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How to become a PAT Tester

What is PAT Testing?

Portable Appliance Testing is a valuable skill for electricians and others involved in ensuring electrical equipment is maintained in a safe condition. Becoming a PAT Tester offers electricians, facilities managers and everyone looking for a new  business opportunity to take advantage of the PAT Testing requirements.

New Electacourse Online PAT Testing Course

From just £40, study the Electacourse Online PAT Testing Course to gain the skills and knowledge to enable you to understand the requirements of being a PAT Tester.

PAT Testing Introduction

According to The Health & Safety Executive, around 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable appliances. The Electricity at Work Regulations place a legal responsibility on employers, employees and self-employed persons to comply with the provisions of the Electricity at Work regulations and take all reasonable steps to ensure that no danger arises from the use of such equipment. Thus, in effect, a systematic and regular program of maintenance, inspection and testing is required. The Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) places this obligation in the following circumstances:

  • Where portable appliances are used by employees.
  • Where the public may use portable appliances in establishments such as schools, hospitals, shops and hotels etc.
  • Where appliances are repaired or serviced.
  • Where appliances are supplied or hired.

The level of inspection and testing requirement depends upon the level of risk of the portable appliance becoming faulty, which is in turn dependant upon the type of portable appliance, the nature of its use and the environment in which the appliance is used.

The publication the Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment published by The Institution of Electrical Engineers (the IEE) is a guide that forms the basis for portable appliance testing (PAT) in the U.K.

Legal Requirements

The legislation that is relevant to portable appliance testing include the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 puts the duty of care upon both the employee and the employer to ensure the safety of all persons on the work premises. This also applies to the self employed.

Specifically, the ‘Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998’ states that:

“Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.”

This is just one example of one piece of legislation relevant to PAT testing and it is clear that there is a legal requirement to inspect and test all types of electrical equipment in all work situations.

What next?

This page has given you a brief introduction to PAT Testing. You do not need to be a qualified electrician to be a PAT Tester, but it does form part of many electricians work portfolio. To become a PAT Tester you have a number of possibilities:

  1. Take a PAT Testing Course with a commercial or FE College training provider. They can offer the full package (course plus 2377-22) in one go – but often at a high price
  2. Study on your own with the great value  Electacourse Online PAT Testing Course –  from only £40, together with the IET Code of Practice. This option is recommended if you already have some electrical experience and you have the opportunity to improve your practice skills. If you like, you can follow this up with the City & Guilds 2377-22 exam which you can find offered in many locations
  3. Remember you will need to purchase PAT Testing equipment. Some equipment companies offer a ‘PAT Testing Business in a Box’ – these include all you need to start up a PAT Testing business.
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Home study advantages

The Advantages of Home Study

Home study, also known as distance learning is now an established part of education and training throughout the UK and other countries – in the US some of the largest training establishments are distance learning.

The quality of distance learning has greatly improved in the past few years, as both students and training companies have become more comfortable with the technology, and as stories of best practices have been shared and duplicated.

Electacourse have been involved in home study/distance learning for many years – both as a company and from individual members of staff. One of our senior colleagues has been in the field for 20 years and in the past was responsible for the management and education of over a million US university students – all learning whilst at home.

Home study features a number of advantages.

Advantages include:

  • Accessibility for those living away from a training centre
  • No waste of time or other resources in transport, commuting to a central location for each class
  • Flexibility to study in any convenient location with an Internet connection
  • Self-paced learning: Quickly browse materials you have already mastered, and concentrate time and effort in areas containing new information and / or skills
  • Study materials at a personal speed and intensity, without having to wait for slower pace of the average classroom
  • Just-in-time learning; more opportunities to study the most current material available
  • Flexibility for those with irregular work schedules
  • Accessibility for those with restricted mobility
  • Accessibility for those with family responsibilities
  • Communication with other students (not yet a facility on Electacourse, but one we are planning to introduce)

Recent research has shown that the most significant factor helping students to succeed has been their ability to manage time. The more successful students reported spending time regularly studying and not leaving it until the last minute.

For the 17th Edition Course which concludes with the 2382-15 exam (rated by City & Guilds as requiring 35 hours of study), Electacourse recommend you are regularly achieving high scores with the exam simulator before putting yourself up for the exam.