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PAT Testing (portable appliances testing)


PAT testing is done to ensure that all electrical equipment that is classified as “portable” is deemed safe for use. Conforming to PAT testing regulations will help you to ensure that the portable appliances in your business are safe and help you to avoid violations.



Conforming to PAT testing regulations will help you to ensure that the portable appliances in your business are safe and help you to avoid violations. PAT testing legislation was put into effect to ensure that all companies conform to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989, Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations of 1998 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations of 1999.

The current law requires that all employers maintain portable appliances and ensure their safety. This is done through testing of the appliances to safeguard against damage and to make certain that these items perform properly.

PAT testing law requires that all landlords, employers and even self-employed individuals make sure that their portable electrical appliances are safe and are suitable and used for the purposes intended. These appliances should always be maintained properly and remain in good working order.

The guidelines are designed to make certain that this equipment is kept protected and is preserved through regular maintenance as well as inspections and periodic testing. Damage and fault can occur with all electrical equipment use which makes it essential that these items are tested regularly for safety.

PAT testing is done to ensure that all electrical equipment that is classified as “portable” is deemed safe for use. The legislation deems that any competent person can perform it by using a PAT instrument or tester. The visual examination of each appliance in addition to the actual PAT test should be performed only by someone who is deemed competent.

According to PAT testing legislation, a competent person is someone who has experience or knowledge of being able to check and test appliances for safety purposes. Those with knowledge of electricity in general as well as anyone who has experience in electrical work can be deemed capable.

It is imperative that employers, landlords and self-employed individuals follow the rules to ensure that their workplaces are safe. Testing can be done by any number of PAT testing companies or individuals can obtain certification to perform their own testing by successfully completing coursework in this field.



PAT testing is required by employers, landlords and self-employed to ensure safety of portable appliances. The Health & Safety Executive provides no set rule on PAT testing frequency, only that testing should be done regularly to ensure preventative maintenance. The reason that there is no set frequency is because different situations arise that call for different measures. There are a number of factors that affect PAT testing frequency and it is up to each individual to determine when testing should be carried out.

In order to determine how often you should have your appliances tested, you should bear in mind a few different factors:

  1. Equipment that is used more should be tested more frequently. This equipment is likely to suffer less damage than that used regularly.
  2. If people using equipment report any damages as they become noticeable, there is less chance of a major hazard. If equipment regularly receives damage or abuse that is not reported then inspections and testing are required more frequently.
  3. The type of equipment in question is a major factor in determining PAT testing frequency. Hand held appliances are more likely to become damaged than those that are stationary. Class 1 appliances carry the greatest risk of danger and should be tested more often.

Although there are no requirements for PAT testing frequency, there are recommendations:

Offices, Shops and Hotels – Class 1 equipment including stationary and IT equipment should be tested every 48 months. Moveable equipment such as extension leads and portable equipment should be tested every 24 months. Handheld equipment should be tested every 12 months.

Schools – All Class 1 equipment in schools should be PAT tested every 12 months. Class 2 equipment should be tested every 48 months.

Public Use Equipment – Stationary and IT equipment such as computers should be tested every 12 months. Moveable, Portable and Handheld equipment falling into Class 2 should be tested every 12 months. Moveable, Portable and Handheld equipment falling into Class 1 should be tested every 6 months.

Construction – All 110V equipment used on construction sites should be tested every 3 months.

Industrial – All industrial sites, including commercial kitchens should have Portable and Handheld equipment tested every 6 months. Stationary, IT and Moveable equipment should be tested every 12 months.



PAT testing certificates are provided to business owners after portable appliances have been successfully tested. The certificates show that the company is in compliance with regulations by having their portable equipment regularly inspected for damage and/or risks. The certificate serves as proof that the person responsible for maintaining equipment has taken steps necessary to ensure safety.

Those working as PAT testers can use PAT testing certificate templates in order to provide customers with the certificates needed to show proof that they are in compliance. Certificates are normally very thorough and will include details about the test showing which portable appliances have been tested and which if any have passed or failed.

PAT testing forms are provided only by approved contractors who are registered with the NICEIC/ECA. Persons performing testing who are permitted to offer PAT testing certificates have to be deemed competent to perform these tests.

PAT testing certificate templates will typically show contractors what they should include with each report. These reports typically contain specific details such as the physical address where the PAT testing occurred, the name and company address of the PAT tester, the expiry date which is typically within six to twelve months from the testing period and the authorised signature of the PAT tester.

PAT testing certificates will not show specific details of each individual appliance that has been tested. The detailed report will show this information. The certificate is an official form that provides proof of property being tested so that business owners can show their compliance with regulations. A label will be attached to appliances showing which have failed and which have passed PAT testing successfully.

PAT testing forms are important for those planning to perform these tests. PAT testing certificate templates can help the tester to ensure that all information is filled in properly. Detailed reports should be provided showing which appliances have failed testing and what specific action is to be taken for that property to successfully pass PAT testing. There are a number of consequences to not properly having equipment PAT tested including the risk of insurance premium increase and a strong risk of the property owner being held in suit should an accident or injury occur on the premises.



Most companies try to conform to PAT testing regulations and have their portable appliances tested regularly. If you are new to this testing, you may wonder about PAT testing prices. Generally, the price that you will be required to pay will depend on how many appliances you have that need to be tested. Most PAT testing companies will charge you by the appliance while others may charge by the hour.

PAT testing costs are well worth it considering the ramifications if you do not comply with regulations. In order to learn exactly how much your PAT testing costs, you will need to provide a PAT testing company with the number of portable appliances that you will need to have tested.

Many companies charge around £1.00 to £2.00 for each appliance that is tested. Of course, the more portable appliances you have the higher your overall PAT testing prices will be. If you only have 10 small appliances that need to be tested you can expect to pay a standard PAT testing callout cost. There are a number of companies that will charge a fixed PAT testing cost for up to 100 appliances.

In order to determine how much PAT testing costs, you will also have to have an idea of which appliances should be tested. Portable appliances are defined as any appliance that has a plug attached to it and plugs into a wall outlet. Any computers, monitors, printers, kettles, leads, cables and other similar items should be tested.

When you contact a company about PAT testing prices you should have a good idea of how many appliances you have that need to be tested. If you want an accurate quote, be certain that you provide an accurate estimate of appliances. If you give a total of appliances that is more than what you have, you could be overcharged for these services. If you give a total that is under what you have, the company may leave without properly testing all of your equipment.

Your actual PAT testing cost will depend on the company that you use more than anything. Different companies may offer different prices and various incentives to get your business. Take the time to do a bit of research into companies that offer this service and choose the one that offers a price you can live with as well as other benefits.



Size of the Business Price ex-vat Price inc vat Additional price per appliances Number of Appliances
Land Lord £39.00 £46.80 £2.00 5
Small £45.00 £54.00 £1.25 20
Medium £79.00 £94.80 £0.85 50
Large £199.00 £238.80 £0.80 200
Warehouse £499.00 £598.80 £0.75 550