PAT Testing stands for Portable Appliance Testing, people normally
say PAT testing for short(even though that would stand for
portable appliance testing testing).
Workplaces and suppliers of electrical equipment have a duty of
care to ensure the appliances are safe to use.
PAT testing is one part of the process of showing reasonable steps
are made to comply with safety legislation.
The process involves a careful visual examination of the item,
this is where the majority of problems are identified.
If the formal visual inspection is passed then where required a
series of further more specialist electrical tests are run to test
the safety of the equipment.
In addition, where possible the PAT test process identifies issues
related to safe usage of the equipment (ie is it used in an
appropriate location, can it be safely disconnected in an
emergency as well as issues such as overloading sockets and
extension leads etc.)
Once it has been identified that the item is safe to use in its
location and environment, and the visual inspection (where the
cable, plug, fuse, appliance itself are checked for
damage/compliance with relevant safety standards) is passed and
any required electrical tests are completed with safe limits the
appliance is deemed safe to use at that time and a pass sticker is
Appliance that fail any of the tests will be labelled with a fail
sticker and removed from service and put into quarantine, the
responsible duty holder is informed and they can either be
repaired or disposed of safely.