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PAT Testing

PAT Testing Services

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Testing) is the inspection and or testing that is required of all portable electrical appliances to assess their operational safety and the safety of personnel operating the equipment.

Portable appliances are any item of electrical equipment that has a power lead with a plug that is intended to be connected to the mains electrical supply.  These items are required to be tested on a regular basis to ensure that they are in a safe working condition.


PAT Testing certification


The Requirements

PAT Testing is required to ensure your business complies with the Electricity At Work Regulations 1989 and many insurance companies will insist this needs to be done before they start or renew a policy.  It can also void any existing insurance cover if these regulations are not met.

Each appliance should be appropriately marked to record the examination date or display the date for re-testing and the result of the test which would be either pass or fail.

Who is Responsible?

The buck stops at the employer, but it is the responsibility of everyone at work to ensure the electrical safety of equipment.  If it is found to be unsafe it is every employee’s responsibility to inform the relevant personnel within the organization. 

Regulation 3 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/635/regulation/3/made

“It shall be the duty of every employer and self-employed person to comply with the provisions of the Regulations in as far as they relate to matters which are within his control.
It shall be the duty of every employee while at work:

(a) to co-operate with his employer so far as is necessary to enable and duty placed on that employer by the provision of the Regulations to be complied with &
(b) comply with the provision of these regulations in so far as they relate to matters which are within his control.”

Types of Equipment

There are many European standards and guidance notes regarding portable appliances and equipment, though they do not establish a common and specific definition of such equipment.  Even so, there does seem to be a consensus of opinion that such equipment is either hand held whilst being connected to the supply, or is intended to be moved whilst connected to the supply, or is capable of being moved without undue difficulty whilst connected to the supply.

It is usual for this equipment to be connected to the supply via a plug and socket, however this is not a requirement for electrical equipment to be deemed portable or transportable.  It is common to define a portable appliance by saying that it is 'anything with a plug top on the end of it'.  This is a mistake as it may mean that there are some appliances in the system that are never tested.

The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (napit) define a portable appliance as 'any electrical item which can or is intended, to be moved whilst connected to an electrical supply.'

The IEE Code of Practice gives guidance on the various equipment types:

Portable appliance

An appliance of less than 18kg in mass that is intended to be moved whilst in operation or an appliance which can easily be moved from one place to another, e.g. vacuum cleaner, toaster, food mixer, etc.

Movable equipment (transportable)

This equipment is either:

18 kg or less in mass and not fixed, e.g. electric fire or Equipment with wheels, castors or other means to facilitate movement by the operator as required to perform its intended use, e.g. air conditioning unit.

Hand Held equipment or appliances

This is portable equipment intended to be held in the hand during normal use, e.g. hair dryer.

Stationary equipment or appliances

This equipment has a mass exceeding 18kg and is not provided with a carrying handle, e.g. refrigerator.

Fixed Equipment/appliances

This equipment or an appliance which is fastened to a support or otherwise secured in a specific location, e.g. bathroom heater.

Appliances/equipment for building in

This equipment id intended to be installed in a prepared recess such as a cupboard or similar. In general, equipment for building in does not have exposure on all sides because one or more of the sides, additional protection against electrical shock is provided by the surroundings, e.g. built in electric cooker.

Information technology equipment

Information technology equipment includes electrical business equipment such as computers and mains powered telecommunications equipment, and other equipment for general business use, such as mail processing machines, VDU's, photocopiers.

Types of Testing

There are 3 main types of appliance commonly encountered in normal business and domestic environments.

Class I

Class 1 equipment is defined as equipment where protection against electric shock is achieved by using basic insulation and also by providing a means of connecting the conductive parts that could become "live", if the insulation fails, to the protective earthing conductor in the fixed installation wiring.

Class 1 equipment relies upon a satisfactory earth in the fixed installation, and connection to it, to ensure its safety.  Portable Appliance testing of Class 1 appliances only tests the integrity of the earth connection in the appliance and cannot test for the integrity within the fixed wiring.  It is therefore also a requirement to have periodic fixed wiring installation tests.

Class 2

Class 2 equipment is defined as equipment in which protection against electric shock is provided by basic insulation and additional supplementary or reinforced insulation. Commonly described as doubly insulated. These appliances do not rely upon installation conditions and should have no provision for protective earthing.

Class 3

Class 3 equipment is defined as equipment that relies on supply from a SELV (Safety extra low Voltage) source to protect against electric shock.


Our Services

Our services tailored to meet your needs these include:

  • In-service Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment
  • Class 1 and Class 2 testing
  • Visual inspection
  • 110V & 240Volts
  • Microwave oven leak test
  • We use Calibrated PAT testing equipment

  • Professional PAT Testing Software to manage your assets
  • We fully adhere to the the Institute of Electrical Engineers’ (IEE) the approved code of practice
  • We provide Pass/Fail Test Results & Completion Certificates
  • We provide Pass and Fail labels


We cover inspection and testing services for small to large businesses.

For more information please contact us or give us a call.

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