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.
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.