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In general “Certification” implies the issue of a “Statement of Design Compliance” by a suitably qualified and appointed individual. This certification generally applies to an aspect of a vehicle (or component or assembly) which has been manufactured or modified outside of the limits imposed by the “Original Equipment Manufacturer” or “OEM”.


Certification, in general, takes the form of a physical piece of paper (an “LT400” in the case of Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certification) which is completed and signed by the certifier qualified in the required category. For light vehicle (Low Volume Vehicle) certification, the process is slightly different and requires the issue of a certification plate along with an F001, supplied by a suitably qulified and categorised Low Volume Certifier.


In general, the process to be followed when an item or vehicle is to be certified is as follows:

  • The nature of the modification, build or repair must be established with the customer by the certifier.
  • The relevant New Zealand and international standards to apply are then identified as applicable.
  • The process of evaluation and calculation, where required, is then implemented by a nominated designer or certifier.
  • All necessary work instructions and drawings / sketches are then prepared to provide the modifier, manufacturer or repairer with the required detail to complete the work to the required standards.
  • In general, welding and fabrication is to be performed by tradesmen qualified to specific standards. This applies in particular to items such as chassis modifications and towing connections for heavy vehicles where welding is required. Consult THOMAS Engineers Ltd for further details as required.
  • The certifier is required to conduct inspections at appropriate intervals during the manufacturing or repair process in order to determine whether the work conducted is being performed to the work instructions and drawings provided.
  • Particular attention is paid to material grade and quality as well as weld integrity during inspection.
  • Inspection also provides a mechanism to confirm that components have been correctly manufactured prior to repair or fitting in order to prevent product mal-function later.
  • Once the repair, build or modification is completed, the certifier conducts a final inspection. This may also include a physical evaluation of any working mechanisms. Examples include:
  • Knuckle Boom Cranes fitted to a heavy vehicle.
  • Disability hoist (or wheel chair hoist) fitted to a Passenger Service Vehicle (PSV).
  • Disability adaptive controls fitted to a special vehicle.
  • Seat belt or child-restraint-anchorage system installation in a vehicle.
  • When the certifier is satisfied that the work has been completed to the required standards the certification or a “statement of Design Compliance” can then be issued. This means that, in the opinion of the certifier, the completed work complies with the required regulations and standards.

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