Compliance Schedules & Building WOFs

It is the owner's responsibility to ensure their building is safe to use.

What is a compliance schedule?

A compliance schedule is a document that is required by the Building Act 2004 and is prepared by the Council's building unit. It details the inspection maintenance and reporting on a specified system such as sprinkler systems, emergency lighting and fire alarms, to ensure that the building owners take responsibility to guarantee the safety of the building occupants.

How do I get a compliance schedule?

For new buildings a compliance schedule is issued at the same time as a code compliance certificate. 

You may need to apply for an amendment to the existing compliance schedule if you are upgrading the building or systems, undertaking a change of use, or doing alterations that may also trigger the requirement for a building consent.

How do I amend my compliance schedule?

If you are the building owner, you can apply for an amendment at any time. Complete and return the Application for Amendment to Compliance Schedule form.

An independently qualified person (IQP) who may also be a licensed building practitioner can recommend an amendment, and this can be submitted with the building warrant of fitness. Note: You may need a building consent (under current legislation only an IQP may make recommendations).

What is a compliance schedule statement?

All compliance schedules issued for the first time also receive a compliance schedule statement issued by the Council. This is a temporary public notification of compliance with the schedule requirements. It is replaced in 12 months and then yearly after that by the building warrant of fitness.

For more information on compliance schedules please go to the MBIE website.

What is a Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF)?

A Building Warrant of Fitness (BWOF) is a declaration by the building owner stating that the specified systems have been maintained in accordance with the Compliance Schedule. This certifies that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures in the schedule have been fully complied with during the previous 12 months.

The owner must display this document in a public area within the building. The building warrant of fitness is an important document that identifies that the specified systems present in the building are working and ideally should be easily visible on entry to the building (foyer etc.).

A copy of the Building Warrant of Fitness must be provided annually to the Council. 

When you need a Building Warrant of Fitness

You are required to have a BWOF if your building contains any of the following specified systems:

  • Automatic systems for fire suppression (for example sprinkler system)
  • Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers (other than a warning system for fire that is entirely within a household unit and serves only that unit)
  • Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows (for example ones that close on fire alarm activation)
  • Emergency lighting systems
  • Escape routes pressurisation systems
  • Riser main for fire service use
  • Any automatic backflow preventers connected to a potable water supply
  • Lifts, escalators, travelators or other systems for moving people or goods within buildings
  • Mechanical ventilation or air conditioning systems
  • Building maintenance units providing access to exterior and interior walls of buildings
  • Laboratory fume cupboards
  • Audio loops or other assistive listening systems
  • Smoke control systems
  • Means of escape from fire
  • Emergency power systems for, or signs relating to, a system or feature specified in any of clauses above
  • Cable car (including to a private dwelling).

Who can inspect and monitor my premises?

An independently qualified person (IQP) can inspect and monitor your premises.

What happens next?

Remember to ask your IQP to provide you with instructions on the reporting procedures for the next 12 months required for each system and feature.

The South Island IQP register is held and maintained by Timaru District Council. Waimakariri District Council was at the forefront of development of this panel and continue to attend both the approval process for IQPs and ongoing development. More information on IQPs can be found on the Timaru District Council website. You can also search the IQP register on the IQP search page.

Remember, you are required by the Building Act 2004 to have annual written reports relating to the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures of the compliance schedule signed by each IQP who has carried out those procedures. Reports are to be kept with the schedule for two years and be accessible and available when inspections/audits are carried out.

Process and forms

Prior to the expiry date of a building warrant of fitness (once satisfied that all the specified systems have been maintained by the IQPs and signed off by way of a Form 12A), two copies of the new warrant are to be signed by the building owner or agent and one is required to be sent to the Council with the supporting documents. If the documents are correct and accepted by Council, the second copy needs to be displayed in the building as previously discussed.

If the information is incomplete or is missing some inspections, the warrant will be rejected until such time as the missing information is provided and signed off by the IQP. 

The MBIE website has an example of a building warrant of fitness.

Inspections and auditing by Council

The Waimakariri District Council was audited by MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment) in 2015. As part of this review it was recommended that Council audits approximately 20% of buildings on an annual basis, to ensure compliance and to assist building owners with addressing any identified shortfalls. Random building audits will be undertaken in 2016, and will be a regular occurrence in the foreseeable future. 

Fees and charges

In line with the increased level of service and resourcing, there is an annual processing fee for a BWOF review, which will take effect from 1 February 2016. This review by council will ensure that the documentation is correct, and this fee will also provide for an audit function.

Compliance schedules

The fee to register and issue a compliance schedule is currently $140.00.

The Council's Building Unit fees and charges can be found on the Building services fees and charges page. These fees are current from 1 July 2015, but may be reviewed in the 2016/2017 financial year by the Council as part of the annual fees and charges review.

Notice to fix

 Acting in a council notice to fix 

Penalties and the 'nasty stuff'

Failure to comply with section 108 of the Building Act carries significant penalties, ranging from an infringement notice and subsequent fee, through to a fine of up to $200,000 on conviction.

Council encourages building owners and their appointed agents to make contact as soon as a potential issue/problem arises so a managed approach can be agreed upon. Should the matter not be resolved, formal enforcement action may be initiated. Read about fines and penalties relating to compliance schedules on the MBIE website.

Please remember that the Building Unit is here to help, so if you need advice, please contact us.