How often should PAT Testing (Portable Appliance Testing) be done?

Updated: Jul 17, 2019



How do we determine the frequency of PAT Testing?

The truth is that frequency of PAT Testing is something that for the most part, will always vary depending on the type of appliance and the environment that the appliance is based in. There is currently no set legal requirement stipulated by the HSE as to when PAT Testing should be carried out. However, there are recommendations that are largely universally followed. For example, if you have ever enquired about having PAT Testing carried out it is highly likely that you will have been informed that PAT Testing should be carried out every 12 months.


If you wish to determine the frequency of PAT Testing you need, this can be summarised simply by looking at the factors that affect the frequency of testing.


Certain factors that affect PAT Testing are the following:


- Equipment that is used often, should be tested more frequently.


- Equipment that is not used very often will generally require testing less frequently.


- If damage to equipment is reported early before it becomes critical, there is much less chance for that equipment to become a major hazard and therefore will require less frequent testing.


- If damage to equipment has occurred regularly but nothing reported until later (when more critical), there is much greater chance that this becomes a major hazard, therefore this equipment will need to be watched much closer with more frequent testing provided.


- The type of equipment will also have a determining factor on frequency of testing. For instance, handheld appliances are much more likely to pick up damage than larger more stationery appliances. A good example of this would be a hairdryer which requires a lot more testing than say a fridge that is generally receiving much less wear and tear.


Frequency of PAT Testing can also be explained in terms of the type of location and the industry that the appliances are found in.


Type of industry relating to frequency of PAT Testing


Publicly used equipment

IT equipment and stationary, such as computers are suggested to be tested every 12 months. Class 2 equipment such as handheld or more movable, portable items require testing every 12 months. Class 1 items are to be tested 6 monthly.


Schools, Colleges, Universities

Class 1 equipment found in schools, colleges and universities should be PAT Tested every 12 months with class 2 equipment generally suggested frequency being 24 or 48 months.


Industrial, Commercial sites

The HSE advise that all industrial sites should have portable, handheld equipment tested every 6 months, this includes kitchens in commercial premises.


Retail, Offices, Hotels

Class 1 items found in these type of premises, such as IT equipment and stationary should be tested at very least every 48 months. Movable equipment such as portable equipment and extension leads are advised to be tested every 24 months. More frequently used equipment in these premises such as hand held appliances are advised to be tested at least every 12 months.


Implementing the frequency of PAT Testing

When looking to implement a planned preventative maintenance schedule with your PAT Testing, it is worth the duty holder instructing those using the appliances to conduct their own visual inspections, as well as arranging for scheduled formal testing and inspections from competent, experienced and skilled PAT Testing engineers.



If after reading this you think that you have a requirement for this service, click here to find out more about our PAT Testing service. Or call us today - 01604 696113 if you need some assistance, our team are always happy to help.




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