Questions & Answers
The following are brief answers to some of the typical questions we get asked about. Please feel free to contact us should you require any further information or if you have any other questions.
General PAT Testing FAQs
Is PAT testing a legal requirement?
PAT testing is not a legal requirement; however, the law does require that electrical equipment used in the workplace is properly maintained and is in a safe condition. PAT testing is simply a method of inspection and testing to determine whether electrical equipment is fit for continued use, or if maintenance, repair or replacement is required. We also have an article with more information on the legal requirements for PAT testing.
What is PAT testing?
PAT testing is a process for checking the safety of electrical equipment used in the workplace. Guidance on how PAT testing should be carried out is given in the IET Code of Practice for Inspection & Testing of Electrical Equipment.
What does ‘PAT’ stand for?
PAT is an acronym for Portable Appliance Testing.
Is it only portable appliances that need to be PAT tested?
PAT testing is an informal term that refers to the inspection and testing of electrical equipment. All electrical equipment used in the workplace should be inspected and tested, regardless of how ‘portable’ the equipment may be.
How often should equipment be PAT tested?
The frequency of the inspection and testing should be based on risk assessment rather than predetermined timescales. The risk assessment should consider factors such as the type of equipment, the environment it is being used in and the person that is using it. We also have an article on carrying out a risk assessment for PAT testing.
PAT Course FAQs
What qualifications do I need for PAT testing?
No specific qualifications are required, the regulations require that the testing is done by a competent person. The definition of a competent person in the regulations is - "A person possessing sufficient technical knowledge or experience to be capable of ensuring that injury is prevented". All of our courses are designed to provide the technical knowledge and practical skills to undertake the testing.
Do I need the City & Guilds 2377 qualification?
We only recommend attending a City & Guilds course if you are looking to offer PAT testing as a service, or are looking for a career within the PAT industry.
What time does the course start/finish?
The course starts at 9am and usually finishes around 4pm. After booking the course you can download a course timetable, along with a map & directions and a training manual from your course account.
Do I need to purchase a PAT tester before the course?
We would recommend not purchasing a tester until you have completed the course. You will have the opportunity to use a variety of testers and this should give a good idea of the type of testers available and the ones most suited to your requirements and budget.
Can I use my own PAT tester on the course?
Yes, if you already have a PAT tester, bring it along and you can use it for the practical parts of the course. Our trainers have a wide knowledge of most test instruments and can also offer you some guidance and advice on using your own particular machine.
I have no previous electrical knowledge; will I be OK to attend a PAT course?
You do not need to have any previous electrical experience to attend our one day PAT Competent Person course. We are confident we can train most people and we deliberately keep our class sizes small to ensure that no one gets left behind. If you would like to prepare for the course we would advise reading our training manual beforehand. You can access the training manual from your course account.
If you are attending a City & Guilds 2377 course, we recommend that you have at least a good understanding of basic electrical principles. As a minimum, you should have a good understanding of Ohm's Law and multiples and sub-multiples of electrical units.
I have seen various City & Guilds PAT testing qualifications advertised. What's the difference between City & Guilds 2377-77. 2377-22, 2377-32 etc?
City & Guilds 2377-77 was introduced in 2020 and is the latest and most up to date qualification available for PAT testing. 2377-22 and 2377-32 are older qualifications and have now been superseded by the new 2377-77 qualification. The previous separate PAT management qualification, 2377-32 is now incorporated into the single 2377-77 qualification.
I would like to study at home before attending a course, what do you recommend?
If you book a course with us, you can access an electronic copy of our training manual to study. You will receive a paper copy of the manual on the course. We also recommend purchasing a copy of the IET Code of Practice.
Is there a City & Guilds 2377 online mock exam I can practice on?
We have a free shortened mock exam on our website to give you an idea of the format of the exam and the type of questions asked. If you have booked a course with us, you can access the full mock exams via your course account.
If I fail the City & Guilds exam, can I resit and what are the costs?
Yes, the price for the exam only resit is £85 +VAT. We normally arrange this to coincide with our next course (depending on availability). Alternatively, we can organise an exam resit at our head office in Cambridgeshire at a convenient time and date for you.
Do I need to regularly renew my training certificate?
There is no requirement to renew your training certificate in the way you do with a first-aid certificate for example. If you haven't done any testing for a while and are looking for a refresher, we recommend attending the one day PAT Competent Person course.
I've lost my City & Guilds certificate!
Replacement certificates can be ordered from City & Guilds via their website. You will need the course date, qualification number and enrolment number. Please contact us and we will give you all the information you need.
Is it possible to receive funding for a course?
Turn2Us provides information about education grants and has a grant search. City & Guilds offer bursaries to people who study for a City & Guilds qualification and are in genuine financial need. The Education and Skills Funding Agency also provides information on funding for further education. It may also be possible for you to receive funding via the Jobcentre, especially if you have recently been made redundant or are unemployed. Your local Jobcentre adviser can provide guidance on course funding. Please contact us if you require any course information to provide to the Job Centre. We are an approved Department for Work and Pensions training provider.
I want to test electrical appliances donated to our charity shop?
Second-hand equipment offered for sale should be fit for purpose and safe to use, in addition, be subjected to inspection and testing procedures. We would recommend attending our one day PAT Competent Person course, which covers all the procedures suitable for testing donated appliances.
Will I find a job as a PAT tester?
There are usually vacancies available for qualified PAT testers. We publish some current PAT vacancies here: Current PAT testing jobs. As well as specialist PAT testing jobs, employers often seek candidates who can carry out PAT testing as part of their wider job role. Jobs such as maintenance engineers, facilities maintenance, service engineers, IT technicians etc., are often required to carry out PAT testing.
Will you cancel a course if you do not get enough people to attend?
No. Unlike many colleges and other training providers, we don't wait to see how many people we get to attend and then cancel a course at the last minute. All of our courses are organised months in advance and will run regardless of the number of delegates attending. In the unlikely event that there is only one person booked on the course, the course will still run.
What if a need to cancel?
For more information, see our cancellation policy.
How long do I have to wait for the certificate after completing the course?
City & Guilds usually take 4 - 6 weeks to process certificates. If you need confirmation of your result, we can email you a C&G score report. The certificates for our PAT Competent Person course are posted within a day or two of the course.
I failed my City & Guilds exam with another course provider, is it possible to just retake the exam with you?
No, we do not offer any exam resit places unless you have taken the course with us. This is because the qualification includes a practical assessment, which must be completed during the course.
Is there a support service for technical queries that might arise following the training?
Yes, if you have any technical problems, or if you just want a second opinion on something you encounter whilst testing, please call or email us and we will do our best to help. All Plugtest staff have many years of practical PAT testing experience.
I would like to book a course for my son/daughter/apprentice, is there an age restriction?
Unfortunately, City & Guilds will not allow exam registrations for under 18s. For our one day PAT Competent Person course we advise that it is suitable for those aged 16 or over.
Where can I buy the test equipment from? Do you supply test equipment?
PAT testing equipment can be purchased from most electrical wholesalers. We also sell a small range of test equipment that we can personally recommend. We have selected models that represent the best value in terms of ease of use, functionality, reliability and price. If you have any questions about our products, or if you need any advice in choosing the best equipment for your needs, please contact us.
I am thinking about starting my own PAT business, will your course help me do this?
If you are looking to start PAT testing as a business we recommend that you attend our City & Guilds 2377 course. This qualification is a requirement of NICEIC, NAPIT and some public liability insurance policies. The course does not cover starting or running a PAT testing business, but if you have any specific questions we will do our best to help.
Can we pay via an invoice?
Yes, we can send you a pro forma invoice but unfortunately, we can only book the course place when we have received payment. Select the 'BACs or Cheque' payment method at the checkout.
Can you offer us a discount if we book multiple places?
We don't offer preferential rates for our open courses. We feel it's only fair that everyone attending the course should pay the same price. If you have multiple people to train, our on-site PAT course may work out cheaper.
Do I need to bring anything with me to the course?
If you are attending a City & Guilds assessment, you will need a copy of the IET Code of Practice, 5th Edition. You will also need to bring a form of photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport.