Can I PAT test my own equipment?

Yes, you can PAT test your own equipment; if you are a competent person with the relevant training, knowledge, equipment and time.

It is essential that you or someone in your business is competent in electrical safety if you/they are going to carry out PAT testing.

A competent person should:

  • have good knowledge of electricity
  • have experience of electrical work
  • know how to carry out a visual inspection
  • know how to carry out a portable appliance test
  • understand the potential hazards of electricity & precautions to take when carrying out a PAT test
  • be able to assess whether it is safe to do a PAT test
  • If you decide to do your own PAT testing we would strongly recommend taking a PAT testing course as it’s important to perform the PAT tests correctly.

What makes a person competent to PAT test?

To consider a person competent in electrical appliance safety testing they need to have relevant experience, be suitably trained and preferably qualified.

If the person is not qualified they must have had extensive on the job training by an experienced competent person.

  • An online course, or even one day practical course is not enough to make someone competent to PAT Test.

Providing you meet all these competencies there is no real reason why you shouldn’t do your own PAT testing, however, bare in mind that you need paperwork to confirm your equipment is safe – a specialist PAT Testing company will be able to provide you with a PAT Certificate  – for you to do that you’re going to have to go to the expense of software too.

If you are still thinking about doing your own PAT testing

When considering taking PAT Testing in house, think about why people do it, and why it is very rarely done in house, even by the biggest, richest companies:

You have to find a person in your current team with an understanding and interest in electrical safety, you have to then train them appropriately to a level where they can be deemed competent in electrical safety, or put them through the City and Guilds 2377 qualification then get them some training. Either way the person must be competent in electrical safety, electrical repairs and use of the equipment needed to test.

Chances are they are going to need some work experience too – not many people can do a course then go out testing on day 1 and be a success, especially if it isnt their main job.

That person also then gets taken away from their job for a number of weeks in order to undertake the testing. In my experience, what an experienced PAT tester can do in a day may take someone with little or no experience up to a week! Think how long your PAT Testers are on site? We recently lost a contract for a caravan park, because their owners felt it cheaper to take it in house. We had a team of 4 engineers on the part for a week – that’s 20 working days – how long do you think it’ll take their maintenance guy with all his other duties too?

If it doesn’t get done their is a compliance risk.

You have to buy your own testing equipment which can be anything from £500 to £2000.00; you have to calibrate it annually, buy tools spare parts, and know what to do with them.

If that person isn’t PAT testing regularly he’s going to forget what to do, so come next year, will he remember what to do? Or do you need to put him on a refresher course. You’ve spent thousands by now, trying to save money.

And to make matters worse, as he (or she) is unlikely to be competent, the chance of an accident occurring is heightened because a fault gets missed, and if that happens can you protect yourself from legal action? No… because you allowed a person who was not competent to test your electrical equipment to make sure it is safe. By doing so you did not meet your obligations of the Health and Safety At Work Act, the Electricity at Work Act and others.

I have seen many companies try to take PAT in house, and all have come back to us asking us to take over; it’s not worth trying to do it, just accept it is best to get on with what you do best and contract out what you can’t do yourself.

DIY vs professional PAT testing

One question that often arises when considering PAT testing is whether to conduct it internally or hire a professional PAT testing company. While some visual inspections and basic tests can be carried out by staff, electrical tests and functional checks should always be conducted by qualified technicians. Here are some factors to consider when deciding between DIY and professional PAT testing:

1. **Expertise and knowledge:** Professional PAT testing companies have the necessary expertise, knowledge, and equipment to conduct thorough and accurate tests. They are familiar with the specific regulations and guidelines applicable to different industries and can provide reliable results. DIY testing may lack the necessary expertise and can lead to inaccurate or incomplete assessments.

2. **Time and resources:** PAT testing can be time-consuming, especially for businesses with a large number of appliances. Professional PAT testing companies can efficiently handle the testing process, freeing up valuable time and resources for businesses. DIY testing may require significant time and resources, particularly if staff members need to be trained or if specialized equipment needs to be acquired.

3. **Liability and accountability:** Hiring a professional PAT testing company can provide businesses with a level of liability protection and accountability. Qualified technicians can provide detailed reports and documentation of the testing process, making it easier for businesses to demonstrate compliance with regulations. DIY testing may lack the necessary documentation and may not hold up in legal or regulatory situations.

4. **Accuracy and reliability:** Professional PAT testing companies use specialized equipment that ensures accurate and reliable results. They follow standardized procedures and best practices to ensure consistency and quality. DIY testing may lack the necessary equipment or follow inconsistent procedures, resulting in inaccurate or unreliable results.

While it may be tempting for businesses to conduct PAT testing internally to save costs, the benefits of hiring a professional PAT testing company outweigh the potential risks. Professional testing provides businesses with accurate results, liability protection, and peace of mind knowing that their electrical equipment is safe and compliant.

Enroll on a PAT testing training course

If you want to learn about how to PAT test your own equipment, we recommend you sign up for a PAT Testing training Course. We recommend the one-day courses by the PAT Testing Expert, which provide a great insight into what PAT is and will give you enough information to get started.

Why using a contractor may be easier

PAT Testing is a skill, something that requires training and experience to do well, and at the desired pace. Sometimes companies look at the possibility of training staff to do it in-house, and we totally understand why they consider this, but is it the best course of action? 

As an example, your handyman, admin assistant, lab technician, etc. goes on a course to learn the basics of PAT testing. You buy them a tester and some tools, they test your equipment.

Let’s say for example, you have an office with 20 computers, it’s going to take them a few days to test all that. Then when they come to do it again in a year or two, they have forgotten what to do. It’s cost you the best part of a thousand pounds so far, plus the lost work time for that staff member. 

If you used us to do your PAT tests in the first place, it may have cost you £200.00. The job would have been done in a day, and disruption for your business would have been minimal. 

What would have been better? 

You could get that person trained in-house so they can make sure user checks are being done, or that the PAT is being implemented correctly, but being honest, its far easier, and cheaper just to get a contractor in to do the job. 

Don’t waste your time and money PAT testing your own equipment – get us to do it for you. 

Is PAT testing cheaper if we do it?

You’re not going to save money by taking your PAT testing in-house; set up costs alone will be around one thousand pounds, not to mention loss of work time for the person doing the task. Contracting us to do your PAT tests will be better for you. It’s going to save you time and money, and effort.

Try combing the two

Have you considered combining the two options? Rather than taking all your PAT testing in-house, or getting a contractor to do it all, combine the two, to save money but also stay compliant.

Train someone to do the PAT in-house; they can visually inspect equipment, make sure any repairs are carried out, and then you get a PAT tester in every 2 or 3 years for example to do a full test on all equipment.

If we work together on this, we can put a system in place that ensures you’re always compliant.

If this sounds like something that would interest you – contact us to discuss this option.

PAT testing machine testing a computer in a school

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?

In theory, yes, you can PAT test without a qualification. Guidance says 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. 

What our clients say about us…

DRA PAT Testing always provide an efficient and professional service. Jane did a thorough job in no time at all. Thank you!
We have just switched to DRA PAT Testing and they were friendly, efficient and got through our tests in no time at all, replacing plugs and suggesting changes. We're really impressed and we'll definitely use again next year!
Joanne Knight
Joanne Knight
1713195795
Extremely happy with Jane today from DRA PAT Testing, very professional and friendly with everyone, she did a great job whilst we were still able to do ours, very little disruption, would recommend.
Colin Dobson
Colin Dobson
1712842742
Rob Kyle and Craig fantastic service would recommend to anyone who needs pat testing
Iain McGeary
Iain McGeary
1711620388
Great service. Rob was a pleasure to have in the office, and was very efficient. Highly recommend. 8 Ball Direct team
Richard Cozens
Richard Cozens
1710771276
Back for another year and DRA continue to be extremely professional and efficient for our PAT testing. DRA are happy to facilitate the flexibility of service required for a busy vet practice and their engineers are both courteous and friendly. We would gladly recommend.
Mark Aberdeen
Mark Aberdeen
1710766163
Great service, arrived on time, carried out work with out interruptionWould highly recommend
Emma Mcgrory
Emma Mcgrory
1710766122
quick, efficient, effective and worked completely around us.Thank you so much
Quick and Efficient service
Claire Thornton
Claire Thornton
1708429510
Absolutely fantastic! I cannot recommend this company highly enough.This was the first time I had used DRA and I was so impressed with the service our company received. The testing itself was completed quickly, efficiently and most importantly thoroughly, despite having 40 staff in on the day. The whole process was made so easy. The report and certification came through just a couple of days later. I will without doubt be using DRA next year for our PAT testing.
Joanne Ruddick
Joanne Ruddick
1707904038
Great service very professional completed with no problems used this company for a few years now never had a problem would definitely recommend
Dawn O'Neill
Dawn O'Neill
1707134099
Jane is very friendly and efficient. Always use this company every year 5 stars every time
Jamie Middleton
Jamie Middleton
1706711989
Prompt and efficient service with solid communication throughout. Rob has attended our site for years now and has always been accommodating to our needs. Thanks again Rob!
Hi I have no problem at all with this company, they are very professional I would recommend to anyone, I will be using them again.
Glen Colledge
Glen Colledge
1705915449
We found DRA to carry out PAT testing on our equipment. Good communication throughout, and Jane who came out to do the testing was really helpful in explaining everything and offered good tips
Sharne Leslie
Sharne Leslie
1705421270
Vert quick and efficient. Nice and helpful
Em Limited
Em Limited
1704464477
Testing was carried with great care by Jane today (05/01/24) arrived on time, worked around our production dept and offices, with no disruption at all to our daily business. Offered advice and was very friendly and efficient, would definitely recommend.
Gillian Barras
Gillian Barras
1704275895
Had Rob return for our second time using DRA for our PAT testing.Very professional service and happy to continue using this company.Turned up on time and worked in testing around our production schedule
Would recommend this company, fast efficient service and they kept us updated from initial enquiry through to completion of testing.
Great work. Needed things done for a deadline and managed to fit me in and work around me.Easy to talk to. Open to my million questions.Would highly recommend!
Arbor Division
Arbor Division
1700669869
Excellent, efficient service. Engineer (Richard) arrived on time meaning the tests were completed with no disruption to our day. No hesitation in recommending DRA, very happy with the service 😊
Peter Robson
Peter Robson
1700559776
Easy to book the testing. Kyle arrived at the appointed time at my property in Sunderland and carried out the testing very methodically. Report and certification supplied quickly. Very happy with the service, communications and pricing. Highly recommended.
Michael Wharton
Michael Wharton
1700048461
Excellent speedy service at a competitive price. Engineer turned up at appointed time, huge bonus from this firm. Will definitely use again.
David Hill
David Hill
1699878984
Came when they said they would; did testing and repairs professionally; very obliging and helpful; good value too
Nile Warde
Nile Warde
1698409644
Great work done very efficiently.
Lynda Cooper
Lynda Cooper
1697886884
DRA PAT Testing have carried out our annual testing for a few years and we always find them very professional and friendly. Their communication is excellent and always on time and issuing the report very quickly. They always send a reminder each year near the renewal time which is very useful. We Would continue using them and recommend.1
Louise Appleby
Louise Appleby
1697745222
We've used this company for years, they're friendly, really reliable and a competitive price. Definitely recommend them.
Michelle Lee
Michelle Lee
1697446868
First time using DRA PAT testing but can highly recommend, the service was excellent and the guys arrived in the office and efficiently carried out all the testing with minimal disruption, will definitely use again
DRA was recommended to us and from the initial arranging the PAT Testing to the PAT Testing being carry out was straight forward. Jane carried out the testing, she was polite, answered any questions and just got on with the job without any interruptions you wouldn’t even know she was there. Would highly recommend.
Tina Ashcroft
Tina Ashcroft
1695390630
PAT testing of electrical items for uni student. Great service, prompt, efficient and friendly, made time for a small job. Would recommend 100%
Mark Faetz
Mark Faetz
1695164711
First time using DRA and won’t be the last! The whole process was made so simple and any necessary repairs carried out there and then. Jane carried out our testing and she’s a credit to her team she just got on with it without any interruptions you wouldn’t even know she was there. Would highly recommend
Molly Hogg
Molly Hogg
1694421549
Very quick and reliable. Came out to PAT test my home office equipment. Many thanks.
Jane and Richard provided PAT testing. They were friendly, professional and helpful. I’ll be using them again.
Andrew Cumiskey
Andrew Cumiskey
1692346675
Excellent service, professional, on time and easy to book.
Alison Donkin
Alison Donkin
1692282208
Kyle arrived on time and was friendly, helpful and efficient. We had 42 items that required testing. The process of arranging the inspection was easy and everone in the team whom we dealt with were courteous and efficient, fitting in to our schedule. Would recommend
Terry Garnish
Terry Garnish
1691428149
Very friendly & on time good prices I highly recommend….
This is the third year that DRA Pat Testing have checked my appliances and it was great to meet Jane this time who was friendly, efficient and punctual. I really appreciate the timely reminder to book the next appointment. Thanks, see you next year!
Newcastle Stand
Newcastle Stand
1690289098
DRA PAT Testing have been carrying out our pat testing the last couple of years and we couldn't be happier with their services! Friendly while professional, great communication, worked around our schedule, report issued promptly. Their reminders have been very useful too! Would definitely recommend.
Alan Scott
Alan Scott
1690182744
Top service as always. I wouldn't use anyone else. The guys are happy to work around out times so the class isn't disturbed. See you next year!
Keith Jewitt
Keith Jewitt
1690026183
Received a great service from DRA, professional & happy to work around our business needs. Would definitely recommend & use again.
Absolutely fantastic service; very prompt, and a lovely team of engineers. Will definitely make this our yearly go-to company for PAT testing. Cheers team!
Pat Barraclough
Pat Barraclough
1689870553
Visited by the Lads to do our PAT Testing, very relaxed, chatty and knowledgeable. Good Job by DRA , very happy with the service 😃
Jane came out and did our Pat Testing, she was friendly and very professional. Report was issued promptly.She also worked around our workload which was greatly appreciated.Great service - thanks again!
Nicola Bath
Nicola Bath
1689792597
Great service by DRA Pat Testing, super professional response to my enquiry and Jane did a fab job for us testing our equipment and getting us fully compliant again. Will use again and would recommend.
David Byrne
David Byrne
1688736481
Very punctual and also very efficient. Jane was keen to be sure she had seen everything that needed testing and was in every way professional. Well done! We will certainly use your company again.
Excellent communication, DRA were flexible enough to fit in with our business operating hours and what rooms were available when. Thorough and efficient testing, our certificate arrived promptly. Highly recommended.
We've used DRA PAT Testing twice now, they are great with their communication, and always very thorough and efficient when they come in to test. Would recommend to anyone who needs PAT testing done!
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DRA PAT Testing always provide an efficient and professional service. Jane did a thorough job in no time at all. Thank you!
We have just switched to DRA PAT Testing and they were friendly, efficient and got through our tests in no time at all, replacing plugs and suggesting changes. We're really impressed and we'll definitely use again next year!
Joanne Knight
Joanne Knight
1713195795
Extremely happy with Jane today from DRA PAT Testing, very professional and friendly with everyone, she did a great job whilst we were still able to do ours, very little disruption, would recommend.
Colin Dobson
Colin Dobson
1712842742
Rob Kyle and Craig fantastic service would recommend to anyone who needs pat testing
Iain McGeary
Iain McGeary
1711620388
Great service. Rob was a pleasure to have in the office, and was very efficient. Highly recommend. 8 Ball Direct team
jULIE cURRY
jULIE cURRY
1711618422
Great service, price and speed of testing from DRA, they continue to be the best in all they do.
Richard Cozens
Richard Cozens
1710771276
Back for another year and DRA continue to be extremely professional and efficient for our PAT testing. DRA are happy to facilitate the flexibility of service required for a busy vet practice and their engineers are both courteous and friendly. We would gladly recommend.
Mark Aberdeen
Mark Aberdeen
1710766163
Great service, arrived on time, carried out work with out interruptionWould highly recommend
Emma Mcgrory
Emma Mcgrory
1710766122
quick, efficient, effective and worked completely around us.Thank you so much
Quick and Efficient service
Claire Thornton
Claire Thornton
1708429510
Absolutely fantastic! I cannot recommend this company highly enough.This was the first time I had used DRA and I was so impressed with the service our company received. The testing itself was completed quickly, efficiently and most importantly thoroughly, despite having 40 staff in on the day. The whole process was made so easy. The report and certification came through just a couple of days later. I will without doubt be using DRA next year for our PAT testing.
Joanne Ruddick
Joanne Ruddick
1707904038
Great service very professional completed with no problems used this company for a few years now never had a problem would definitely recommend
Dawn O'Neill
Dawn O'Neill
1707134099
Jane is very friendly and efficient. Always use this company every year 5 stars every time
Jamie Middleton
Jamie Middleton
1706711989
Prompt and efficient service with solid communication throughout. Rob has attended our site for years now and has always been accommodating to our needs. Thanks again Rob!
Hi I have no problem at all with this company, they are very professional I would recommend to anyone, I will be using them again.
Glen Colledge
Glen Colledge
1705915449
We found DRA to carry out PAT testing on our equipment. Good communication throughout, and Jane who came out to do the testing was really helpful in explaining everything and offered good tips
Sharne Leslie
Sharne Leslie
1705421270
Vert quick and efficient. Nice and helpful
Em Limited
Em Limited
1704464477
Testing was carried with great care by Jane today (05/01/24) arrived on time, worked around our production dept and offices, with no disruption at all to our daily business. Offered advice and was very friendly and efficient, would definitely recommend.
Gillian Barras
Gillian Barras
1704275895
Had Rob return for our second time using DRA for our PAT testing.Very professional service and happy to continue using this company.Turned up on time and worked in testing around our production schedule
Would recommend this company, fast efficient service and they kept us updated from initial enquiry through to completion of testing.
Great work. Needed things done for a deadline and managed to fit me in and work around me.Easy to talk to. Open to my million questions.Would highly recommend!
Arbor Division
Arbor Division
1700669869
Excellent, efficient service. Engineer (Richard) arrived on time meaning the tests were completed with no disruption to our day. No hesitation in recommending DRA, very happy with the service 😊
Peter Robson
Peter Robson
1700559776
Easy to book the testing. Kyle arrived at the appointed time at my property in Sunderland and carried out the testing very methodically. Report and certification supplied quickly. Very happy with the service, communications and pricing. Highly recommended.
Michael Wharton
Michael Wharton
1700048461
Excellent speedy service at a competitive price. Engineer turned up at appointed time, huge bonus from this firm. Will definitely use again.
David Hill
David Hill
1699878984
Came when they said they would; did testing and repairs professionally; very obliging and helpful; good value too
Nile Warde
Nile Warde
1698409644
Great work done very efficiently.
Lynda Cooper
Lynda Cooper
1697886884
DRA PAT Testing have carried out our annual testing for a few years and we always find them very professional and friendly. Their communication is excellent and always on time and issuing the report very quickly. They always send a reminder each year near the renewal time which is very useful. We Would continue using them and recommend.1
Louise Appleby
Louise Appleby
1697745222
We've used this company for years, they're friendly, really reliable and a competitive price. Definitely recommend them.
Michelle Lee
Michelle Lee
1697446868
First time using DRA PAT testing but can highly recommend, the service was excellent and the guys arrived in the office and efficiently carried out all the testing with minimal disruption, will definitely use again
DRA was recommended to us and from the initial arranging the PAT Testing to the PAT Testing being carry out was straight forward. Jane carried out the testing, she was polite, answered any questions and just got on with the job without any interruptions you wouldn’t even know she was there. Would highly recommend.
Tina Ashcroft
Tina Ashcroft
1695390630
PAT testing of electrical items for uni student. Great service, prompt, efficient and friendly, made time for a small job. Would recommend 100%
Mark Faetz
Mark Faetz
1695164711
First time using DRA and won’t be the last! The whole process was made so simple and any necessary repairs carried out there and then. Jane carried out our testing and she’s a credit to her team she just got on with it without any interruptions you wouldn’t even know she was there. Would highly recommend
Molly Hogg
Molly Hogg
1694421549
Very quick and reliable. Came out to PAT test my home office equipment. Many thanks.
Jane and Richard provided PAT testing. They were friendly, professional and helpful. I’ll be using them again.
Andrew Cumiskey
Andrew Cumiskey
1692346675
Excellent service, professional, on time and easy to book.
Alison Donkin
Alison Donkin
1692282208
Kyle arrived on time and was friendly, helpful and efficient. We had 42 items that required testing. The process of arranging the inspection was easy and everone in the team whom we dealt with were courteous and efficient, fitting in to our schedule. Would recommend
Terry Garnish
Terry Garnish
1691428149
Very friendly & on time good prices I highly recommend….
This is the third year that DRA Pat Testing have checked my appliances and it was great to meet Jane this time who was friendly, efficient and punctual. I really appreciate the timely reminder to book the next appointment. Thanks, see you next year!
Newcastle Stand
Newcastle Stand
1690289098
DRA PAT Testing have been carrying out our pat testing the last couple of years and we couldn't be happier with their services! Friendly while professional, great communication, worked around our schedule, report issued promptly. Their reminders have been very useful too! Would definitely recommend.
Alan Scott
Alan Scott
1690182744
Top service as always. I wouldn't use anyone else. The guys are happy to work around out times so the class isn't disturbed. See you next year!
Keith Jewitt
Keith Jewitt
1690026183
Received a great service from DRA, professional & happy to work around our business needs. Would definitely recommend & use again.
Absolutely fantastic service; very prompt, and a lovely team of engineers. Will definitely make this our yearly go-to company for PAT testing. Cheers team!
Pat Barraclough
Pat Barraclough
1689870553
Visited by the Lads to do our PAT Testing, very relaxed, chatty and knowledgeable. Good Job by DRA , very happy with the service 😃
Jane came out and did our Pat Testing, she was friendly and very professional. Report was issued promptly.She also worked around our workload which was greatly appreciated.Great service - thanks again!
Nicola Bath
Nicola Bath
1689792597
Great service by DRA Pat Testing, super professional response to my enquiry and Jane did a fab job for us testing our equipment and getting us fully compliant again. Will use again and would recommend.
David Byrne
David Byrne
1688736481
Very punctual and also very efficient. Jane was keen to be sure she had seen everything that needed testing and was in every way professional. Well done! We will certainly use your company again.
Excellent communication, DRA were flexible enough to fit in with our business operating hours and what rooms were available when. Thorough and efficient testing, our certificate arrived promptly. Highly recommended.
We've used DRA PAT Testing twice now, they are great with their communication, and always very thorough and efficient when they come in to test. Would recommend to anyone who needs PAT testing done!
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