Managing your BWoF (for buildings with specified systems)

Last updated: 21 March 2016

A building owner needs to renew a building’s warrant of fitness (BWoF) every 12 months, signing, issuing and publicly displaying it to prove the building’s life safety systems (called specified systems) have been maintained and inspected.

A BWoF is confirmation that the building’s specified systems have been inspected and maintained as required in the building’s compliance schedule.

A compliance schedule will be issued through one of the following scenarios:

  1. A council issues a compliance schedule with a code compliance certificate, at the completion of consented building work, if the building has any specified systems.
  2. A council issues a compliance schedule upon application from the building owner, where, for some reason, a compliance schedule was not already issued.

The compliance schedule includes:

  • a detailed description of each specified system
  • performance standards for each system
  • the inspection and maintenance procedures required to ensure the systems continue to function as intended.

Specified systems help ensure a building is safe and healthy for people to enter, occupy or work in. For example, lifts and sprinkler systems.

Buildings with compliance schedules for specified systems

Learn what types of buildings need compliance schedules, and what you need to do with yours.

More about specified systems and compliance schedules

Building owner obligations

A building owner must:

  1. Obtain a compliance schedule where one is required under the Building Act. Failure to do so could result in a fine upwards of $200,000.
  2. Publicly display a compliance schedule statement in their building for the first 12-month period from the issue of the compliance schedule. A compliance schedule statement is issued by the territorial authority and states:
    1. the specified systems covered by the compliance schedule
    2. and the place where the compliance schedule is held.
  3. Ensure all the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for the specified systems stated in the compliance schedule for their building have been carried out and that those systems are performing, and will continue to perform, to the performance standards.
  4. Engage an Independent Qualified Person (IQP) to undertake the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures listed on the compliance schedule and issue Form 12As. Frequency of inspection varies depending on each specified system, and might be weekly, monthly, six monthly or annually
  5. Obtain a Form 12A certificate from their IQP verifying that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for each specified system have been fully complied with. The Form 12A can be found in the Building (Forms) Amendment Regulations 2005 (the Form 12A is officially called a ‘certificate of compliance with inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures’).
  6. Provide the BWoF annually to the local council (ensuring the Form 12A certificates from their IQP(s) are attached) and publicly display a copy of this for the next 12 months (until the next anniversary of the issue of the compliance schedule where a new BWoF will take its place).
  7. Keep the compliance schedule in the location nominated on the compliance schedule statement and BWoF. That way it and other documents are readily available for inspection by authorised people (such as council inspectors, fire service personnel and IQPs).

Other documents include:

  • annual written reports (which must be kept with the compliance schedule for at least two years)
  • log books (records of inspections by owner, tenant, maintenance and inspection personnel) where a requirement of the compliance schedule.

Owners’ responsibilities about BWoFs and compliance schedules

Building warrant of fitness documentation

A building owner needs to supply the relevant council with a BWoF that includes:

  • location of the particular building
  • current lawfully established use, including number of occupants per level and per use (if more than one)
  • owner of the building
  • original date the building was constructed
  • highest fire risk category for building use (if applicable).

The BWoF must state that you have fully complied with the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures of the compliance schedule for the previous 12 months. This information must be supplied on prescribed Form 12 of the Building (Forms) Regulations 2004. The form states the specific information that must be included and the order it needs to be included in.

Forms for building maintenance management

Download our prescribed forms to help you manage your building’s BWoF and compliance schedule.

Download forms

The BWoF must be accompanied by a copy of each certificate issued by the IQP(s), called a Form 12A, that collectively covers all of the specified systems, along with any recommendations for amending the compliance schedule (more information below).

The council will review the BWoF and Form 12As you provide to ensure they comply with the Building Act and Regulations. They may also initiate an amendment to the compliance schedule.

The council will keep the BWoF and related documents on record for the life of the building.

Keep records

You need to keep all records of inspection, maintenance and repairs undertaken for at least two years after they have been issued. This includes:

  • details of any inspection, test or preventative maintenance carried out
  • details of any faults found or maintenance and repair work undertaken to maintain the system in working order.

For both instances above you should provide the following information:

  • dates
  • work undertaken
  • faults found
  • remedies applied
  • person who performed the work.

These reports must be stored with your building’s compliance schedule at the location stated on the BWoF.

You need to produce inspection and maintenance reports (not to be confused with Form 12As) when required by the council or any other person or organisation with the right to inspect your building if requested (such as MBIE or the New Zealand Fire Service).

Engaging independent qualified persons

An IQP is a person (or firm) approved by the territorial authority as qualified to inspect certain specified systems and ensure that necessary maintenance occurs. “Independent” means they have no financial interest in the building.

Most specified systems require at least an annual inspection by an IQP but in some cases they may inspect more frequently such as six monthly or quarterly. In order to provide a BWoF, you must obtain a Form 12A from your IQPs, which certifies the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures of the compliance schedule have been carried out for the previous 12 months.

In most cases each IQP who inspects your building’s specified systems will need to provide you with a Form 12A certificate. However, in some cases one IQP may issue a Form 12A covering the procedures of another IQP. In these cases, it is important that the responsibility for issuing the Form 12As is established when the IQP is first engaged.

Your first step in engaging an IQP should be to approach the council for their IQP register (usually on the council’s website). This register also identifies which specified systems the IQP is competent to inspect.

If the IQP has any recommendations for amending the compliance schedule, you will also need to attach these to the BWoF you provide your council.

Your council can use its discretion about whether the compliance schedule needs amending.

Displaying building warrants of fitness

You must display a copy of the BWoF in an area of the building where it can be seen by all building users. This may be:

  • ground floor
  • lobby
  • entry foyer
  • reception.

It is good practice to identify the building’s specified systems on your displayed BWoF, but it is not a requirement.

Your council can inspect a building to ensure a BWoF is correct and that the IQP reports you submitted are correct.

The council can charge for this inspection, and may authorise an agent to do inspections on their behalf.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: