Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Our ref: HSR/2/10

Head Office Circular: NP/92/23

24th May 2023

To: The Secretary




Dear Colleague,




RMT has found that PAT testing is being handled by the Buildings and Civils (B&C) department in many parts of the organisation. In some areas, this work is being contracted out to a company called DSEC.


We believe that the B&C departments are best suited to handle this work, and that it would be beneficial for us to gain clarity on this matter at the next National Maintenance Council (NMC) meeting. We would like to establish a consistent approach to this matter, especially since there is an outstanding item at the NMC that was paused due to Modernising Maintenance. This item concerns the structure of the department, particularly in areas where there are in-house Artisans and Operatives, versus those that pass the work to contractors. 


Your Lead Officer therefore proposed the following:


  • To request that NR sets up a dedicated meeting to discuss staffing levels within B&C
  • As part of the meeting, that the union asks how many assets require PAT testing in each route and how this workload is currently being managed
  • If there is inconsistency, that the union requests that this work be allocated to the B&C departments for our artisans to undertake, and that all work is done in-house.


At its meeting on 23rd May 2023, your National Executive Committee (NEC) noted the Lead Officer’s report on file and accordingly instructed the General Secretary to take the matter up in line with the officer’s report.


I am acting in line with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members. 


Yours sincerely



Michael Lynch

General Secretary