IET New code of practice for inspection and testing of electrical equipment front cover of the book

The new Code of Practice for In-Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment –  5th Edition (2020).

You might have heard that there is a new Code of Practice (CoP) from the IET – this is quite a big deal for people in the PAT Testing Industry, as it sets out standards and procedures that people will follow when carrying out their work.

PATTA was very happy to be asked to participate in the updating of this document, and our Standards Director, Tim James attended many meetings in 2019 to update the document and wrote some of the technical information, especially in regard to the test procedures.

Undoubtably there will be a lot of questions asked about the new document, and over the next few weeks and months we’ll be putting out some more specific information to help our members and their customers, to help deal with any new issues.

There are no massive changes to the way that PAT Testing is carried out, so our initial advice is not to panic!

However the document does simplify and clarify a number of issues, especially around the technical side, and aims to make the process easier to understand. A lot of the content is based on the requirements of various technical standards, and as they have changed over the years it’s been necessary to update some of the content of the CoP. However, there is no major change to the way that PAT testing is carried out – despite what you might read elsewhere.

Something we as an association really pushed for from the outset we’re clearer guidelines; we felt that past editions of the Code of Practice were unclear and left a lot of grey areas – that was something we hope the new edition has corrected. 

It’s also worth mentioning that although the IET Code of Practice is the closest we have to an official document, it’s not law – it is a Code of Practice after all; but it does contain very good guidance for people checking the safety of equipment. There is also plenty of helpful information from other sources, including the Health and Safety Executive, and that hasn’t changed!

It’s also important to state that the CoP deals with the safety inspection and testing of all electrical equipment – not just portable appliances (those with a plug); but we’ll deal with that in another article!

If you have any queries, please get in touch or comment. If you’re a PATTA member, start a conversation in our dedicated Facebook group.  

For more information please refer to the new Code of Practice or contact us via our website