What it is and the legal requirements Periodic Electrical Testing

In time all electrical wiring begins to deteriorate and it is therefore essential to test all fixed wires regularly to ensure complete compliance with the Electricity at Work Regulations.

The ‘Electricity at Work Regulations 1989’ in Regulations 4(1) and 4(2) specifies the requirement that an electrical installation should be designed, installed, constructed and maintained in a safe manner at all times. The basis for periodic inspection and testing is derived from Guidance Note 3 of the ‘IEE Wiring Regulations BS7671:2008’.

Legislation and regulations place a duty of care on employers and employees for the safety of themselves and others, meaning that compliance must not be a paperwork exercise but a real initiative to ensure safety. Carrying out frequent inspection & testing to your electrical system will promote this safety.

What is tested?

In addition to PAT testing it is important to complete compliance testing on fixed wire installations; this is the testing of electrical systems that conduct electricity around a building. Examples include the distribution board all circuit breakers and associated RCBs, the complete earthing of the installation with all cables, switches, sockets and fixtures such as lighting, air conditioning units and any other fixed plant for compliance.

It covers all the hard wiring in a building, whether that building is commercial, industrial or residential.

Our inspection and testing of an electrical installation generates a periodic inspection report which is a condition report supplemented by the testing results. It is conducted by competent qualified inspectors; the inspection highlights any significant defects on an electrical system. These may include; exposed conductors or terminations, broken covers, conduits or trunking: the lack of earthing on conductive parts, inadequate support or damage to cables.

The testing of an electrical installation follows BS7671:2008 and comprises of:

  •       Visual inspection
  •       Continuity of protective conductors and bonding
  •       Continuity of ring circuit
  •       Insulation resistance
  •       Polarity
  •       Earth fault loop impedance
  •       Prospective fault current
  •       Operation of residual current devices
  •       Functional testing

Our engineers

Our fully accredited engineers have the knowledge and experience to perform both visual and electrical tests to the new wiring regulations to ensure the safest and most secure practices possible.

They search for any potentially dangerous defects within the system that could otherwise lead to fire or injury. We are able to repair any defective items found in addition to identifying potential future problems ahead of time, preventing them from developing any further. The comprehensive service we offer keeps you fully compliant without disrupting your workplace any more than necessary.

How frequently should the installation be inspected & tested?

The Institute of Electrical Engineers (IEE) give guidance for the “recommended” frequencies for the inspection and test of most electrical installations, with 3 & 5 years recommended for most commercial & industrial type premises and 10 years for domestic properties.

However, consideration will need to be given to other factors that may require a more frequent testing regime. A careful assessment of your installation and its use should be conducted to help determine this frequency.

We can usually offer a very quick service if it is required with night time working if day time access is limited due to business requirements.

Periodic Inspection and Testing services are available from RB Services. If you would like to get in touch with us you can call 0121 268 3144 and we’ll book an appointment for you. You can also email us at and we will get back to you as soon as we can.