If you’re wondering if you need a PAT testing certificate, or what you can do with your PAT testing certificate, we’ve put together this guide to help. There is also an example of what a portable appliance testing certificate could look like.
When your testing is complete, we will send you a PAT testing certificate (sometimes referred to as a ‘PAT test certificate’ or an ‘electrical certificate of compliance’) that comes in two parts.
The first part of the certificate of compliance looks like this. This is a summary of your testing, which shows that the electrical equipment that was tested on your premises is safe.
The PAT test certificate will include the address where the electrical equipment testing took place and how long the certification is valid.
The portable appliance test certificate will also have an authorised signature from the company that carried out the testing.
The second part of the certificate lists the electrical equipment that has been checked, broken down by room or area.
- All electrical equipment is given a reference number. At Hawkesworth, this reference number is on each individual label too for easy identification
- The test date for each piece of electrical equipment is listed, alongside a recommended retest date
- The name of the engineer who tested each piece of electrical equipment will be supplied
- The report will list which electrical equipment has passed inspection and what has failed inspection.
At Hawkesworth, we provide photos of what has failed inspection so you can see for yourself why any electrical equipment is no longer compliant. For example, this photo of a plug that failed as the cable had melted.
Many of our customers find the photos useful as they can use them to train their staff how to look out for dangerous electrical equipment in the future!
Does a PAT testing certificate have an expiry date?
Your portable appliance testing certificate will include a ‘valid until’ date. This is usually dated 12 months after testing took place, although it will depend on the type of electrical equipment that was tested and the environment it was tested in.
For example, laptops and computer monitors in an office will need to be tested less frequently than power tools on a construction site. We always recommend carrying out a risk assessment to determine how often your electrical equipment should be checked.
Bear in mind that the ‘valid until’ date on your PAT testing certificate is not an official expiry date. It’s just a recommendation as to when you should get PAT testing carried out next.
There is no legal requirement to get portable appliance testing carried out in a commercial building. This means you will not be in breach of health and safety regulations if your certificate expires.
(However, remember that it is a legal requirement to make sure the electrical equipment on your premises is safe to use and well-maintained.)
So do you need to get PAT testing done before your certificate expires? If your portable appliance testing certificate is due to expire, you don’t need to worry if your next testing takes place shortly after the ‘valid until’ date.
What does a PAT testing certificate prove?
This certificate shows your business is compliant with regulations including the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Electricity at Work Regulations (1989).
What can you do with a PAT testing certificate?
- If your business has public liability insurance, your insurance company may request a copy of your certificate to show your electrical equipment is safe
- You can include a copy of your portable appliance certificate in any tender applications to show your company’s commitment to health & safety
- If you have a certification file at reception, you can include your certificate in there to show visitors you operate safely
- If you are a landlord, having a certificate to show to interested tenants is an excellent way to demonstrate the electrical equipment you provide (for example fridges and microwaves) works and is safe