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Can anyone do PAT testing?

You’ve got electrical equipment that needs testing in your commercial building. The question is… can you do PAT testing yourself?

PAT testing needs to be carried out by a ‘competent person’. This person needs to:

  • Have the right equipment to carry out the PAT testing
  • Be able to use the PAT testing equipment properly
  • Be able to understand the test results and the difference between a ‘pass’ and a ‘fail’
  • Be able to record the results and explain them to anyone who needs to know them

This person doesn’t necessarily have to be a qualified electrician or electrical engineer. However, they need to have a good level of knowledge and experience when it comes to PAT testing.

Do you need to have a qualification to carry out PAT testing?

No – it’s not a legal obligation, as long as you are a ‘competent’ person. However, it can give you useful knowledge that helps you understand the dangers of electricity and how to perform PAT tests correctly.

The qualification we recommend is City and Guilds 2377-77 – In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.

The benefits of having an external tester carry out your PAT testing

While there’s nothing to stop you from doing PAT testing yourself, there are benefits to getting an electrical compliance company to do it.

Here are some of the advantages:

  • PAT testing takes time to complete. Offices and commercial buildings have hundreds, often thousands, of appliances to test – everything from laptops and computer monitors to kettles and microwaves. Using an external PAT tester means you can continue with your regular job while someone else tests on your behalf
  • While it may seem cost-effective to do your own PAT testing, you have to pay for any training you undertake, as well as a PAT testing machine. This can be a lot of money for something you carry out on an infrequent basis
  • An external tester will provide you with a PAT testing certificate, which you can show to your insurance provider or customers as proof of compliance

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