What is a Condition Report and Periodic Inspection & Testing?

All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use.
 
They should therefore be inspected and tested at regular intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for continued use.
 
Such safety checks are commonly referred to as 'periodic inspection and testing'. 
 
A report is compiled called an Electrical Installation Condition Report with the findings of the inspection and testing process.

What does an Electrical Installation Condition Report tell us?

An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is an inspection on the condition of an existing electrical installation, to identify (in order of priority) any deficiencies against the national safety standard for electrical installations.  
 

The finished report is an in-depth inspection and test of an existing electrical installation and is reported on a form that complies with the current wiring regulations, BS7671:2015 as amended in 2015. 
 
All of the accessible electrical accessories (socket outlets, switches, etc.) are visually inspected, with 10% of them being inspected internally. This means that the accessories are opened up to expose the wiring and terminals to establish if there is anything to suggest poor installation or quality of materials.  

The installation is also inspected for the presence of bonding conductors, the correct type and location of switchgear and that the installation is being used correctly.  

A detailed test follows, where a range of tests are carried out on each circuit to determine that the safety measures that have been put in place will operate correctly in fault conditions. This includes determining that the earth fault path is effective enough to result in automatic disconnection of the supply in the event of a fault, that the wiring is in good condition and that the residual current device (RCD) operates quickly enough to avoid any danger to the users of the installation.  

As well as checking the condition of the installation, an EICR produces information that would be invaluable to anyone wishing to carry out any work on the installation at a later date.  
 
In a nutshell the key factor in the report is that of safety for the occupants of the property or any visitors to it.