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Frequency of Periodic Electrical Inspection & Testing

By March 31, 2015 News No Comments

Periodic Electrical Inspection & Testing can have many different names:

  • Fixed Wire Testing
  • Electrical Inspection & Testing
  • Electrical Testing
  • Electrical Inspection Condition Reporting (EICR)
  • Periodic Electrical Testing
  • Periodic Inspection Reporting (PIR)

However, regardless of the description used this service involves the inspection & testing of electrical services and systems that conduct, transmit, generate and use electricity throughout a building. It covers all of the fixed wiring within the infrastructure, plus the associated distribution system (Distribution Panels /Boards, Isolators), electrical components including, lighting, switches, sockets and similar accessories, plus fixed electro-mechanical systems and plant.

To understand how frequently you need to inspect and test your installation, you must first establish the following:

  • The type and nature of your installation.
  • Its use and operations.
  • The quality and presence of maintenance regimes.
  • External influences having a passive or active effect in the installation.

Many Facilities and Estate Managers will know that a Periodic Inspection is necessary within the workplace, and will have a general understanding that it should be undertaken every 5 years for commercial properties and 3 years for industrial premises.

However, not every business can simply be placed within these two categories, and some buildings may even apply to more than one, so how do you determine the applicable frequency of these inspections?

To make this subject clearer, TEST has created a table displaying the frequency that Duty Holders/ Employers should adhere to when ensuring Periodic Inspections are commissioned in order to remain compliant and ensure the continued health & safety of their employees and those who may come into contact with their electrical system.


Type of InstallationSkilled Operative or TEST Qualified Engineer Frequency between inspections and testing as necessary (see notes below)
Domestic - GeneralN/AChange of occupancy
10 years
Domestic – Rented1 yearChange of occupancy
5 years
Residential Accommodation (HMO, Halls of Residence etc.1 yearChange of occupancy
5 years
Commercial1 yearChange of occupancy
5 years
Educational establishments6 months5 years1,2,6
Hospitals/ Medical Clinics – general areas1 year5 years1,2
Hospitals/ Medical Clinics – medical locations6 months5 years9
Industrial1 year3 years1,2
Residential accommodation1 year5 years1
Offices1 year5 years1,2
Shops1 year5 years1,2
Laboratories1 year5 years1,2
Buildings open to the public
Cinemas1 year1-3 years2,6
Church installations1 year5 years2
Leisure complexes – excl. swimming pools1 year3 years1,2,6
Places of public entertainment1 year3 years1,2,6
Restaurants and hotels1 year5 years1,2,6
Theatres1 year3 years2,6,7
Public houses1 year5 years1,2,6
Village halls/Community centres1 year5 years1,2
Special & specific installations
Agricultural and horticultural1 year3 years1,2
Swimming pools4 months1 year1,2,6
Caravan parks6 months1 year1,2,6
Caravans1 year3 years7
Highway power suppliesas convenient6 – 8 yearsN/A
Marinas4 months1 year1,2
Fish farms4 months1 year1,2
Emergency lightingdaily/monthly3 years2,3,4
Fire alarmsdaily/weekly1 year2,4,5
Laundrettesmonthly1 year1,2,6
Petrol filling stations1 year1 year1,2,6
Construction site installations3 months3 months1,2

Reference Key

1. Particular attention must be taken to comply with S1 2002 No. 2665 Electricity Safety, Quality & Continuity Regulations 2002.

2. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 Regulation 4 & HSR25

3. See BS 5266-1:2011 Code of practice for the emergency escape lighting of premises.

4. Other intervals are recommended for testing operation of batteries and generators.

5. BS 5839-1:2013 Code of practice for system design, installation, commissioning & maintenance of fire systems in non-domestic premises.

6. Local Authority Conditions of Licence.

7. It is recommended that a caravan is inspected & tested every 3 years, reduced to every year if it is used frequently.

8. The person carrying out subsequent inspections may recommend that the interval between future inspections be increased or decreased as a result of their findings.

9. Medical locations shall have their isolating transformer equipment inspected & tested for functionality as well as alarms etc.; every third year the output leakage current of the IT isolating equipment shall be measured.

10. The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 requires that properties under the Act have their services maintained. Periodic inspection & testing is the IET recognised method of doing this.

11. The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England & Wales) Regulations.

As already described, some installations may contain a special or specific installation with a shorter formal inspection term. One example of this is hotels which contain swimming pools. The maximum formal inspection term for a hotel in general is 5 Years, whereas the maximum formal inspection term for a Swimming Pools is only 1 Year. This means that the swimming pool should have a full formal inspection & test annually, irrespective of the rest of the hotel’s electrical installation.