WHAT & WHY of PAT Testing

Understanding the WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHEN, WHERE & WHO of PAT Testing


PAT testing, is an abbreviation for Portable Appliance Testing. However its official title is known as the “In Service Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment”, and is documented in a code of practice published by the IET – Institution of Engineering & Technology.


PAT testing is a way of demonstrating that organisations are taking all reasonable efforts to meet their legal requirements, by providing a safe working environment for staff, customers and premises. Thereby reducing the risk of electrical danger (electric shock, fires, etc.)

It is considered best practice when complying with many government regulations:-

  • Health & Safety at Work etc Act (1974)
  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations (1999)
  • Electricity at Work Regulations (1989)
  • Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998)

And for landlords:-

  • The Housing Act 2004 (England & Wales)

PAT testing can demonstrate your compliance to the above regulations, assists in any Health & Safety at Work issues, it can also be beneficial for reducing any business insurance premiums and progressing any insurance claims.


PAT Testing needs to be undertaken by a competent/trained individual who understands the relevant “Code of Practice”, and also has the necessary equipment.

It is a structured combination of thorough VISUAL inspection, plus a series of electrical TESTS that validate the electrical safety of the equipment and minimizing the potential for any electrical damage or faults.


PAT Testing is undertaken at a frequency that is dependent on the perceived risk of such equipment. Many people assume that it needs to be undertaken once every 12 months, (and indeed this is the default common practice most organisations take). However the Code of Practice clearly outlines a testing frequency that depends upon:-

  • The USEAGE of equipment, e.g. stationary, portable, handheld and even IT equipment.
  • The LOCATION of equipment e.g. in offices, shops, factory, construction sites.

Tim will advise you on the recommended repeat testing frequency, and also the critical role of the “Duty Holder”, all as part of his PAT testing service.


PAT Testing is usually performed at the clients’ premises (shop, office, factory, or landlord property). South Glos PAT Testing can offer a flexible service, such that this work can be undertaken at a time that is convenient to your working hours, and business needs. In some cases the equipment can also be taken off-site, tested and later returned to the client.


South Glos PAT Testing is a local business providing a convenient, cost-effective and friendly service in the North Bristol & South Gloucestershire area.

Many clients are local organisations and typically fall into the categories of

  • Small offices/shops/factories.
  • Community/charity associations.
  • Independent property landlords.

Click on CONTACT US to get in touch with Tim to find out more information, and discuss your PAT testing needs.