Inspection and maintenance of specified systems

Last updated: 18 April 2023

Specified systems require specialist inspection and maintenance to ensure they continue to perform and operate effectively.

An independent qualified person (IQP) follows the requirements set out in a building's compliance schedule. Each compliance schedule is different, depending on the specified systems in the particular building.

A compliance schedule will usually require the more complex inspection and maintenance procedures to be carried out by an IQP and the certification with a Form 12A can only be supplied by an IQP. A building owner may be responsible for undertaking some less complex and more frequent inspection tasks. These tasks will also be detailed in the compliance schedule.

Engaging independent qualified persons (IQPs)

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 6 monthly or quarterly. In order to provide a BWoF, the building owner must obtain a Form 12A from their 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 the building's specified systems will need to provide 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.

The 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.

Keep IQP records

The building owner must obtain and keep reports detailing inspections, maintenance and repairs from the people who have carried out the work. These need to be kept with the compliance schedule for at least two years after they have been issued.

The council will keep the building warrant of fitness and related documents from the IQPs on record for the life of a building.

Changes to the inspection and maintenance procedures

In some instances, an IQP may recommend a change in maintenance to a specified system in order ensure it continues to perform correctly. The building owner needs to include any such recommendations with the BWoF when they submit it to the council. If the building owner agrees with the IQP's recommendations, they may submit an application for an amendment to a compliance schedule to their council along with the IQP's recommendation.

Missed inspection and maintenance procedures

The Building Act 2004 (the Act) requires completion of all inspection, maintenance and reporting (IMR) procedures in the building's compliance schedule for the previous 12 months, in order for a building warrant of fitness (BWoF) to be issued. Unfortunately, the Act does not provide any flexibility or exemptions to this requirement. This means for those buildings where IMR procedures have been missed, at the time the next BWoF is due, a valid BWoF will not be able to be supplied or displayed.

The following measure can provide reassurance that the specified systems are currently performing as required and provide information about the missed IMR procedures.

When a BWoF is due, but cannot be supplied and displayed because IMR procedures were missed, the building owner should issue a BWoF Report and Declaration (B-RaD) which:

  • states that this document has been issued in lieu of a BWoF
  • states that the requirements of the compliance schedule were not complied with and that a BWoF cannot be supplied or displayed (because one or more IMR procedures were missed)
  • lists the specified systems contained in the building where IMR procedures have been missed in the previous 12 months
  • lists the specified systems contained in the building where IMR procedures have not been missed in the previous 12 months
  • states the performance status of each of the specified systems.

When supplying the B-RaD to the territorial authority, the building owner should also attach:

  • all form 12As for the specified systems where no IMR procedures have been missed
  • a Specified System Report and Declaration (S-RaD) issued by an independent qualified person (IQP) for each specified system where IMR procedures were missed.

Where IMR procedures have been missed, an individual report (S-RaD) for each affected specified system should be issued by an IQP which:

  • states the specified system
  • states that a Form 12A cannot be issued because one or more IMR procedures were missed
  • lists the IMR procedures (as stated in the compliance schedule) that were missed in the previous 12 months and the reason the procedures were missed (eg, 1 IQP inspection due in April 2022 was missed due to IQP illness and no available replacement)
  • lists any measures put in place to ensure the procedure is not missed again in the future
  • states that the specified system is/is not currently performing to the performance standard
  • states whether the missed IMR procedures have materially affected the ability of the specified system to perform to the performance standard for that system
  • gives a description of the status of the non-performing specified system (If applicable)
  • lists the measures put in place (or will be) to ensure the system performs to the performance standard (If applicable).

The building owner should supply a B-RaD to the local council on the anniversary of the issue of the compliance schedule and publicly display a copy of the B-RaD in the building.

It is important to note the supply and display of a B-RaD does not change any responsibilities an owner has under the Act, including the offence provisions under section 108 and breaches under section 164. Territorial authorities are tasked with administering and enforcing the BWoF provisions at a local level, and we expect a pragmatic approach will be taken.

Sample B-RaD and S-RaD templates

BWoF Report and Declaration [DOCX, 35KB]

Specified System Report and Declaration [DOCX, 35KB]


MBIE encourages building owners to review any insurance policies to understand the impacts of the non-supply of a BWoF on their cover and to contact insurance providers if required. Where insurance cover is impacted, owners could work with their provider to amend policy wording to reflect the importance of systems currently performing as opposed to procedures being carried out.

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: