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Inspecting organisation applications (WoF & CoF)

Application information (CoF)

Note: Expect longer timeframes for IO applications to be processed than usual and factor this into your business planning.
Requirement Details
Where do I send my application?

Completed application forms need to be sent to:

Provider Licensing
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
Private Bag 11777
Palmerston North 4442

Alternatively you can scan and email the application form to

Incomplete applications We can only process your application if you complete the form accurately, and provide all the required documentation.
If you submit an incomplete application this will delay the process. We will contact you advising you of what is required before we can continue with processing.
Fees and payments

The fee for applying to become a CoF inspecting organisation is $1437.50 (including GST).

The fastest way to pay is by Visa or MasterCard over the phone. We can call you to take payment once we’ve confirmed your application is complete. Alternatively, you can request an invoice with further details about how to pay.

Please be aware that we can’t start working on your application until we’ve received payment.

If you already hold an appointment as an inspecting organisation:

  • the application fee is charged at an hourly rate of $184.00 (GST inclusive).
  • there is a minimum charge of $184.00 (one hour).
  • we’ll send you an invoice for payment once we’ve completed your application.
  • details about how to pay will be on the invoice.

For more information on fees see our Vehicle certification and administration fees guide.

Notice of appointment

The Notice of appointment outlines all of the legally-enforceable obligations of an appointed inspecting organisation (IO).

You should ensure you have read and understood these obligations prior to making an application for appointment.

The appointment as an IO is made to the legal entity under which the organisation operates. A legal entity can be a registered company, a registered partnership or a sole trader.

Upon approval of your application you will be sent a Notice of appointment and a Certificate of appointment for your IO.

From 1 January 2021, any new applications for appointment as an IO will be subject to a defined appointment term of up to five years. Your appointment remains in force until that term expires unless suspended or revoked, or where the legal entity to which the appointment is made no longer exists. You can also resign your authority if you are no longer conducting inspection services.


History with Waka Kotahi

When applying to be a COF IO, an inspecting organisation must demonstrate a high level of competence, experience, and capability indicating they can operate effectively in the vehicle and compliance environment.

The assessment of applications to be a COF IO will include a review of the IOs performance over a number of performance reviews. To demonstrate a high level of competence, experience and capability, an IO must have demonstrated to a consistently high performance through their performance review history.

Does my history as a WoF IO affect my application to become a CoF IO?

Yes, Waka Kotahi will be considering the performance review system (PRS) scores of WoF IOs and any complaints history as part of their application.

Is there a minimum PRS score for being approved as a CoF IO?

Yes, to be approved as a CoF IO, existing WoF IOs will need a PRS score of 3.

Why was a PRS score of 3 chosen as a requirement for WoF IOs to become a CoF IO?

Because moving from WoF to CoF-A is a big step up in responsibility and involves inspecting light passenger vehicles for hire and reward, the PRS requirement has been set at 3.0 to ensure that only IOs with a proven track record of delivering inspection services to the standard we require are approved to become CoF-A IOs.

Fit and proper person check

We will conduct a fit and proper police check on the directors of prospective IOs. We reserve the right to conduct a fit and proper check at any time during the course of your appointment.


Site requirements

As part of the IO application process, one of our transport officers will visit and assess your site(s).

Their assessment may include some of the following items depending on the site and how it is being used by the IO:

  • checking the site and equipment
  • witnessing an inspection of the largest vehicle you intend to inspect
  • checking your quality management system (QMS)
  • conducting practical testing for VIs
  • recording any restrictions on the types of vehicle to be inspected
  • discussing the NZ Transport Agency vehicle inspector code of conduct.

You have the option of awaiting the outcome of your application assessment prior to your site being ready for the site assessment stage. We will contact you to arrange a time for the site assessment. Your site should be ready for this site inspection within 1 month of being advised of the outcome of your application assessment.


Site requirements for warrant of fitness and certificate of fitness service delivery

Skills and experience

Applications will be assessed for demonstration of ability, experience and competence relevant to the application. This includes:

  • performance history of your organisation
  • any complaints recorded against your organisation,
  • any suspension or revocation of vehicle inspector (VI) and/or IO authority within your organisation
  • your skills and experience relating to:
    • running a business
    • management of documentation and staff
    • managing compliance to regulatory requirements or performance standards, or any responsibility relating to the upkeep and auditing of documentation.

We will also be assessing your understanding of the responsibilities of operating an inspecting organisation, including the quality management system (QMS) and how you would effectively implement a QMS at your inspection site.

The application form requires you to provide information which demonstrates your understanding and the approach you would take to implementing and maintaining a QMS.

Quality management system

You are required to have an operational QMS that meets our requirements. Having a QMS will help ensure that vehicle inspection and certification outcome standards are maintained or improved.

Inspecting organisations may adopt the Waka Kotahi model QMS or use any QMS that meets our requirements. The model QMS and details of the requirements for a QMS are found in the following documents:

Performance monitoring and review process

The previous IO and VI auditing system incorporating the performance review system (PRS) finished on 30 October 2014. We replaced it with a new performance monitoring and review process that takes account of and targets to risk.

You are required to participate in this process and agree to our transport officers completing performance review and assessment activities on a regular basis, often without prior notification.

The performance monitoring and review process:

  • targets our resources at IOs and VIs that are identified as higher risk
  • encompasses quality management, inspection processes and technical requirements
  • ensures regular assessments of all VIs
  • replaces scheduled visits with unannounced visits
  • involves more targeted output inspections of vehicles by transport officers
  • requires IOs to operate a QMS which may be your existing PRS.
Performance requirements
Certificate of fitness

The area of CoF inspections carries the highest level of risk and responsibility within in-service vehicle certification.

An organisation applying for appointment as a CoF A or a CoF B inspecting organisation must demonstrate a high level of competence, experience, and capability indicating an ability to operate effectively in the vehicle and compliance environment of CoF inspection services.

CoF A – In addition to the above, there are requirements specific to an application for appointment as a CoF A inspecting organisation. These are:

  • Your organisation must be an existing in-service inspecting organisation, currently appointed for WoF and/or CoF B inspections.
  • Your inspecting organisation must demonstrate willing compliance to all regulatory requirements
  • The following minimum performance standards must be met to be eligible for CoF A:
    • Your inspecting organisation must have received a performance monitoring review within 6 months prior to your application. In this review your organisation must have demonstrated performance rated as ‘compliant’.
    • if your organisation has received a ‘non-compliant’ performance and monitoring review and subsequently achieved a ‘compliant’ outcome from the necessary follow-up review, you may be required undergo a further performance monitoring review no sooner than 3 months following your ‘compliant’ follow-up review.

All performance and monitoring reviews required for the purpose of achieving performance standards to be eligible for appointment for CoF A will be at your cost, charged at the hourly rate of $184 per hour.

To arrange a performance and monitoring review please email

Conflict of interest
Guiding principles
Financial interest

Under the terms of your Notice of appointment, you cannot inspect a vehicle if you have a ‘financial interest’ in the operation of that vehicle. The only exception to this is a vehicle that you are primarily using for the purpose of delivering inspection and certification services.

Other conflicts of interest

The terms of your Notice of appointment require you to avoid situations that may lead to conflicts of interest. However, you must also show, in your quality management systems, how you will manage any conflicts. The most common situations are likely to be where friends and family are involved.

Repairs and servicing

In-service IOs are permitted to carry out repairs and servicing in respect of a vehicle you are inspecting, provided that there is no undisclosed conflict of interest.


To help you understand your obligations around conflict of interest, we’ve put together some guiding principles and some examples of situations you may find yourself in, together with some high-level guidance about what you need to do to in these situations.

You should not treat these examples as definitive – each situation will depend on its own circumstances. If in doubt, you should contact Waka Kotahi for guidance.

In your application you must demonstrate your understanding of conflict of interest and specify how you’ll manage actual and/or potential conflict of interest at your organisation.


Responsibilities for vehicle inspectors
Culture of willing compliance

As an IO, you are required to develop and foster a culture of willing compliance, a key aim of which is to ensure that all staff involved in the certification process consistently meet our requirements.

VI skills, qualifications and  experience

IOs need to confirm that the VIs who will be conducting inspections on your behalf have the required technical skills, qualifications and work history and experience as outlined in the Vehicle inspection requirements manual (VIRM), prior to submitting an application. This includes reference checking.

VI code of conduct

IOs must ensure that their VIs understand and abide by the NZ Transport Agency vehicle inspector code of conduct, which provides the minimum ethical and behavioural standards that are expected of all VIs whom we appoint.


IT system requirements

You will be required to access our computer system to enter your CoF inspection results. Once you have been approved to access the computer system, we will provide you with instructions explaining how to access and use it.

To connect to our computer systems, you must operate Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 and run a web browser of Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) to connect. These are the only operating systems that are supported by Waka Kotahi to ensure security to our systems.

If you are an existing WoF IO you will need to move onto the LATIS system.

Certificate of loading printer

You may need a label printer to print the Certificates of loading – once approved you will be advised the suppliers of the printers. The approximate cost of these is $2000.

Dot matrix printer

CoF B vehicle inspectors will need a continuous form dot matrix printer for pre-printing check sheets from LANDATA. This printer needs to be able to print on a form that is 240mm wide and 297mm deep, and be able to print 70 lines per page.

These printers can be purchased from most stationery suppliers.

Important: As an IO, it is your responsibility to ensure that your printer will work with Waka Kotahi systems. Please work with your printer provider for correct installation and set up.

Insurance requirements

You are required to have civil liability and professional indemnity insurance in place at all times during the period of your appointment.

A minimum level cover of $1 million shall be required in respect of each insurance policy.

Confidentiality of information

You must ensure that the security and confidentiality of our system is maintained.

This means that any information held on, or provided to you by the system must be treated as confidential information and may only be used, or disclosed to any person (including employees, contractors or agents of your organisation) where such use or disclosure is for the purpose of carrying out Waka Kotahi activities.

Blue Star direct debit authority

Blue Star are the providers of stationery (including WoF and CoF labels) for approved inspecting organisations.

Please download, completed and return the Blue Star direct debit authority form with an original printed deposit slip.


For more information

If you have any questions regarding the application process for WoF or CoF inspecting organisations please email or call 0800 699 000.

Does my history as a WoF IO affect my application to become a CoF IO?

Yes, Waka Kotahi will be considering the performance review system (PRS) and quality management system (QMS) scores of WoF IOs and any complaints history as part of their application.

Can I get the site approved first and then get a vehicle inspector?

No. Appointment as an IO will not be made without a vehicle inspector. This is because we must assess the ability and experience of the person who will complete the inspection work, as part of your IO application.

What if I don't have a vehicle inspector?

We can partially assess your application and let you know if it is likely to progress once a vehicle inspector is obtained.

Make sure you include information in your application about the type of inspector you intend to employ (eg number of years' experience in the mechanical industry, number of years' experience in the inspection industry and any other qualities you would look for in an inspector).

If the rest of your application is suitable we will contact you to confirm this. You will be expected to provide information about your vehicle inspector within one month of this contact.

Your application will not be progressed to the site assessment stage of the process until we have assessed your proposed vehicle inspector.

What if I have a person who is applying to become a vehicle inspector, or my vehicle inspector's authority has lapsed?

We can partially assess your application and let you know if it is likely to progress once that person becomes a vehicle inspector or their authority is renewed.

If the rest of your application is suitable we will contact you to confirm this. Your proposed vehicle inspector will be expected to become an inspector or renew their authority within one month of this contact. Any vehicle inspector practical tests will ideally be arranged for the same time as the site assessment.

What happens if my vehicle inspector(s), IO representative or site representative changes before my application is complete?

You must advise us immediately of any changes so we can assess the new circumstances of your application.

If our company is appointed as an IO and the IO representative changes, do we have to reapply?

Appointment as an IO is made to a legal entity (company, partnership or sole trader). As long as the legal entity remains the same, the IO representative can change and no new application is currently required.