Compliance Schedules and BWOFs

Compliance Schedules

The purpose of this guidance information is to help building owners and managers of commercial, industrial or communal (public use) buildings understand their responsibilities under the Building Act 2004 as they relate to compliance schedules (list of specified systems) and building warrants of fitness. Residential properties do not require a compliance schedule, unless it has a cable car installed. For more detailed information refer to MBIE's Compliance Schedule Handbook.

Legislative requirements

The Building Act 2004 (the Act) outlines Council’s responsibilities in respect to enforcing the provisions of the Act and promoting and protecting the public’s health and safety.   Council’s role is to educate, monitor and work with building owners, managers and independent qualified persons (IQPs) to ensure that the purposes and principles of the Act are achieved. 

Section 7

Plans and specifications means the drawings, specifications, and other personal documents according to which a building is proposed to be constructed, altered, demolished or removed; and includes the:-

  • specified systems that the application for building consent considers will be required to be included in the compliance schedule under section 100; and
  • the proposed procedures for inspection and routine maintenance for the purposes of the compliance schedule for those specified systems

Section 45.1 (g) 

An application for a building consent must be accompanied by either one of the following:

  • if a compliance schedule is required as a result of the building work, a list of all specified systems for the building; or
  • if an amendment to an existing compliance schedule is required as a result of the building work, a list of all specified systems that are being:-
  • altered in the course of the building work
  • added to the building in the course of the building work
  • removed from the building in the course of the building work

Section 51.1(c and d)

A building consent or an amendment to a building consent, must state:

  • the specified systems that are covered by the compliance schedule, and
  • the performance standards for the specified systems that are required by the Building Code

Specified systems

A specified system is a system or feature that is contained within a building for the primary purpose of maintaining health or life safety of building users i.e. fire alarm, sprinkler, mechanical ventilation system, etc.

Requirements for specified systems are set out in the 1st Schedule of the 2005/032 Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005. Where one or more of these systems exist in a building, a compliance schedule is required.

What is a compliance schedule?

A compliance schedule is an inventory or list of specified systems, contained within a building and states the performance standards which must be met:

  • inspection, testing and maintenance procedures
  • the frequency of inspections, and
  • who should perform those inspections

How do I obtain a compliance schedule?

A compliance schedule is usually included with an application for building consent; however, it may also be applied for when an application is made for a certificate of acceptance or a certificate for public use.

The application form for building consent must identify the specified systems that are going in the building and sufficient information to enable the BCA to check compliance of the system. This includes information about the system, its location and the performance standards.

Information required


The name of the specified system

SS/1 Automatic Systems for Fire Suppression

The type of system

Type 6 automatic sprinkler system

The location of the system in the building

Throughout the building

The Make and Model of the system

The Performance Standard

NZS4512:2010 Fire detection and alarm systems in buildings


What is a Specified System?

A specified system is a life-saving system or feature, which is in or attached to a building.  They are identified in the following list.
SS1/1 Automatic Systems for Fire Suppression
SS1/2 Automatic Systems for Fire Suppression
SS2/1 Automatic or Manual Emergency Warning Systems for fire or other dangers
SS2/2 Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers 
SS3/1 Automatic doors
SS3/2 Access controlled doors
SS3/3 Interfaced fire or smoke doors or windows
SS4 Emergency lighting systems
SS5 Escape route pressurisation system
SS6 Riser mains for fire service use
SS7 Automatic Back-flow Preventer Connected to a Potable Water Supply
SS8/1 Passenger Carrying Lifts
SS8/2 Service Lifts
SS8/3 Escalators and Moving Walkways
SS9 Mechanical Ventilation or Air Conditioning Systems
SS10 Building Maintenance Units for Providing Access to the Exterior and Interior Walls of Buildings
SS11 Laboratory Fume Cupboards 
SS12/1 Audio Loops
SS12/2 FM Radio Frequency Systems and Infrared Beam Transmission Systems
SS13/1 Mechanical Smoke Control
SS13/2 Natural Smoke Control
SS13/3 Smoke Curtains
SS14/1 Emergency Power Systems
SS14/2 Signs Relating to a System or Feature Specified in any of Clauses 1 to 13.
SS15/1 Systems for Communicating Spoken Information Intended to Facilitate Evacuations
SS15/2 Final Exits
SS15/3 Fire Separation
SS15/4 Signs for Communicating Information Intended to Facilitate Evacuation (Clauses 1-6, 9 and 13)
SS15/5 Smoke Separations
SS16 Cable Car

What is a Performance Standard?

Performance Standards provide extensive information about a particular system, including:-
 The scope, definitions and legislative requirements
 Workmanship, competency and qualifications of designers and installers (if applicable), 
 Performance requirements of the system
 Testing procedures and environments 
 Commissioning certificates and certificates of completion
 Frequency of inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures 
Published Standards
There are many standards available to designers; it is important that the performance standard covers the design as well as the maintenance and inspection requirements for the specified system.  
Some Standards are suitable for design, inspection and maintenance whereas others are only suitable for the design and you need to pick a different standard for the inspection and maintenance.   A good example of this is AS/NZS2293 which comes in 3 parts.  The design may be in accordance with Part 1 whereas inspections and maintenance of the system will be to Part 2.
Unique Number and Year Name of Standard Part
ASNZS2293.1-2005 Emergency Escape Lighting and exit signs for buildings Part 1
System Design, Installation and Operation
ASNZS2293.2-2019 Emergency Escape Lighting and exit signs for buildings Part 2
Routine service and maintenance
ASNZS2293.3-2018 Emergency Escape Lighting and exit signs for buildings Part 3
Emergency luminaires and exit signs
When referencing a published standard, you must provide full details of the standard including the unique number and part, the year and the name of the standard.
Note: Some standards are sponsored by MBIE and can be accessed for free on the Standards NZ website 
NZ Building Code Clauses
Designers can also choose to use one of the NZ Building Code (NZBC) clauses as a performance standard.  However, if referencing a NZBC Clause, the Designer must identify the relevant sections and sub-sections of the particular clause referenced.  The Designer must also identify the inspection and maintenance requirements for the system because the NZBC does not provide this level of information.  For this reason, we recommend that you use a published Standard.
NZBC Clause Section Sub-section (identify which sub-sections apply)
Clause F8 Signs F8.1 (a); (b); (c);
Clause F8 Signs F8.2 (a); (b); (c); (d)
Clause F8 Signs F8.3.1
Clause F8 Signs F8.3.2
Clause F8 Signs F8.3.3 (a); (b);
When referencing a code clause, you must provide full details of the clause including the version, amendment number and the date the clause came into effect.
Note: NZBC clauses can be found on the MBIE website:
Signage is required to be identified for most specified systems.  If you have specified systems 1-13, then you must identify signage requirements under SS14; furthermore, if you have specified systems 1-6, 9 and 13 then you must also identify signage requirements under SS15.

When is a compliance schedule issued?

A compliance schedule is issued at the same time as the code compliance certificate; along with a compliance schedule statement.  In the case of an application for a certificate for public use, an interim compliance schedule will be issued.  Note that it is an offence to use or occupy public premises, which have not had a code compliance certificate issued, unless a certificate for public use has been issued.

The compliance schedule is issued by Council, when it is satisfied that all specified systems are operational.

Third party inspections and documentation required

Specified systems are life saving features contained within or attached to a building. For this reason, suitably qualified personnel must install them. In all cases, documentation detailing the make, model and exact location of the system will be required; the latter must be in the form of an as-built plan. Installers and technicians will need to provide Technical Statements / Producer Statements covering the installation, testing and commissioning of each system they have installed.

In some cases, specified systems must also be inspected by third parties who will verify that the system has been installed, tested and commissioned in accordance with the Performance Standard.  The third party will need to provide a Certificate of Compliance / Producer Statement Construction Review.

Certificates of Compliance are required for:

• Automatic Systems for Fire Suppression i.e. sprinklers; and 
• Automatic or Manual Emergency Warning Systems i.e. fire alarms

 Producer Statement Construction Review is required for:

• Escape route pressurisation system 
• Lifts, escalators, travelators or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings
• Mechanical Ventilation or Air Conditioning Systems
• Smoke Control Systems



Inspections for buildings with specified systems

FNDC recognise the importance of specified systems and have introduced a new inspection for all building work that requires a compliance schedule. This inspection will take place prior to the final inspection; the sole focus of this inspection is to check specified systems are operational and to collect information (i.e. the make, model and location of each system) and any supporting documentation (i.e. Certificates of Completion, Producer Statements, etc).


What if I have changed a Performance Standard or a specified system during construction?

If you make any changes to a specified system including changing the Performance Standard you must make an application for an amendment to the building consent.  

The purpose of an amendment is to ensure:-

• future owners, IQPs, etc are aware of the change 
• consent documentation is updated including the fire report
• council records can be relied upon 


What is a compliance schedule statement?

When the compliance schedule is issued, a compliance schedule statement is also issued.  The compliance schedule statement must be kept and displayed in a visible location such as the lobby or reception area of the building.   Council must agree to the location of the statement. The compliance schedule statement verifies that the specified system(s) nominated on the compliance schedule are operational and fit for purpose for the first 12 months of the buildings life. 

The compliance schedule statement is valid for one year and must be replaced by a Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) on, or before the anniversary date of the issue of the compliance schedule statement.

If an interim compliance schedule is issued, this will be replaced by a final compliance schedule when the building work is complete and the CCC is issued.  The final compliance schedule is effective from the date that the interim compliance schedule was issued as systems will already have commenced their maintenance, inspection and reporting regimes.

The compliance schedule statement is issued by Council.

Can I apply for more than one compliance schedule for multiple tenancies?

Yes; where an application relates to multiple tenancies, which comprises several blocks of shops or units, it may be more appropriate to issue one compliance schedule for each block of shops / units, within the complex. For this scenario to apply, it will depend on the extent and scope of the specified systems installed e.g. if there is one sprinkler system or one alarm system that spans multiple tenancies, a single compliance schedule can be issued for that particular block.

Where there are multiple tenancies, the applicant should advise the preferred option so that compliance schedules can be prepared accordingly. Where multiple compliance schedules are prepared, each one must have its own unique number.



Building Warrant of Fitness

A Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) is a certificate issued by the building owner confirming that all of the specified systems contained within the building have been inspected and maintained and are performing in accordance with the compliance schedule. A BWOF verifies that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for all the specified systems within a building have been carried out in accordance with the compliance schedule for the previous 12 months.

Who is responsible for issuing the Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF)?

Issuing of the BWOF certificate is the owner’s responsibility; this document must be issued annually.  The owner is required to display a copy of the BWOF certificate in a visible location in the building where it can be seen and to which the public have access. 

In summary every year the building owner is required to:

  • Issue a BWOF
  • Display a copy of the BWOF certificate (Form 12) in a visible location
  • Provide Council with a copy of the BWOF and IQP Certificates (Form 12A)

How is the Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) issued?

The building owner or the owner’s agent issues a Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) on a form prescribed by 2005/338 Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Regulations 2005 (Form 12).  A BWOF certificate is issued for a 12-month period, which coincides with the date that the compliance schedule was issued.  

The BWOF is required to:

  • state that the requirements of the compliance schedule have been satisfied
  • be signed by the building owner or their agent
  • state where the compliance schedule and any associated certificates or reports (Form 12a) will be located

The building owner must attach copies of all Form 12a certificates together with any recommendations and forward these to the Council. 

What is a Form 12a certificate?

This is the certificate issued by the independent qualified person (IQP) verifying that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures set out on the compliance schedule have been undertaken.  The IQP must attach to this form any other supporting documentation confirming compliance i.e. such as certificates of compliance, certificates of completion or producer statements for construction and construction review.

It is recommended that drawing(s) are provided on project completion showing the general location of all of the specified systems contained in the building. This ensures that a correct and accurate record exists for all systems and assists IQPs to determine whether all features have been properly inspected, maintained and reported on.

Who or what is an IQP?

This is a person identified by the Council as being a person qualified to carry out any performance inspection, maintenance or reporting on a particular system or feature.  IQPs (or IQP compliance companies) are employed by the building owner but must have the approval of the Council to undertake the work.  

The Council will assess the IQP to ascertain that they are appropriately qualified to undertake the work performed. (A fee may be charged for this assessment). ‘Independent’ means that the IQP has no financial interest in the building that they are auditing.

Getting professional help

 You cannot issue a BWOF certificate without getting the necessary checks completed and obtaining a certificate (known as a Form 12A) signed off. You can use an IQP compliance company to act as your agent to help sort out all the paper work. They can co-ordinate all specialist IQP inspections required for each of the specified systems in your building, collect the paper work and issue the BWOF as well as deal with the Council for you.

Tenants and the owner

The building owner’s responsibilities are clear, whether or not the building is tenanted. A building owner may delegate his / her responsibility to a tenant. This does not alleviate the owner from liability if the tenant fails to fulfil obligations. A building owner or anyone acting on the building owner’s behalf in signing a BWOF may be liable if they make a false or misleading statement in the BWOF.

Council inspections

The territorial authority is entitled to inspect a building and the specified systems in the building and may charge a fee (section 111).

(3)…..inspection means the taking of all reasonable steps to ensure that:

a. an annual building warrant of fitness supplied under section 108 is correct; and

b. every report under section 110 is correct


The Building Act 2004 contains a number of provisions to protect public health and safety that are important for building owners and managers. There is a range of penalties for failing to comply with these provisions:

  • If a person is the owner of a building for which a compliance schedule has been obtained, they are liable for a fine of up to $20,000 with a further fine of $2,000 for each day the offence is continued;
  • Building owners can be fined up to $20,000 for failing to display a Building Warrant of Fitness, or displaying a false or misleading Building Warrant of Fitness;
  • Building owners who fail to give written notice of a change of use commit an offence and are liable to a maximum fine of $5,000;
  • It is also an offence carrying a fine of up to $100,000 to use or permit the use of a building, which is not safe or sanitary, or if it has inadequate means of escape from fire.

The following forms apply to the Compliance Schedule and Building Warrant of Fitness regime:

  • Form 10 Compliance schedule statement form (issued by building consent authority)
  • Form 11 Application to amend a compliance schedule
  • Form 12 Building Warrant of Fitness (issued by owner or owner’s agent)
  • Form 12a Certificate of compliance with inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures (issued by IQP)

Forms 11 and 12 contain requirements to state the buildings current lawfully established use and the building occupant load. This information may be sourced from the building consent application form held by Council. Note the description of the building use should be clearly stated. For example: an office building containing retail space should be called “office and retail” not commercial.

Non-testable backflow prevention devices

Non-testable backflow devices must be included in the compliance schedule; the testing and reporting regime should reflect the type of device installed. There is a verification test in G12/AS1 for atmospheric vacuum breakers. Other non-testable backflow devices such as dual check valve assemblies should have an appropriate visual inspection and be replaced every two years.

Specified systems


Automatic systems for fire suppression


Sprinkler system


Gas and foam flood or deluge systems: dry and wet fire extinguishing systems


Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers


Manual and automatic fire alarms: smoke /heat detectors: gas: radiation systems


Automatic gas leak detection systems for the detection and measurement of combustible gases


Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows


Automatic doors e.g. sliding or revolving doors

  • Are any of the doors interfaced with emergency warning systems?


Access controlled doors (swipe card, key pad, sensor-delayed egress, etc


Interfaced fire or smoke door or windows (electromagnetic door holders)


Emergency lighting systems


Escape route pressurisation systems


Riser mains for use by fire services


Automatic back-flow preventers connected to a potable water supply


Lifts, escalators, travelators, or other systems for moving people or goods within a building


Passenger carrying lifts


Goods or service lifts


Escalators and moving walks


Mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems


Building maintenance units or other devices providing access to the interior / exterior of a building


Laboratory fume cupboards


Audio loops or other assistive listening systems


Audio loop


FM radio frequency systems and infrared beam transmission


Smoke control systems


Mechanical smoke control systems


Natural smoke control systems


Smoke curtains


Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature in any of the specified systems 1–13


Emergency power systems installed for the purpose of supplying power to any of the specified systems 1 - 13


Signs for all systems


Any or all of the following systems and features, so long as they form part of a building’s means of escape from fire, and so long as those means also contain any or all of the systems or features specified in clauses 1 to 6, 9 and 13:


System for communicating spoken information intended to facilitate evacuation


Final exits


Fire separation


Signs for communicating information intended to facilitate evacuation: and such signs as required by:

  • NZBC (all systems):and
  • S.120 of the Act


Smoke separation


Cable cars