OCS Electrical Testing Services: FAQs

What electrical testing services does OCS offer?

We offer electrical testing services that will help to ensure that your organisation complies with the latest legislation and industry best practices. We offer two types of electrical testing:

  • Portable appliance testing – also known as PAT testing
  • Fixed wire testing

See below for further details regarding each service.

Does OCS offer electrical testing in my region?

Yes – we offer electrical testing across the UK. Our experienced engineers operate nationwide.

How much does electrical testing cost?

The cost of your electrical testing will depend on a wide range of factors, including the size of your organisation and facilities, the nature of the electricals that require testing, and the frequency of testing required. Call one of our friendly and expert staff today on 0844 846 7608 to arrange a fact finding meeting.

PAT Testing

What does PAT testing stand for?

PAT stands for 'portable appliance testing'. It refers to the process of inspecting the safety of portable electrical appliances.

Is PAT testing a legal requirement?

PAT testing in itself is not a legal requirement in the UK. However, organisations are legally obliged to comply with Government regulations concerning electrical safety in the workplace, including:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

Failure to comply with these regulations can result in severe financial penalties, and even imprisonment. PAT testing is one of the most widely used and effective ways to ensure that your organisation meets these legal requirements.

What types of portable appliances require needs PAT testing?

Regular PAT testing is recommended for all portable electrical appliances used within a workplace. Generally, any electrical appliance that can be connected to a fixed installation or generator using a cable or plug is classified as a portable appliance. This includes computers, laptops, televisions, photocopiers, kettles and toasters.

How often should PAT testing be completed?

PAT testing should be carried out regularly enough to ensure 'preventative maintenance' – in other words, often enough to prevent any dangerous electrical faults from developing.

How often this is will depend on your organisation's individual circumstances, and can vary considerably. OCS can offer advice on recommended PAT testing frequency.

Who is responsible for PAT testing?

Employers are legally responsible for ensuring that all work equipment is safe to use, and for ensuring that equipment is regularly maintained.

Who can complete PAT testing?

PAT testing can only be carried out by someone with expertise and experience in using the right equipment and the ability to understand the test results. At OCS, we fulfil this requirement by ensuring that all PAT tests are carried out by City & Guilds qualified engineers.

What does PAT testing involve?

PAT testing begins with a visual inspection of the portable appliance, in order to identify hazards such as frayed wires, damaged casing or cracked plugs.

Following this, the engineer will carry out specialist tests to check for things such as earth continuity, insulation resistance, lead polarity and more.

If the appliance is deemed safe, the engineer will label it with a safety sticker. If the appliance is not deemed safe, the engineer will outline the options available to you and recommend a course of action.

Can PAT testing damage equipment?

If carried out correctly, PAT testing will not damage equipment. At OCS, our engineers use a range of tests dependent on the type of appliance to ensure that the equipment we test is not damaged.

Why should I hire OCS to carry out my PAT testing?

When you hire OCS to carry out your PAT testing, you are hiring a business that:

  • Only uses highly experienced, City & Guilds qualified engineers
  • Guarantees a friendly, punctual and professional service
  • Provides an online client portal that allows you to easily keep track of all your portable appliances and maintain your health & safety compliance records

Fixed Wire Testing

What is fixed wire testing?

Fixed wire testing refers to the routine testing of fixed wire installations within a facility. This includes all built-in electrical fixtures, and the inspection of the electrical wiring itself.

Fixed wire testing is also known as 'fixed electrical testing', 'fixed installation testing', 'hard wire testing', 'fixed testing' and 'periodic testing'.

Is fixed wire testing a legal requirement?

Yes. Employers are legally obliged to ensure that all electrical equipment and wiring is regularly maintained, in order to comply with the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

In addition, routine fixed wire testing is often contractually required by insurance companies, licensing authorities and landlords. Failure to arrange regular fixed wire testing can be regarded as a breach of contract.

How often should fixed wire testing be carried out?

The frequency with which your organisation requires fixed wire testing will depend on a variety of factors. OCS can advise and recommended a fixed wire testing frequency that is compliant for your installation.What does fixed wire testing involve?

Fixed wire testing is an inspection and electrical safety test of the electrical installation within the fabric of the building; it includes the circuits supplying lighting and power circuits, along with any distribution boards and consumer units. The testing identifies any potential hazards within an electrical installation. It will highlight and lack of earthing or bonding and reveal if circuits are potentially overloaded or incorrectly installed. It was previously referred to as a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) but is now known as the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

What is an EICR certificate?

Once fixed wire testing has been carried out, you will be issued with an EICR certificate. This provides complete details regarding the extent and results of our testing, as well as details of any recommended actions. The EICR certificate must be stored in your organisation's health & safety records.

What does EICR stand for?

EICR stands for 'Electrical Installation Condition Report'.

How much does an electrical installation condition report cost?

We provide the EICR at no extra cost to you, as standard, as part of our fixed wire testing services.

Will fixed wire testing impact on day to day business activities?

Fixed wire testing requires isolation of the electrical supply in certain areas during parts of the inspection. OCS engineers work efficiently and safely to ensure minimal disruption to your business activity throughout the inspection.

Why should I hire OCS to carry out my fixed wire testing?

When you hire OCS to carry out your fixed wire testing, you are hiring a business that uses:

  • NICEIC-approved, highly experienced electrical engineers to carry out all routine fixed wire testing
  • CompEx-qualified engineers to carry out electrical testing in hazardous zones, including petrol filling stations
  • Testing programmes and documentation that comply to all relevant safety standards
  • Cutting-edge equipment that is fully maintained and calibrated

Still have questions about our electrical testing services? Get in touch with our friendly staff today to find out more.