FAQ

We've put together some of the more frequently asked questions regarding electrical safety testing in order to assist you. Simply choose the appropriate testing category and click the questions revealed to see our answers.

PAT Testing

What is PAT Testing?

PAT Testing – or Portable Appliance Testing – is the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they meet a minimum level of electrical safety, in order to reduce the amount of electrical accidents that occur mainly in the workplace.

In order to safeguard both employees and the public, The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places a duty of care on all businesses to ensure the safety of their electrical appliances.

With this in mind, the “Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment” was published by The Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET). This publication lays out minimum compliance guidelines (both visual and through testing) that all electronic equipment should meet.

Whilst not strictly a legal requirement, PAT Testing is a sure-fire way of ensuring that electrical appliances comply with a number of regulations applicable to businesses and employers. By adhering to a sound PAT Testing regime, employers and business owners can be confident that their electrical appliances do not breach the following guidelines and regulations:

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

The Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999

The Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

For frequently asked questions about PAT Testing, follow this link to the  HSE’s (Health & Safety Executive) PAT FAQ

How often should I be testing?

This depends on what type of appliance you are testing, and how it is being used.

For details on recommended frequency of PAT Testing for various venues and appliance classes, check the table here.

Selectatest staff also endeavour to contact existing customers to remind them when their PAT Testing is due.

How do I choose a reputable tester?

There are several factors to bear in mind when looking for somebody to carry out your electrical testing. Most importantly, you’ll need somebody who is qualified to carry out the work competently, with the necessary equipment and valid insurance required to carry out the work. A contractor who has demonstrated thorough awareness of their Health & Safety responsibilities and proven their abilities to fulfil them is crucial as well.

For further details on choosing a reputable PAT tester, click here.

I am a Landlord. What are my PAT testing obligations?

Failing to ensure that your property is electrically safe can result in heavy fines or imprisonment, not to mention the lives being put at risk through negligence. If you make available any electrical appliances as part of the tenancy, you’ll need to prove that you have taken adequate precautions to ensure they are safe to use.

If your tenancy includes the supply and use of any electrical appliances within the property (such as washing machines, microwaves etc.), they should be checked at the beginning of any new tenancy, and then regularly throughout the tenancy or you leave yourself vulnerable in the event of an accident. The simplest and easiest way to do this is with PAT Testing; a series of visual checks and electrical tests used to determine the soundness of an appliance.

For more information on electrical testing for Landlords, click here.

My Local Authority used to deal with this. Where do I start?

Many schools are finding themselves in a situation where their Local Authority has stopped giving directions in this area, and are unsure what they need to do to meet their Health & Safety obligations with regards to electrical safety testing. Fortunately, Selectatest recognise this and have developed Appliance Management Packages specially for schools, so your PAT Testing is all arranged for you.

How long will my PAT Testing take?

This depends entirely on how many items you have, but as a rough guide our technicians can average around 150-170 tests per day.

Will I have to close my business while PAT Testing is carried out?

Usually not, our technicians make every effort to avoid disruption for our clients, and gladly work around you. In circumstances where PAT Testing causes too much disruption, we can schedule the testing for a time that would best suit you (for example, most schools prefer to have their PAT done during the holidays).

Do I need to do anything to prepare for PAT Testing?

All our technicians need is access to the appliances, so as long as nothing is locked away there is nothing you need to do except let our guys in. If you’d like to speed things up you could gather all your appliances in one place, but this is not necessary.

What if some of my appliances get missed out?

In the unlikely event that our technicians overlook any items, we will always make sure that we revisit to complete the testing. However, if items were not made accessible to the technicians and later discovered, a follow-up visit would entail a call-out charge (unless you are covered by one of our AMPs packages).

What are your working hours?

Our usual testing hours are 08:00 – 16:00, Monday to Friday. However, in circumstances where testing is required outside these times, we are able to make arrangements for this.

How do I book my PAT Testing with you?

Simply call us on 0845 465 0464 to schedule your testing. Alternatively you can email us, or get in touch using the contact form on the right of this page.

What will I receive once the actual testing is complete?

As soon as all your test results data have been processed we will provide you with an Asset List detailing all the appliances tested, coupled with a separate list of any that failed the tests, and an Invoice. Upon receipt of payment, we then follow these up with a Detailed Test Report and the all-important Certificate. These will be in digitised form by default, as we make every effort we can to reduce paper usage as part of our ISO14001 Accreditation. To see examples of the documents listed, click the links below.

Dispatched within 8 working days of completing the testing
Asset List Report

Fails Report

Dispatched upon receipt of payment
Detailed Report
Certificate

Can I request hard copies of my documents?

Of course.

Can I request a duplicate certificate?

Absolutely.

How much will my testing cost?

This is difficult to answer without further details on the number and type of appliances you need testing. To contact us for a quote, please call us on 0845 465 0464 or use our contact form to get in touch.

Will I qualify for a discount?

Selectatest is a nominated supplier under many Public and Private sector framework agreements, and works with a number of multi-company buying groups. These frameworks and groups open up potential discounts for customers who are eligible to buy through them. To see if your organisation is eligible for any of the available discount packages, or to discuss your own potential volume discount, please call us on 0845 465 0464 or use our contact form to get in touch.

Periodic Testing

What is Periodic Testing?

Periodic testing, also referred to as fixed or hard wire testing, is a statutory requirement involving professional testing of the electrical systems, circuits and any service carrying electricity around the building.

All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use, therefore it is imperative to ensure the safety of users and/or equipment to reduce the risk of personal injury, death or fire. The Electricity at Work regulations (EAWR 1989) state that you must take adequate precautions to ensure the safety of the installation. For guidance on EAWR 1989, click here.

How often should I be testing?

This depends on the site. For details on recommended Periodic Testing frequencies for various building types, click here.

I am a Landlord. What are my electrical testing obligations?

Failing to ensure that your property is electrically safe can result in heavy fines or imprisonment, not to mention the lives being put at risk through negligence. It is critical to have the fixed wiring in rented properties checked regularly.

An EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) is usually all you need to protect yourself in the event of an electrical fault in your property’s fixed wiring, as it demonstrates that due care has been taken, the property has been inspected and is deemed electrically safe.

My Local Authority used to deal with this. Where do I start?

Many schools are finding themselves in a situation where their Local Authority has stopped giving directions in this area, and are unsure what they need to do to meet their Health & Safety obligations with regards to their buildings’ electrical installations. Fortunately, Selectatest recognise this and can keep you covered. We’ll even throw in 200 free PAT Tests when you choose us for your Periodic Inspection.

How much will my testing cost?

This is difficult to answer without first surveying the site. To contact us for a preliminary survey and a quote, please call us on 0845 465 0464 or use our contact form to get in touch.