PAT Testing Regulations (BS7671) & City and Guilds 2377 qualifications
We now offer a low cost route to gaining the recognised City and Guilds 2377 awards for PAT testing. PAT is the acronym for Portable Appliance Testing, or the safety testing of electrical devices that are, typically, plugged-into electrical sockets. Although this is commonly known as PAT testing, the official name for this is ‘In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment’, and how to carry it out is described in the IEE Code of Practice for In-service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment.
PAT Testing is ideal for people who have a basic understanding of electrical theory, and a thorough and responsible approach to testing. It is an activity designed to ensure electrical safety and as such should be done by trained and competent people – see below for more information and special offers.
The City and Guilds 2377 qualification is available in two separate units:
|City & Guilds unit||Course Title|
|2377 – 100||Management of Electrical Equipment Maintenance Certificate|
|2377 – 200||Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment Certificate|
The City and Guilds 2377-200 award is the most appropriate qualification for those who actually perform PAT testing. Unit 2377-100 is designed for managers who does not perform PAT testing but are responsible for maintenance of a building or site and employ PAT testers. 2377-100 is also appropriate for the manager of a business that offers a PAT testing service and advice to other organisations.
City and Guilds 2377 PAT Testing Assessment and Qualification
The City and Guilds 2377-200 award is a level 3 qualification on the National Qualification Framework (NQF). It is a mixture of a practical assessment and a stringent ‘on-line’ exam requiring a score of 80% or more for a pass, and hence the national success rate is not as high as for many other City and Guilds exams.
At Lucid our success rate for first sitters of the on-line exam is high and we also offer unsuccessful candidates a free re-sit and the opportunity to revise for a few days, or weeks, before coming back for a resit.
Because the qualification is known to be tough, it has real prestige within the industry, and it is clearly the qualification that commercial PAT Testing engineers should have.
Megger sponsors Lucid PAT Testing Course
At Lucid we have struck a special deal with Megger, a well-known manufacturer of high-quality electrical test equipment, so we can offer a PAT tester at distributor price to any trainees/companies booking a PAT course or exam. Different models are available…please ask for current pricing.
This is an excellent start for anybody beginning or expanding their PAT testing – it provides them with a fully automatic PAT tester, and the ability to get trained on and set-up their own instrument during the training course.
This course is also eligible for ELCAS funding for ex-forces personnel as it provides a level 3 qualification.
Any scheduled public courses open to indivvidual bookings are listed here
Please contact us to make a booking or discuss potential dates.
PAT Testing demands a Competent Person
The requirement is that PAT testing is done by a competent person within the workplace, and the best way to prove a person is competent is by ensuring they have passed appropriate qualifications such as the City and Guilds 2377 qualification for staff carrying our portable appliance testing, or alternatively the equivalent qualification for those who are responsible for managing the application and process of PAT testing within workplaces.
If you employ a company to do PAT Testing for your business or organisation, we strongly advise that you demand to see their City & Guilds 2377 qualification. Without this they may ‘talk the talk’, but we doubt that they are truly competent to perform the tests as per the regulations, and you could be deemed at fault for not using a competent person to perform your PAT testing.
Doing PAT testing properly is not something that can be readily undertaken by an untrained novice, even if they have the latest and greatest ‘fully automatic’ PAT testing equipment.
Benefits of Using Qualified PAT Testers
Our experience, and stories we have heard within the industry, have convinced us that it is not only potentially dangerous and hence irresponsible to use PAT testers whose competence is untested, but it can also be a false economy.
There are advertisements for PAT testing at very low rates of around £1 per asset. Some of these are surrounded by small print that demands thousands of assets or other such stipulations, but without such small print testing can not, in our opinion, be reliably and properly carried out at such low rates. In order to achieve such rates corners may be cut and this can at best lead to good equipment being ‘failed’ and made worthless since compensating calculations or measurements are not taken, or worse still safety is compromised.
The ‘fail’ing of good equipment by incompetent PAT testers can easily cost a business hundreds of pounds and can quickly result in a saving of a few pence or tens of pence per asset in the testing charge being negligible. We have heard tales of PAT testing being done twice due to expensive assets being ‘failed’, and this clearly makes a lowest cost approach to PAT testing a reckless one. To be sure your PAT testers know what they are doing we suggest you check they have the City & Guilds 2377-200 qualification.
PAT Testing ‘Assets’
In PAT Testing terminology an ‘asset’ is anything that requires testing. The difficulty is that some assets are quite ordinary and can be tested very routinely, such as power cords, whilst other assets are more complex to test and consequently take longer. Most businesses have more ‘assets’ than they realise with a typical desktop PC often being four or more assets. This is because a desktop PC consists of a monitor, a main processor unit and power cords for each of them. When other items such as printers, scanners and mains extension blocks are added to this list, it is not unusual to find that a tyoical office business has around five to seven assets per office worker. A result is that even quite small businesses can have hundreds of assets, and a one person office is likely to have ten to twenty assets that require testing.
PAT Testing Interval
PAT testing is required at regular intervals on all mains voltage devices or their power leads for commercial premises whether they are offices, factories, holiday homes or residential care homes. The testing is designed to ensure that electrical equipment used in these environments is safe for workers, residents and the public. A common misconception is that PAT testing is an annual requirement, and this is reinforced by companies who just do annual PAT testing, whereas the correct interval is dependent on many factors and can vary from monthly to every few years.
Other Electrical Cabling Qualifications & Tests
If you are interested in any other electrical cabling qualifications then we would be very interested to hear from you. Electical cabling is not our core business, but it fits neatly between our communications cabling and our Health & Safety training services. There are aspects of both of these where a knowledge of electrical safety, earthing and bonding, and recommendations for best practice is a distinct advantage. We have therefore decided to offer these qualifications and awards with the emphasis being on providing a low-cost route for candidates, adding value where we can.