Test & Tag Frequency Explained

In New Zealand the test and tag frequency, otherwise known as test and tag intervals, refers to how long is needed before an electrical appliance must be tested and tagged.

The AS/NZS 3760 2022 Standard makes recommendations for electrical testing and tagging frequencies via ‘2.4’, a sort of 'bible' for everything test and tag related. It should be seen at the very least as a minimum requirement.

Here are the main intervals in NZ you should be aware of:

Intervals Environment
3 months construction, building and demolition

6 months

factories, production and warehouse
12 months where equipment/cord is prone to flexing (or open to abuse) i.e. schools, offices, office kitchen
5 yearly where equipment/cord is not prone to flexing (or open to abuse) i.e. server rooms

AS/NZS 3760 Standard - Table 2.4

In the New Zealand Standard AS NZ 3760, it specifies that the amount of time between using a PAT tester is based upon the type of environment that appliance is located in. 

It's also important to remember that some businesses undertake their own risk assessment. This means they might have a different test and tag frequency which is more frequent than what's specified. This is of course absolutely fine, whereas testing less frequently is not acceptable.

Test and Tag Frequency NZ

Frequency for building, construction and demolition

The most strict of all industries require testing every three months due to their sheer hostility. These include people working on building and construction sites or demolition. 

A lot of the information relating to these environments fall under the AS/NZS 3012 Standard. In addition to stricter intervals, you're also required to use particular test and tag colours at certain times of the year in NZ. These colours will change every three months, coinciding with your periodic testing.

Frequency for hire equipment

For hire equipment, the electrical items need to be visually inspected prior to being hired, as well as being test and tagged every three months.

In terms of who actually does the testing, it depends on a couple of factors. If the hiree has the equipment for at least 3 months, it will be their responsibility, otherwise it lies with the hirer when it's in their possession. 

Frequency for second hand equipment

Second hand equipment is now specifically mentioned within the intervals table but is generally covered under a seperate Standard which is 5761. However, the testing procedures still remain the same as 3760. Essentially, there is no re-test period for second hand equipment as they are being sold to an end user. The actual test tags used look different as well, which are the Second Hand Equipment Tags.