Specified Systems

What is a Specified System?

A specified System is a safety or essential system in place to help ensure a building is safe and healthy to enter, occupy or work in.

The specified systems require ongoing inspection and maintenance (by an IQP – Independently Qualified Person) to ensure they function as required. If they fail to operate properly they have the potential to affect health or life safety.


What is a Building Warrant of Fitness (BWoF)?

A Building Warrant of Fitness is a building owners annual statement confirming the building is safe and healthy for people to enter, occupy or use when the building has a specified system or systems in it. 

This should be displayed where it can be viewed by the public and building users and it must be current. 

The owner needs to supply this each year to Invercargill City Council on the anniversary of the compliance schedules issue date (note: this date stays the same regardless of when the compliance schedule is amended).


SS1 Automatic systems for fire suppression
SS2 Emergency Warning Systems
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 Systems
SS6 Riser Mains
SS7 Automatic Backflow Preventers
SS8.1 Passenger Carrying Lifts
SS8.2 Platform, Low-Speed and Service Lifts
SS8.3 Escalators and Moving Walks
SS9 Mechanical Ventilation or Air Conditioning Systems
SS10 Building Maintenance Units
SS11 Laboratory Fume Cupboards
SS12.1 Audio Loops
SS12.2 FM Radio 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 for Systems
SS15.1 Systems for Communicating Evacuation
SS15.2 Final Exits
SS15.3 Fire Separations
SS15.4 Signs for Facilitating Evacuation
SS15.5 Smoke Separations
SS16 Cable Cars
  Supplementry Equipment & IMR Information


Compliance schedules contain

A compliance schedule is issued by the Building Consent authority, and it lists the specified systems in the building.

To create this document the building owner must supply the details required to create this document in the prescribed format. Typically this occurs during a Building Consent being lodged when the specified system/s are being proposed to be installed.

A compliance schedule should detail the type of specified system, the make and model of the system, the location or locations of the specified system/s, the performance standard it is designed to meet, procedures and maintenance frequency for reporting and who are doing the checks and maintenance. 


How to alter a Compliance Schedule and when it is required

When you need to update a compliance schedule this should be done when you lodge a building consent relating to a specified system, i.e. building works that include a change to a specified system or to add a specified system to a building. For example adding access controlled doors, changing ventilation system etc.

For a Building Consent the forms to use will be the Specified System Templates SS1 – 16 (available in the table above). For other times you need to alter your compliance schedule use a Form 11 to request an amendment to a compliance schedule.

Your IQP (Independently Qualified Person) may also advise that a Compliance Schedule needs to be amended, or a Territorial authority may amend a Compliance Schedule on its own initiative, for example following a BWOF audit inspection, the authority notes that the compliance schedule requires amending to reflect what is actually on site.


As a building owner your responsibilities for your Annual Building Warrant of Fitness are (under section 108)
  • The Building owner must supply the BWOF to the Council annually.
    The Building warrant of fitness must be supplied on each anniversary date of the Compliance Schedule was issued, and state that the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedure of the compliance schedule have been fully complied with during the previous 12 months, and have attached to it all certificates, in the prescribed form, issued by an independently qualified person that, when those certificates are considered together, certify that the inspection, maintenance, and reporting procedures stated in the compliance schedule have been fully complied with during the previous 12 months; and have attached to it any recommendation made by an independently qualified person that the compliance schedule should be amended to ensure that the specified systems stated in the compliance schedule are performing, and will continue to perform, to the performance standards for those systems; and be in the prescribed form; and contain the prescribed information. 
  • The owner must publicly display a copy of the building warrant of fitness in a place in the building to which users of the building have ready access, for example a reception area or place where people entering/working in the building can easily see it.

A person commits an offence if the person: fails to supply to the territorial authority the building warrant of fitness in accordance with subsection (1); or fails to display a building warrant of fitness that is required to be displayed under this section; or displays a false or misleading building warrant of fitness; or displays a building warrant of fitness otherwise than in accordance with section 108 of the Building Act 2004.

A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on conviction: in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding $50,000: in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $150,000.


Our responsibilities as Council and a Territorial Authority

Our role as Council is document review documentation you submit for your compliance schedule amendments and for your annual BWOF.

As part of our role we will undertake inspections and On-Site BWOF audits under the Building Act 2004, section 111.  


How you can source an Independent Qualified Person (IQP)

All registered South Island IQP’s are registered on the South Island Independent Qualified Person register which is administered by Timaru District Council.

Applications to be on the IQP register must be made to Timaru District Council.

Being a qualified IQP allows the IQPS to issue Certificates of Compliance for their area of specified systems for building owners, i.e. they can complete form 12a’s for a Building Warrant of Fitness. 


BWOF Audits

An agent of a territorial authority authorised for the purposes of section 111 is entitled, at all times during normal working hours, to inspect a building for which a compliance schedule has been issued; and the specified systems in the building.  The inspection means the taking of all reasonable steps to ensure that an annual building warrant of fitness supplied is correct, and every report is correct.   Costs are incurred to the building owner for audit inspections, and these can be found on our website under fees, building services, fees and charges, Annual Building Warrant of Fitness section.

For audits we are looking for:

  • That the BWOF matches the current compliance schedule
  • All the form 12a’s comply and have been filled in correctly
  • The form 12a’s collectively cover all of the inspection, maintenance and reporting procedures for all the specified systems in the compliance schedule
  • That the IQP is a registered person for that particular specified system (IQPs may have one or several areas of expertise)
  • We may do a walk through check as part of the audit


Notice to Fix (NTF) what this is and why they are issued

It is likely you will be issued with a notice to fix if we have not received your annual building warrant of fitness, or if we find issues from an audit being undertaken. 


I wish to add a Specified system in my building, how do I go about doing this?

If the specified system is being added to the building then typically this is via a building consent.  If you are unsure please talk to us to discuss.  Email: building.compliance@icc.govt.nz

To lodge a consent, all consents are lodged via simpli.  www.icc.govt.nz/lodge-a-building-consent-online

Vetting are available for general building consent enquiries vetting@icc.govt.nz, Tel: 021 355 908


Language of the documents surrounding BWOFs and their prescribed names

Document names – what they are:

  • Form 11: Application to amend a compliance schedule
  • Form 12: Building Warrant of Fitness
  • Form 12a: Certificate of Compliance with inspection, maintenance, and reporting procedures
  • Compliance Schedule/Specified systems templates:
    • Specified system form for building consent applications
    • Specified system form for code compliance certificate applications or amended compliance schedules
    • Guidance example of Specified system form


  1. Councils fees relating to Compliance Schedules and BWOFs
  2. MBIE Guidance
  3. Legislation


❓ Still have questions?

Get in touch by email: building.compliance@icc.govt.nz