Production acceptance testing or PAT as it's known for short, is the next step after completing the OAT phase. Whilst OAT looks at whether operating procedures are working, PAT looks at whether everything is in place for the product or service to be supported.
For example, checking to see if the safety monitoring on a train is working, such as radio signals are being received and sent, alarms are active and so on.
This would be required to ensure the control centres can monitor the train effectively and would construe a level of production acceptance, defined by the control centre as acceptable for them to monitor the train.
Production Acceptance Testing can also be known as Business Readiness Testing or BRT for short in many organisations, again both terms imply the same.
A few examples of how Production Acceptance testing could be used are listed below.
Example 1. Checking to see if an airplane can be monitored by a control tower, is production acceptance that the airplane meets a set of criteria, required for approval to fly commercially.
Example 2. Checking to see if a car has been serviced regularly by an approved dealer is production acceptance for enforcing the warranty. Without meeting the required servicing requirements, the warranty is void.
Example 3. Checking to see if a computer has antivirus software installed with up to date antivirus definitions, is production acceptance for allowing the computer to connect to other computers in many organisations.
Example 4. When applying for life insurance, the insurer will ask a series of questions to determine suitability. These questions are a sort of production acceptance for their insurance and failing to meet the criteria set in these questions could lead to insurance refusal.
Production acceptance testing is ensuring the product or service meets the required standards to be supported or deemed acceptable.