The law states that in order to PAT test the individual must be a competent person. The definition of a competent person as per page 13 of the IEE Code of Practice 3rd edition states that the person must:
- Have adequate knowledge of electricity
- Have adequate experience of electrical work
- Have adequate understanding of the system to be worked on and practical experience of that class of system
- Have an understanding of the hazards that can arise during the work and precautions that need to be taken
- Have the ability to recognise at all times whether it is safe for work to continue.
In order to be considered competent enough to perform PAT testing, one would typically take a PAT training course that is given by someone qualified as an instructor and in PAT testing. A knowledge test should also be taken and that test evaluated by the instructor to ensure that the proper knowledge has been gained.
Those responsible for having PAT testing done include anyone who uses electrical equipment as well as administrators with responsibility for electrical maintenance who may or may not have detailed technical knowledge. Other duty holders such as company directors, building service managers and managers are responsible to ensure that PAT testing is carried out in their businesses as well.
All employers are responsible for ensuring that electrical equipment does not present a hazard to employees or visitors and PAT testing is the most effective means of checking electrical equipment. Course designed to prepare individuals for PAT testing typically requires a familiarity with the Institution of Electrical Engineers or IEE Code of Practice. Training takes approximately 40 hours and qualifications received include the City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate for In-Service Inspections and Testing of Electrical Equipment. This training ensures that the individual is considered competent and can carry out PAT testing.