What is a Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF)?

What is a building warrant of fitness?

The Building Act 2004 – which covers the safety and integrity of buildings – states that building owners with buildings that contain “specified systems” related to health and safety, then those buildings must maintain a Compliance Schedule and they must produce Building Warrant of Fitness documents annually. These documents verify that those specified systems have been adequately maintained and looked after. 

The Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF) documents that the systems specified in the Compliance Schedule have all been properly inspected maintained, and reported on during the past 12 months. The BWoF and any supporting documents are supplied to the local council annually, and a copy of them should be displayed within the building itself where everyone can see it. 

The Building Warrant of Fitness should be renewed each year before it expires. Failing to have the documents renewed is considered a breach of the Building Act 2004 and you will face consequences. This renewal process involves hiring Independent Qualified Persons (IQPs) who will inspect and maintain specified systems as outlined in the Compliance Schedule. 

What are Specified Systems?

The “specified systems” are the parts of a building infrastructure that are fundamental in ensuring the health and safety of the occupants of said building. These specified systems require, by their very nature, constant maintenance. It is important that they remain fully operational and running at peak performance levels. 

Here are some examples of specified systems; 

  • SS1 Automatic systems for fire suppression
  • SS2 Automatic or manual emergency warning systems for fire or other dangers
  • SS3 Electromagnetic or automatic doors or windows
  • SS4 Emergency lighting systems
  • SS5 Escape route pressurisation systems
  • SS6 Riser mains for use by fire services

A full list of specified systems can be found in the Compliance Schedule Handbook

What is a Compliance Schedule?

The Compliance Schedule is issued by the local council. The schedule contains a record of the specified systems of a building, including the inspection, testing, and maintenance they require. It also covers who should carry out the work and when it should be conducted. They have been amended to include information about the building, the owner, and the purpose of the building in recent years. 

The information on the schedule is collected when applying for building consent. You will have to supply the specific location and proposed maintenance and testing procedures for the building. Upon confirmation, the Compliance Schedule is issued alongside the Code of Compliance Certificate. 

The Compliance Schedule Statement is to be displayed publicly in a building for 12 months before an official Building WOF is issued, at which point the WOF is displayed instead. 

What is an IQP?

Given the complex mechanical nature of these specified systems, they should be inspected and maintained by qualified professional specialists. An IQP is a person or entity that has no financial interest in the building who has been approved by the local council to conduct the work as necessary. 

The requirements for the BWoF state that you need to obtain a 12A certificate from the IQP. This 12A form certifies that the inspection, maintenance, and reporting requirements for the Compliance Schedule have been met for the past 12 month period for the specified systems in a building. 

You can find an IQP register at your local council. They keep a list of all the approved people and companies that you can use as an IQP for your specified systems. 

Did you know that you are legally required to keep records of all maintenance, inspections and repairs for a minimum of two years? If you need any help managing building compliance requirements, meeting your legal obligations, and notifying the local council about the maintenance of your specified systems, then don’t hesitate to get in touch today.