PAT Testing – Answering the key questions

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to PAT testing, you only have to search for the term on Google and take a look at the most commonly asked questions to see that most people aren’t sure when they need to test or what they need to test. The key questions for most people are:

        1.   Is PAT testing required?

        2.   What is tested in a PAT test?

        3.   How often do you have to do a PAT test?

        4.   Can anyone do a PAT test?

So we’ve decided to answer these key questions and let you know how ElectriQL can help.

Is PAT testing required?

There are many mixed answers to this question, partly because many report PAT testing as a legal requirement but others point out this isn’t technically true. The reality is there is currently no strict legal requirement for PAT testing, however, the Government issued Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 do state that any electrical equipment and portable appliance that has the potential to cause injury must be maintained in a safe condition. One of the most efficient and effective ways to ensure that these regulations are met is through PAT testing.

What is tested in a PAT test?

For the purpose of legislation the term “portable appliance” refers to any piece of equipment that is not part of a fixed installation but is meant to be connected to a fixed installation or generator. In other words any piece of equipment that has a cable, plug or socket counts and should be PAT tested to ensure it is maintained in a safe condition.

This would include smaller items such as printers, PCs, microwaves and kettles, as well as larger items such as photocopiers, industrial printers, electronic machinery and vending machines. The cable and plug is an important distinction, for example a cordless piece of machinery wouldn’t necessarily need to be tested but if it was charged using a cable and plug, this would need to be looked at. Equally large items that appear stationary such as IT equipment, refrigerators and dishwashers also need to be tested as they use a plug as a power source.

How often do you have to do a PAT test?

Whilst the Health and Safety Executive provides no set rule on how often you should test, PAT testing should be done regularly to ensure preventative maintenance and safety. The reason there are no set rules is it very much depends on the scenario the business is in and the details of the equipment being tested.

Equipment that is used more needs to be tested more frequently, for example factory equipment that is used on a daily basis will need to be PAT tested more frequently than a PC that is hardly ever turned on. The type of equipment being tested also plays an important role in this decision, for example hand held equipment is more likely to be damaged because of the way it is operated. If equipment regularly receives damage that is not reported, more frequent testing is required.

Can anyone do a PAT test?

To meet the legal regulations associated with PAT testing, the person carrying out the test must have adequate training in how the process is carried out. The regulations state that tests must be undertaken by a “competent person” who has been given instruction to perform the checks in a safe manner.

How ElectriQL can help

The need for a “competent person” who has been given instruction to perform the checks in a safe manner is the main reason customers ask ElectriQL to conduct PAT testing for them. Our highly skilled and experienced engineers incorporate PAT testing into our electrical testing service, ensuring that you get exactly the solution you need to meet all legal requirements.

We offer this service to help our customers maintain a safe working environment for employees, that complies with EICR regulations. These regulations were created to ensure that companies avoid the accidents and injuries that can occur as a result of electrical faults.

Contact us today to discuss any PAT testing or EICR requirements you may have. You can call 0800 917 721 or visit to find out more about our other services.

You can also email [email protected]


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