faults and carry out regular inspections and tests. The frequency of PAT testing depends on the type of equipment, its location and its use. 

In the UK, the IET Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment recommends that all portable appliances are tested at least every 12 months.

Required Items for PAT Testing

To complete a PAT test, you will need the following PAT testing checklist: 

  • PAT Testing Equipment: This includes a PAT tester, extension leads, IEC adapters, crocodile clips and probes.
  • Portable Appliance Logbook: This should be used to record all of the PAT testings carried out, including the results of each test.
  • Labels and Tags: These are used to mark items that have passed or failed the test.
  • Electrical Safety Checklist: This should be used to check the electrical safety of each appliance before the PAT test is carried out.
  • Safety Goggles and Gloves: These are used to protect the technician’s eyes and hands from sparks or electric shocks.
  • Replacement Fuses: These should be used to replace any blown fuses during the PAT test.

How are PAT Tests Done?

In order to perform PAT testing, the technician must first inspect the appliance visually for any signs of damage, wear, or tampering. The technician then performs a series of electrical tests to ensure that the appliance is safe to use. These include:

  • Ensure the electrical equipment is disconnected from the power supply.
  • Visually inspect the equipment for damage and identify any potential risks.
  • Test the insulation resistance of the equipment to ensure that it is safe to operate.
  • Test the earth continuity of the equipment to ensure that it is correctly earthed. 
  • Test the polarity of the equipment to ensure the electrical current is flowing correctly.
  • Test the current leakage of the equipment to determine if there are any faults.
  • Test the protective measures of the equipment such as RCDs to make sure they are working correctly.
  • Record the results of the tests and provide a certificate of compliance.

A PAT testing course and certificate are available from a variety of providers, both online and in-person. 

The course will typically cover the basics of PAT (including safety regulations, hazard identification and testing methods) and the PAT testing certificate will be awarded upon successful completion. 

Depending on the provider, the course may also include practical assessments and/or an exam. It is important to ensure that the course and certificate are accredited, as this will ensure that the training meets the necessary standards.


What is a PAT testing test for?

PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) testing is a process used to ensure that electrical appliances, such as computers, fridges, kettles, and toasters, are safe for use. It involves testing the insulation, internal wiring and electrical safety features of an appliance to check that it meets safety standards and is free from potential hazards.

Do mobile phones need PAT testing?

No, mobile phones do not need PAT testing. PAT testing is a safety test typically applied to electrical appliances to check that they are safe to use. Mobile phones are not typically considered electrical appliances, so there is no need to PAT test them.

Can any electrician do a PAT test?

No, not all electricians are qualified to do a PAT test. PAT tests are usually done by a designated qualified person, who is trained in the specific requirements and regulations of the testing process.

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