Can I PAT test my own equipment?

Can I PAT test my own equipment? You can… but why would you want to? 

I can do my own accounts; but why would I want to? When an accountant or a book-keeper can do them much quicker, much better, more efficiently and probably cheaper than I can. 

An electrical appliance must be maintained to a safe standard to comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations; it must be visually checked to make sure there is no visual damage to the plug; is it wired correctly? A visual inspection will find faults in the plug, the fuse, the wiring, the flexible cable, the appliance protection. A person needs to be competent in electrical appliance safety to do all that – are you a competent person?

A PAT testing engineer is trained to do visual inspections; he does them all day every day so is the most competent person to do it. Like your accountant, he can do it better and quicker than you can.

We come across new clients regularly who have tried to do PAT testing in-house, but they have got behind because it takes them so long. In the time it takes them to do a couple of appliances, we could do ten or more. They’re often shocked that we can do in a day what takes them a week. That’s because we are the best at what we do – we are PAT testing experts; just like you are an expert at what you do – you don’t need to do everything.  

Do you have to be qualified to PAT test?

No you don’t; it helps but not essential. People who do PAT testing have to be a ‘competent person’; this doesn’t stipulate whether they need to be qualified or have just done a training course. As experienced Portable Appliance testers we say that you need to be competent first. In fact we have an operator, who has been with us a long time, who has done an electrical apprenticeship, but is not qualified in PAT, but is very good at his job. In fact we’d go so far as to say he is better than a lot of other qualified PAT testers we have come across.

PAT testing machine testing a computer in a school

How much will PAT testing cost?

How much will PAT testing cost you to do it in-house depends on the value of the person doing it to your business. Let’s use the school caretaker as the example. Some schools put their caretaker through a course, buy him the gear then tell him to do the PAT Testing. He hasn’t got time to do it all in a week or two over the holidays like a PAT testing company can, because he has other jobs to do, so he spreads it out over the year. 

But throughout the year he has other jobs to do too, and before you know it the year has gone by, he’s not managed to do more than a hundred items and he’s forgotten everything he learnt on the course. And now the machine needs its annual calibration. 

How much will PAT Testing cost?

  • The cost of a PAT testing course £300.00
  • The cost of a basic PAT tester £400.00
  • The cost of the kit £150.00
  • The cost of software £400.00
  • The cost of annual calibration £100.00
  • Your employees time – priceless

That’s about a thousand pounds set up costs plus your time, and annual calibration and refresher training because staff will forget. Or just book us to do it. 

need to know the inside of a plug if going to PAT test yourself
plug wires and diagram to show how to wire it - need to know if asking the question can I pat test my own equipment

Who can carry out PAT testing?

Who can carry out PAT testing? Any competent person can carry out PAT testing – all it takes is some knowledge, and basic training to get started. 

Can I PAT test without a qualification?

You can PAT test without a qualification. Guidance say you have to be competent to test electrical equipment, not that you have to be qualified. How you get competent is a matter for discussion. The Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association say that you should undergo thorough training by a competent person in order to become competent yourself. The current qualifications are flawed because the course is intended to get delegates through an exam, with the course focus more on pass rates than gaining knowledge. Although if you want to work for another company, you will need to get qualified (City and Guilds 2377) to get a job. 

You could sign up to do a practical skills course; you may find this more beneficial, as you will learn how to test appliances, how to use different machines and gain knowledge in why electrical appliance safety measures are important. The PAT Testing expert run a good training course in practical skills, at different venues around the UK

So, Can you PAT test yourself?

To conclude, Can you PAT test yourself? Yes you can, but we don’t know why you would want to. It’s easier, cheaper and far less hassle to use a PAT testing company. 

  • Lower costs if you contract it out
  • Less hassle if you contract it out
  • Less repeating yourself if you contract it out
  • Loss of man-power doing it yourself 

Don’t try to PAT Test in-house; contact us about doing it for you.