How often you need PAT testing is a topic for many discussions with many answers all centred around a risk assessment.

Whilst many appliance testing companies insist they come back to you every year we don’t take this approach.

Using methods recommended by the IET Code of Practice we carry out on-site assessments to determine the most appropriate intervals between inspections and tests for your business, based on the recommended periods from the Health and Safety Executive.

Some of our clients however prefer to get their equipment tested every year for whatever reasons and that is perfectly fine too, in fact we find that most people will prefer it to be tested annually so as a rule of thumb we set every new client up with a 12-month certificate unless you tell us otherwise.

We’ll carry out an assessment anyway as that’s part of our job but we’ll only put extended (or shorter) intervals in-place with your permission.

Those in the know will refer to the Lofstedt report in 2012 that concluded there were many businesses getting unnecessary testing done, and that longer intervals should be in place – which in the most part is correct, but also misleading. The HSE from the report suggested that inspections should take place more often with the actual testing taking place later. For example; a computer in an office shouldn’t need testing until it is 4 years old, but it should be inspected every 1-2 years.

To carry out an inspection on a computer it needs to be unplugged and all parts of it checked, meaning it can’t be in use, thus disrupting the user. We argue that if we’re going to unplug it to inspect it we may as well carry out the tests too, as they take only a few more seconds. Furthermore, by doing the test that means a more thorough check has been done than what was recommended, so we could argue that the inspection need doing only on the extended interval of 2 years rather than 1.

As we’re doing a test, we may as well implement a programme of carrying out inspection and testing in one go every 2 years, rather than inspecting the computer every year then testing it after 4 years. If you put this into monetary terms, if it costs £2.00 each time the computer is inspected or tested it is going to cost you £8.00 over the 4 years, but if we do tests every 2 years it’ll only cost you £4.00 – that’s half price!

Now if you have 100 computers in your office that’s a saving of £400!

Try to remember this when you compare us against a cheap pat testing company; they may offer to do the work for 60p an item, but they will insist it is done annually, so that is £240.00 over 4 years, whilst we at a more sensible rate (e.g. £1) will provide a better service and disrupt you less, for £200.00 over the same period.