Test & Tag

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Please note that you agree that this information is not presented as regulatory advice. You agree to seek assistance from a qualified subject matter expert.


Test and Tag is a generic name given to the process of visually inspecting and electrically testing in-service electrical equipment for personal safety. The frequency of testing depends on the equipment and the location of the equipment.

Picture of plug with test and tag label

Colloquially, it is also referred to as; tagging, test tag, test and tag, electrical tagging, appliance testing, portable appliance test or lead tagging.

The aim is to determine if the appliance is electrically safe for personal use. The appliance undergoes a visual inspection for defects such as damaged or missing components and a number of electrical tests to measure earth continuity, insulation resistance and polarity.

In Australia and New Zealand, this is done using the Standard; AS/NZS 3760:2010 “In-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment” as a reference document and AS/NZS 3012: 2010  – “Electrical installations – Construction and demolition sites, outlines regular inspection and testing requirements”. 

Associated documents
  • Test &Tag Test Equipment Certificate of Calibration. Is the equipment used to do the tests calibrated?
  • Test & Tag Competency. Is the person doing the testing qualified?
  • Test & Tag register

Geographic relevance

Possibly globally? From wiki portable appliance testing (PAT, PAT inspection or redundantly as PAT testing) is a process in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and Australia by which electrical appliances are routinely checked for safety.

ORC Matrix Classification

Obligation Hierarchy

Your organisation needs to decide whether to classify this as Governmental or Essential. 

Hierarchy Comments
Some may argue that Test & Tag is implied in WHS legislation under Duty of Care.
At a minimum, this is an essential compliance certificate as there are standards for Test & Tag
Risk Topic

This compliance document can be part of multiple risk topics, e.g. 

  • Fire Safety
  • Electrical Safety
  • Contractor Risk
  • Business continuity
  • Child safety
  • Product safety
  • Workplace Health and Safety
  • etc

Each organisation must create its own lexicon of risk topics and assign each compliance document to one or more risk topics. 

Compliance Class
Class Comments
A regular maintenance check for electrical assets.

How used

Internal Assurance

Organisations need to test and tag every electrical asset they own or lease.

Test & Tag register of equipment

A record of testing must be kept until the electrical equipment is next tested, permanently removed from the workplace or disposed of. A record of testing must specify:

  • the name of the person who carried out the testing
  • the date of the testing
  • the outcome of the testing
  • the date on which the next testing must be carried out.

The record may be in the form of a tag attached to the electrical equipment tested or logged on the Strytex portal.

External Assurance

OK this is a fun one. As you have a general duty of care for anyone on your property, contractors and visitors should only be allowed to plug in portable equipment that has been tested and tagged. Two examples

  1. Tradeshows now demand all exhibitor equipment is tested and tagged and even provide a testing and tagging service during set up. 
  2. I once did a presentation at a mining company’s head office in the middle of town. They insisted my laptop and charge had to be tested and tagged. They even took the equipment away, tested it and returned it to me.
  • All contractor electrical equipment brought on to your properties should be tested and tagged. Have you seen the state of some of the electrical equipment and extension cords!!
  • Make sure the person carrying out the testing and tagging is suitably qualified.
  • Make the test equipment that has been calibrated within the past 12 months.

OK, this may be a bit extreme but why not. You may need to provide an on-site test and tag service or alternative equipment for visitors. 

I went to present at a large mining company and they are very strict about WHS. I was asked by the receptionist if I would be using any electrical equipment for the presentation and if so, please could I show them the electrical cord. My laptop power cord did not have a Test and Tag and even though we were in the CBD offices, not out at a mining site, the receptionist called the in-house electrician and asked to test and tag my laptop charger. He did and only then was I was allowed to plug in my laptop.    


Also known as
  • Portable Appliance Testing

No known variants as yet.

Renewal Frequency

Test and tagging is not simply a yearly test, it depends on the environment and type of equipment. Testing intervals can be

  • Three monthly
  • Six monthly
  • Yearly
  • 2 yearly
  • 5 yearly
  • prior to hire
  • or after any repair
2nd level attributes

None that we are aware of yet.

Relevant Acts, Regulations and Standards

  • Australia: AS/NZS 37650 In-service safety inspection and testing of electrical equipment
  • Workplace Health and Safety

Useful Links

Simply google Testing intervals extracted from AS 3760:2010

Table of Contents

Nigel Dalton-Brown GAICD, AMIIA, MBA

Managing Director

Nigel is the Founder of Strytex and has been presenting and writing on Goverence, Obligational Awarenss, Risk Management and Compliance administration (GORC) since 2010.

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