Preparing for a full school-wide PAT test is an important step to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
Many schools PAT test during the summer holidays when the pupils are not in. Usually the majority of equipment is not being used at this time.
You may need to send a note well in advance to any staff in the areas in which you will be PAT testing to make sure all appliances are somewhere accessible and not in locked cupboards etc. If you test once a year, you may want to go around with the previous year’s results to make sure everything you tested last time has been done and any new equipment that has been purchased has been recorded.
Give yourself enough time to do a proper job. Rushing a PAT test can be dangerous. You may miss a vital problem during a visual check or may forget to stand clear of a flash test, with potentially lethal results.
Many PAT operators in schools have a few weeks PAT testing written into their contracts. As more appliances come into school, make sure you get days added to your contracted time to test these items. Work at your own pace and ensure any appliances that have failed are clearly marked as such and taken out of service.
Try to share the responsibility with someone else. You can then double check suspected problems with them and also get a second opinion when conducting a visual check.
Schools are different from a lot of other environments. Labels get removed and equipment often gets vandalised or tampered with. Be aware of damaged equipment and never put yourself in danger. If a case is badly damaged or a socket cracked, do not attempt to test the appliance, fail it on a visual check only.
Choose labels which are right for their intended environment and ensure you have enough labels for the whole job.