Portable appliance testing or PAT is a series of safety checks that are made on an electrical appliance to confirm that it is safe for people to use.
The health & safety at work act 1974 places a duty or care upon the employer to ensure the safety of their employees and the public.
There are also further regulations regarding the proper upkeep of electrical appliances in the workplace specifically the provision & use of work equipment regulations 1998 and the electricity at work act 1989.
To abide by this legislation an employer can use an outside contractor to PAT test their appliances for them periodically or they can send a member of staff to be trained up as a PAT tester or often refered to as a 'duty holder' and it will then be their role to PAT test the appliances within the company.
Please note that an employee will only be able to PAT test appliances that are attached to a plug any appliances that are of fixed instalation must be tested by a qualified electrician only.
PAT testing courses are open to anybody and no prior electrical experience in required.
It is possible to obtain a City & Guilds 2377 in PAT testing,please note this is a theory only multiple choice exam that tests your knowledge of 'IET Code Of Practice For Inservice Inspection & Testing Of Electrical Equipment' it is NOT a legal requirement and can be completed online,but it will be of little benefit unless you have first attended a practical hands on course that teaches you the physical process of PAT testing appliances.