DRA PAT Testing company news and updates that you may be interested in learning more about will be posted here in this section

HSE update “Thorough examination and testing of equipment” guidance

The HSE advises businesses to get their electrical inspections done as soon as possible

The HSE advises businesses that have missed their usual ‘retest’ due to the pandemic to get that test done as soon as possible to bring their records up to date.

In early April (2021) the Health and Safety Executive updated their guidance for “thorough examination and testing of equipment“, which includes electrical equipment, and this was agreed with by the Portable Appliance Testing Trade Association – and we agree too.

The HSE have stated that during the coronavirus pandemic, businesses may have found it difficult to carry out their duty to thoroughly examine and test electrical equipment; we have seen this first hand.

This has been because many businesses have been closed, whilst others have reduced or even banned contractors on their sites. We know a number of our clients who have not kept their PAT testing up to date, using Covid as an excuse or reason to put it off; in fact we have had nearly 100 clients postpone their PAT testing in the past 12 months, citing Covid protocols as the main reasons.

But as businesses return to work, putting it off is not something that can be allowed to continue.

In their guidance the HSE has said it fully expects businesses and organisations to have a plan in place for resuming thorough examination and testing of their equipment; something it expects a business to implement.

The document is on the HSE website, link below, entitled “Thorough examination and testing of equipment“.

Electrical appliances need regular maintenance to ensure their safety; PAT testing being done on equipment fitted with plugs.

The excuse of “it hasn’t been used for a year” doesn’t really wash as a reasonable excuse, as that appliance may have been under fault conditions all this time and is just an accident waiting to happen.

We have made our clients aware of this update by the HSE, and recommend that you too bring your own compliance up to date, if it has been allowed to lapse during the pandemic.

Now that businesses are opening again, the need to make sure electrical equipment is safe to start using again is great. Certificates that show out of date, or too long a period since the last test, need updating with new records.

In this update the HSE stated “Within the Electricity at Work Regulations examination and testing is still a legal requirement and a fundamental part of risk management“.

The HSE advises businesses that have missed their usual ‘retest’ due to the pandemic to get that test done as soon as possible to bring their records up to date.

If this sounds like you, get in touch with us today to arrange an appointment to bring your PAT testing up to date too.

2021-09-22T08:24:02+00:00DRA News / Info|

Join our team

We are not currently recruiting for any positions

Join our Team

Here at DRA PAT testing we are currently looking for qualified, experienced PAT testing engineers to join us as permanent staff in full time roles for our business in the North East of England.

Work with us can take you to all kinds of different workplaces, small and large, across the region and beyond.

You will need to be flexible in working patterns, as the business requires, although most of the time your diary will be planned 3-4 weeks in advance at least.

You will need to be a strong team player and equally able to work alone.

You should be smart, presentable and professional with good inter-personal skills, written skills and be able to use and have access to a computer / laptop with printer.

  • Full driving license required & own vehicle
  • City and Guilds 2377 required and at least 12 months experience – you will be trained in our methods of working and are expected to work to our standards at all times
  • We will do a enhanced DBS so you should not have a criminal record
  • We will provide you with a Seaward Apollo 600 and all test leads
  • You could be working 7 days a week between 6am and 8pm; overtime available
  • You are paid travel time and fuel allowance
  • You are paid based on an 8-hour day but rarely expected to work 8 hours
  • You will be enrolled in the company pension scheme
  • 23 days paid holiday per annum
  • We are not a high volume, rush around testing everything in sight company; we care about our customers’ safety and promise them that we will ensure their equipment is safe.

We expect you to have extensive knowledge of electrical appliance safety and understand the latest code of practice

You will need to spend a day with us as a trial, if successful following interview

This role is available employed or as a self employed contractor.


£19,200 to £21,120 per annum full time plus overtime when available

Self employed

£12.00 per hour plus travel if we are providing equipment, up to £13.50 per hour if using your own

2021-09-04T15:44:24+00:00DRA News / Info|

Seaward PAT Testing Equipment

Seaward are the industry leaders in PAT testing equipment, and are the providers of the equipment we use. Seaward PAT Testing Equipment, to us, is the only kit we’ll consider using.

Seaward are based in the North East of England, in the town of Peterlee in County Durham. When we get asked “what PAT tester should we get” we recommend Seaward pat testing equipment. We don’t recommend Seaward because we know they are better than the other manufacturers because we don’t truly know that, having not used any of their kit, but we have first hand knowledge of the quality of the Seaward pat testing equipment.

Seaward PAT Testing Equipment

Richard using Seaward PAT Testing Equipment

Richard using the Seaward PAT Prime Test 300

Since I formed the business in 2009 I have always used Seaward equipment; I started with a Seaward Europa which is a big machine that works off direct power from the mains which means it’s not the easiest to work with on big jobs and has to be regularly unplugged and plugged back in which isn’t practical for our needs, although it is ideal for some.

From that we graduated onto the Seaward Prime Test 300 which is a truly magnificent machine which we love; it’s so easy to use, the perfect size and shape and we still don’t know why seaward stopped making it. If you can pick one of these up second hand, do so because they are truly great machines.

The PT300 was replaced by the Seaward Prime Test 350, which we have a couple of, although we have never got around to setting them up or using them yet, but we will. There is a need to graduate from the 300 to the 350 when the time is right.

We’ve also used for a short time the Prime Test 250, and are keen to get our hands on the 250+.

However for now our machine of choice is the Prime Test 100 which fits perfectly into our business. The 100 is a machine which gives us the results, from which we can use our skills and experience to interpret what we need to. The machine doesn’t record the results so we do that using a tablet system (Ipads). The 100 is light, easy to use, and quick, and is ideal for PAT testing computers.

2021-09-04T16:29:10+00:00DRA News / Info|

We Celebrated 5 years trading in 2014

It’s hard to believe I’ve been working for myself for 5 years now; in some respects it seems like only yesterday, and in others it feels like 20 years but in October 2009 I set up my sole-trader business DRA Electricals. At the time I was living in Seaham, Co. Durham, so that’s where the business began and what a road we’ve come down since.

We started off as a company offering PAT testing and Electrical Maintenance to businesses, and that’s where my story begins.

the earliest photo of Richard Ayre doing a PAT Test

an early photo of me PAT testing a smoke machine










This photo was taken as a publicity shot; I couldn’t afford to use professional photographers in those days so I got a mate with a camera to do it. When starting out in business I think it’s very important to live with in your means – don’t spend money you haven’t got.

Over the next, however many posts I publish, I’m going to tell you my story on how I have built up this start up business into a thriving limited company, and how little old me became director of a national PAT testers association.

The next post, Why PAT Testing will tell you how and why I got into this wonderful industry, and have never looked back.

2021-09-04T16:06:49+00:00DRA News / Info|

Versatile Seaward PAT technology supports DRA Electrical growth plans

Seaward PAT Testers

This article about us was published in the Seaward industry news issue 36 in August 2014.

seaward Apollo 600 local pat testing portable appliance testing machine

Versatile electrical safety testing instrumentation is helping a specialist UK PAT company to grow by putting the emphasis on an all round preventative maintenance service.

The Tyneside based DRA Electricals has recently passed the 100,000 PAT tests completed mark and is expanding beyond its traditional North East marketplace by winning new national contracts.

The company’s broad customer base includes all types of organisation and appliance users, from relatively small businesses, to schools, colleges, hotel groups, call centres and large company offices.

To meet the specific needs of each client and the number and type of appliances being used, DRA uses a suite of handheld Seaward PrimeTest PAT testers. All instruments are hand held, extremely lightweight and battery powered for maximum portability.

DRA Electricals director, Richard Ayre, explains: “Our aim is to build a professional relationship with clients by meeting their specific electrical testing needs. Every client is different, with different working environments and with different patterns of appliance use.

We treat everyone individually and don’t cut corners. We discuss the range of equipment available and parameters of any PAT testing programmes with clients and agree test frequencies that are specific to their own circumstances.

“Having determined what testing is needed, having the right test equipment available to enable us to complete the job efficiently and effectively is essential – and this is where the Seaward testers have been invaluable.”

Where relatively simple electrical testing is required the PrimeTest 100 manual tester provides an immediate pass/fail indication for all the required tests, enabling work to be undertaken quickly. This is especially important when undertaking work in schools and offices, for example.

The PrimeTest 250 has a more comprehensive test range in keeping with the IET Code of Practice, including RCD trip time test, a protective conductor test and touch current. It also includes a 3-phase leakage test and a 250V DC insulation test suitable for testing sensitive electrical appliances and surge protected leads.

Richard Ayre says, “Our aim is to generate long term relationships and repeat business with clients by giving them a reliable and valued PAT service. Having access to the right sort of PAT instrumentation is a major factor in helping us to achieve this aim successfully.”

We now prefer to use the Seaward Apollo 600 range of PAT testers such as the one pictured. 

2021-09-04T16:33:35+00:00DRA News / Info|
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