The future of mobile learning has to be in user owned technology.
From a sustainability perspective, no educational institutions (especially in the current economic climate) would be able to provide all learners with a mobile device or a laptop – even if they are getting cheaper!
However… sometimes the question of PAT testing student equipment arises from someone within the organisation. It is then decided that students can only bring in their laptops if they have been properly PAT tested or they can bring their devices in, but can not plug them in or in extreme examples students will be banned from bringing in their own devices.
I have read and checked the relevant legislation and I have phoned the HSE to confirm this.
There is NO legal requirement to PAT test student equipment, a formal visual inspection is sufficient under the current legislation.
See more details in this HSE leaflet.
The HSE were quite clear that they would not expect colleges to PAT test student devices.
Think about hotels for example, who NEVER PAT test guests personal laptops. Read this leaflet which has more information.
However… having said all that there may be good reasons to ensure that student equipment is PAT tested.
If you have an old building with rubbish wiring, it might make sense (from a risk assessment perspective) to PAT test.
Some insurance companies REQUIRE PAT testing, but check with your insurance company.
The answer to your H&S Officer is provide them with a proper risk assessment and the documentation from the HSE. Ask them to then explain why PAT testing is required beyond what is required under the legislation?
Ask H&S to set up PAT testing sessions for students, they want to do it, let them do it. Give them an indication of the session frequency required.
It actually doesn’t take that long or too much effort to train people to PAT test equipment, even the testing equipment isn’t that expensive. Train all relevant staff, Learning Resources, IT Technicians, other Technicians, teaching staff!!!! and get them to do the PAT testing.
Finally ignore all the “smart” people who tell you that PAT testing is an example of redundant acronym syndrome syndrome.
Disclaimer: ALL information containing in my post is for informational purposes only and should never be construed as legal advice. For proper legal advice you should consult a lawyer.