My last blog post caused a bit of a stir when I posted it to a couple of the Milton Keynes groups on LinkedIn. My question was ”competent or qualified what would you prefer?” Now what ensued made me try to understand the reason behind some of the comments …
The first part of my question was about competence. I can understand the thinking but how do you know that a PAT Engineer is competent? Would you ask to see the evidence of their capability? My challenge would be how do you really know? Do you have any idea who you are trusting with the safety of your business?
The various types of businesses that I have tested on indicate to me that engineers who have been on site previously were not at all competent. The main thing that I come up against is my pet hate, the card board wiring diagram still left on the plug but with a pass sticker! Clearly this is not a satisfactory pass but the tester is supposed to be competent and removing fire hazards.
The other part of the question was to do with qualifications. Again some of the responses where interesting and one in particular made me jump for joy – that response was that they would prefer that the engineer was both qualified and competent! However my concern about that statement would be again how can you be absolutely certain that the engineers are both qualified and competent?
Ask to know in advance the name of the engineer and ensure that they have identification and will they be in uniform,The first thing I would do would be when I book the company to do the testing ask to see some or all of the following:
- Ask to see a copy of their City and Guilds or equivalent certificate of competence,
- When on site ask to see the calibration certificate for the equipment being used. Most pieces of equipment will have a calibration date sticker on it to verify the equipment,
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their previous clients or even ask for testimonials and recommendations,
- Finally ask to see copies of the results and certificates that you would expect to see once the job is complete.
Only employ companies who have been assessed by various trade affiliates including The Association for Professional Appliance Testing (FTS are founder members), ECA, NAPIT and NICEIC.When the engineer arrives on site ask to see their identification just to confirm that they are indeed who they are and from the right company. All engineers who work for FTS Safety Solutions are qualified, competent and use equipment that is itself annually calibrated. Although the equipment certificates are not normally carried, they can be sent with the test results when the site is complete.
If you want to find out more about how we can help you with your own electrical safety testing then please do call us on 0330 6600264 or click here to ping over an email and we’ll get right back to you.
Until next time …