What is Pat Testing?

The ‘Inspection and Testing of In-Service Electrical equipment’ (usually referred to as Portable Appliance Testing or PAT), was introduced to enable companies & organisations to comply with the Electricity at Work Regulations. To meet these regulations it is necessary to have in place a program of inspection and testing of portable appliances. Any appliance with a plug that is used in the workplace should be tested at least once a year.

  • Other legislation of specific relevance to electrical maintenance
  • The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
  • The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.
  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
What equipment should be tested?

The regulations cover all items of in-service electrical equipment, this includes all movable items connected to the mains supply by 3A or 13A BS1363 plugs, BS EN60309-2 industrial plugs. In addition to being responsible for the safety of their own portable appliances, companies are also responsible for electrical equipment brought on site by employees and contractors.

PAT Testing Checklist

After an initial visual equipment check has been passed, it can then be PAT Tested.

Sense use a variety of tests to carry out electrical inspection, including:


A Class 1 and Class 3 test that determines whether there is an earth between the appliances metal work and the earth on the plug.


If there is defective insulation that exposes the conductors, this test will detect this and is carried out on all classes of equipment.


A test to determine whether the equipment’s fuses work correctly. This test can be carried out on all classes of equipment.


If there is any current to earth leakage when the equipment is being operated this test will indicate this. This test can be carried out on all classes of equipment.