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3 Inspection and certification process

3-10 Evidence of repair and inspection process

Waka Kotahi requires repair certifiers to ensure, in every case, that the record for each individual vehicle contains evidence of the things the repair certifier considers when determining the compliance of a vehicle.

There are generally two types of evidence that can support a proper inspection and certification process:

  • Primary evidence: the evidence available from a physical inspection of the vehicle and relevant documents
  • Secondary evidence: other evidence that is relevant to the quality of repairs and state of the vehicle as presented for inspection, including the repairer’s:
    • qualifications and experience
    • industry or manufacturer approvals
    • premises
    • specialist equipment.

Primary evidence

Physical inspection

In order to obtain appropriate evidence of compliance, all vehicles must be inspected in suitable premises, using appropriate equipment. Introduction section 5.1 of the

VIRM sets out the requirements for the premises and equipment used by repair certifiers when inspecting vehicles.


If the inspection and certification of a vehicle includes reliance on documents to prove compliance, the repair certifier must retain on the vehicle file a copy of the document, or the relevant extract of it. This may be a photocopy, photograph, electronic file, or any other method of storage that ensures that the integrity of the information remains unaltered and that the information is readily accessible for subsequent reference.

When considering whether or not to take a document into account, repair certifiers must consider any matters that indicate that the document is not genuine or has been altered in any material way. Altered or forged documents must not be accepted.

Secondary evidence

There is a wide range of relevant evidence available to a repair certifier which may be used to establish if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to determine that a vehicle complies. The following questions must be considered by a repair certifier:

The person who carried out the repair
  • Who is the employer (if any)?
  • What qualifications are held? Where relevant, this includes welding qualifications, I-CAR courses or similar.
  • How much experience does the repairer have with the type of repair?
  • Is the company a member of an appropriate trade association?
  • Is the person, or their employer, approved by the relevant manufacturer?
The premises and equipment used
  • Do the premises have adequate facilities for the type of repair?
  • Has appropriate equipment been used, including any specialist equipment supplied by manufacturers for the type of repair?
Manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Does the manufacturer have any recommendations, and have they been followed?
  • Does the manufacturer recommend that the type of repair not be carried out?

Making a determination

A repair certifier must consider all relevant information available, placing the greatest weight on the primary evidence.

Where there is a lack of primary evidence, or where a repair certifier is unsure, he or she should consider any secondary evidence which is available.

For example:

  • where it is not possible to determine compliance solely from an inspection of the vehicle, a repair certifier may consider whether the documentary evidence is sufficient to make a determination
  • where it is not possible to determine compliance from an inspection of the vehicle and available documents, a repair certifier may consider that the weight of secondary evidence provides sufficient proof and comfort that the correct determination can be made.
Recording the decision

In all cases a repair certifier must record the decision made, including the evidence they relied on.

Inspection process: initial, intermediate and final inspections

The repair certification process consists of three phases and must begin before repairs are carried out:

  1. Initial assessment and prescription of the repairs to be done.
  2. Intermediate inspections of the repair in progress and prescription of any further remedial work. Also, to rectify any misunderstanding in the repair process or unsatisfactory repairs.
  3. Final inspection and issue of LT308.
1.  Initial assessment and prescription of the repairs to be done

During the initial assessment, photographs of damage must be taken which clearly show the extent of all of the damage to the vehicle. If the vehicle has come from Australia with a Person Properties Security Register (PPSR), all of the damage noted on the PPSR must be addressed and photographed.

Repair certifiers should make all efforts to obtain photographs, where possible, of the vehicle before it is stripped. The initial photographs can be taken after exterior panels have been removed but must be taken before repairs have been started. It is recommended that any border inspection photos are added to the file, and any photos from auction houses (eg Turners, Manheim, Pickles) or insurers if available.

At this point of the inspection clear details of the required repair process must be recorded in writing and be given to the repairer (yellow copy of the LT308) before the repair commences.

The process must prescribe the actions required, including such things as welding or bonding processes, etc.

Note 1

The repair process can be written on the LT308 or other document (eg an RCA-developed form).

A copy must be held on the vehicle file.

Repair processes and instructions must not be written on the glazing of the vehicle or similar, sent by text or messaging, or be verbal.

Manufacturer’s instructions or Thatcham methods must be followed unless they are not available for the particular situation. If not, other recognised repair research organisation procedures should be utilised. Only when the repair is not covered by any of these can ‘best industry practice’ be used and it is the repair certifiers responsibility to justify their repair methodology.

Any departure from the specifications (including departure from manufacturer’s or Thatcham recommendations) must be approved by the repair certifier and be recorded on the LT308 repair schedule.

If the repair certifier inspects a vehicle they believe is uneconomic to repair they must add notes in LANDATA stating such.

2. Intermediate inspections of the repair in progress and prescription of any further remedial work. Also, to rectify any misunderstanding in the repair process or unsatisfactory repairs

Photographs at this stage need to clearly show any internal structural repair prior to the external panels being replaced that would cover the structural repair process from being observed. It is also recommended photographs of products used in the repair, components, specialist glues, rivets, etc are taken.

Any rectification or remedial work needs to be identified and advice given to the repairer in writing and a copy held on the vehicle file.

In some cases, the repair may require multiple vehicle inspections and photographs taken at different stages. This will ensure the appropriate repair standards have been followed.

3. Final Inspection and issue of LT308

Ensure all required documentation is available and relates to the vehicle being certified. The repair certifier must take final photographs of the completed repaired vehicle.

Information required to be held on the vehicle file may include (note, this is a guide only and not an exhaustive list. Other information may be required), such as:

  • invoices for parts replaced
  • auction house receipts, including photos
  • trammel measurement/3D chassis measurement
  • wheel alignment report
  • evidence of inspection and/or calibration of ABS/SRS/ADAS
  • donor vehicle details including identification, photos, sales/purchase receipts (evidence components that are used in the repair are like for like)
  • evidence of the repair process used.

When a repair certifier has determined that a repaired vehicle complies with applicable requirements, the repair certifier must make a record of determination on the LT308 that the vehicle complies.

A file must be created and maintained for each vehicle a Repair Certifier inspects.

A repair certifier must ‘determine on reasonable grounds’ that a repair complies with requirements.

If the vehicle has been repaired before it entered New Zealand and the repair certifier cannot determine that the repair methods and parts used in the repair comply with the requirements of this manual, the repair certifier must record why they are prepared to certify the repair. This record should be supported as far as is practicable by documentation of tests and checks done on the repair and any components used.

Page added 1 August 2020 (see amendment details)