According to research conducted at the end of 2008, product recalls had reached a record high of 230 over the year, an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. Consumer goods saw the biggest increase from 91 cases in 2006-07 to 120 during 2007-08. 40% of the consumer goods recalled were made in China. The prediction is that the current economic crises may result in further increases in the number of product recalls due to many businesses being under growing financial pressure, and likely to be exploring ways of saving costs, resulting in a compromise of production standards.

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 puts the duty of care upon both an employer and employee to ensure the safety of all persons using a work premises. This includes the self employed. The requirement to ensure that electrical equipment does not present a danger either in the workplace - or domestic dwellings - is an ever-present issue in which PAT ( Portable Appliance Testing) plays a crucial, preventative role.

Training to obtain a formal and approved qualification to undertake critical PAT testing appears to be a worthwhile bolt-on, career skill move in a growth area.The person responsible for repairing any faulty equipment must be trained and competent to do so. A competent person is defined as - 'A person possessing sufficient technical knowledge or experience to be capable of ensuring that injury is prevented.' Equipment must be re-tested following the repair and record kept of the repair.

Electrical testing of portable equipment will involve earth bond continuity tests, insulation resistance testing and functional checks with optional testing for leakage. A City & Guilds 2377 - Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment qualification is available, designed jointly by the IEE and City & Guilds.

At Able Skills, a 2 day course is available which can chosen from amongst the many Electrical Courses that are offered, and a City & Guilds Certificate for the Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment will be awarded to those candidates who successfully complete a 1 hour multiple-choice examination