A PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) test is a routine inspection of some types of electrical appliances to check they are safe to use. Its purpose is to prevent electrical accidents in the workplace.

A full PAT test should include both a visual inspection and a more in-depth check using specialist PAT testing equipment. This test includes earth continuity, lead polarity, and insulation resistance checks. There is no definition of what a ‘Portable Appliance’ is in the current legislation, however the standard interpretation is “any appliance that has a plug attached to it and plugs into a wall outlet”. Because of this, the word ‘portable’ is a bit misleading. There are actually 7 categories of appliance which should be considered for PAT testing or, at least, visual inspections:

– Fixed appliances
– Stationary appliances
– IT appliances
– Movable appliances
– Portable appliances
– Cables and chargers
– Hand Held appliances

Some appliances only need a reduced test, called a PAT insulation test. At the end of a PAT test, every appliance should be marked ‘passed’ or ‘failed’. Ideally there should be a record of the results. Not all electrical items need to be PAT tested.

Maybe you’d like to take a course on PAT testing with us: https://www.taysidereusers.co.uk/training/