PAT Testing Frequency Guide


This PAT Testing frequency guide is based on the model from the Health and Safety Executive and should be used in conjunction with the following factors:


Age of equipment.
The type of equipment and weather it is hand-held or not.
Initial integrity and soundness of the equipment.
The working environment in which the equipment is used (eg wet or dusty) or the likelihood of mechanical damage.
Frequency of use and the duty cycle of the equipment.
Effects of any modifications or repairs to the equipment.
Any Special manufacturer's recommendations.
Analysis of previous records of maintenance, including both formal inspection and combined inspection and testing.


Type of Business User Checks Formal Visual Inspection Combined Inspection & Test
Equipment hire N/A Before issue Before issue
Construction 110v weekly

230v Daily

110v Monthly

230v Weekly

110v 3 Monthly

230v Monthly

Light industrial Yes 6 Monthly 6-12 Months
Heavy industrial Daily Weekly 6-12 Months
Office IT No 1-2 Years None if double insulated, otherwise up to 5 years
Double insulated No 2-3 Years No
Hand-held double insulated Yes 6 Months - 1 Year No
Earthed equipment Yes 6 Months - 1 Year 1-2 Years
Equipment used by the public By staff 3 Months 1 Year
Cables & plugs Yes 1 Year 2 Years


Some other important points to consider are:

In premises where portable electrical equipment is used by the public, and where a duty holder does not have direct control over the way it is used, formal visual inspection may need to be done much more frequently. This should be determined by knowledge of the likely risks, and subsequently modified in the light of experience.

In many premises, eg in the health service, or in education, hotels and offices, more than one inspection and test regime may apply to different types of equipment. Some transportable electrical equipment may be less susceptible to mechanical damage, eg a table lamp in an office, which is supplied from a plug and socket and is rarely handled or moved. In a relatively benign environment, these conditions can be described as similar to those for fixed installations and the need for examination and test set accordingly.

However, these conditions do not apply to all office equipment. Some frequently used items (floor cleaners, kettles, free-standing electric heaters etc), which may be likely to suffer abuse and damage, would need to be inspected and tested more frequently, until results can be studied and failure rates analysed.

After the first few formal visual inspections, the information obtained can be used to give an indication as to the intervals before further inspections are carried out. The same is true for combined inspection/testing. A low failure rate would indicate that the interval can be increased and a high failure rate that the interval should be shortened.