Last week we were conducting a PAT testing course for a secondary school, they had 1,800 students, lots of staff and 9,000 items that required PAT testing. This led to the question, how many items can you PAT test?

We were there to train staff on testing things as a supplement to the annual PAT test that they sub contract out to a ‘professional’ PAT testing company.

Whilst we were there doing the training we looked at items within the school and we also look at the records they have for the current PAT testing regime.

It always surprises me that some ‘professional’ PAT testing companies can do such a bad job, if you had an annual contract for 9,000 items, you should be treating that customer like gold dust, not with contempt!

Let me explain. When we looked at some items that had recently been tested we found items with the wrong fuse, terminals extremely loose within the plugs and the more difficult to get to items missed altogether.

The company that did the PAT testing worked from 9am to 4pm, there were two test operatives and they managed to complete the whole site (9,000 items) within 6 days……Let me just say that again, they tested 9,000 items in 6 days!

So lets do a little math.

9,000 / 6 days = 1,500 per day.

1500 / 2 operatives = 750 per person.

750 / 7 hours = 107 items per hour (each)

Obviously 107 items each per hour is impossible, who is at fault? well clearly the PAT testing operatives for not doing it correctly, the PAT testing company for not ensuring standards and most definitely still the school.

Why the school I hear you say, well the PAT testing job should never of been as cheap as it was, the cost was so low that the phrase ‘if it is too good to be true it probably is’ comes to mind. The school still is liable for not doing due diligence.

PAT testing prices that are quite frankly ridiculously low are pointless, nobody wins, please remember that when you get your quotes, ask yourself is this possible.

Sometimes we forget why we are PAT testing, we PAT test to ensure that appliances are safe to use. We do not PAT test just to tick a box on a form the cheapest way possible.

Ian