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Information for testing agents

Note: Please be aware that the ORS is currently undergoing a review. The Transport Agency is advising operators and customers that they should no longer rely on ORS as an accurate measure of safety and compliance.

The Operator Rating System (ORS) makes it important for certificate of fitness (CoF) testing agents to collect accurate data and maintain good working relationships with their transport operator customers.

As CoF results will affect all operators' ratings, testing agents will need to:

  • be vigilant and accurate in their inspections
  • always inspect to the requirements of the Vehicle inspection requirements manual (VIRM)
  • raise any uncertainties with their technical managers.

Read the Vehicle inspection requirements manual(external link)

How the ORS will affect the way agents work

The way agents conduct CoF inspections and key these into LATIS (the NZ Transport Agency computer system) has not changed, but accuracy of CoF information is critical to the integrity and fairness of the ORS.

Decisions made at CoF inspections are now subject to a lot more scrutiny, and any data entry errors are be more likely to be picked up by transport operators.

CoF agent organisations, together with the Transport Agency, have developed an issue resolution process for operators to follow where they are unhappy with the outcome of a CoF inspection.


CoF agent issues resolution process

The Transport Agency has also put in place an errors and omissions process for operators to query events attributed to their transport service licence (TSL).

For more information, read Querying an event or your ORS rating

The Transport Agency will also be monitoring errors more closely and striving for greater and greater accuracy at the input stage, so that operators find less to object to at the output stage. As a testing agent you must ensure that the data collected from operators is accurate. 

Data entry errors

Data entry errors occur in a small proportion of cases and, while some human error is to be expected, staff need to be extra vigilant with their data entry. In a recent trial we found that approximately one percent of the CoF inspections entered for the trial set had data entry errors. The most common types of errors are shown in the table below.

Error typeExampleWhy is this important?

Transport service licence (TSL) number miskeyed

Numbers transposed, eg 12345 keyed as 13245

Numbers misread, eg 0 entered as 6
The event is assigned to the operator by way of the TSL number, so if this is wrong the event gets included in the wrong operator’s rating
Completely wrong TSL number entered All previous and subsequent COFs were under TSL 12345 entered but one COF was under TSL 45678

Vehicle sold but previous owner’s TSL used in CoF
The event is assigned to the operator by way of the TSL number, so if this is wrong the event gets included in the wrong operator’s rating
CoF results entered late Checksheet confirmed that the inspection took place on 01/01/10 but the record in LATIS showed the date as 08/01/10 Events are aged so that older events have less impact on the rating. Entering the wrong inspection date will give the wrong age and could unduly affect the rating score
Duplicate CoF entries The same vehicle, result and faults appear in LATIS twice, perhaps because the form has been double-handled and accidently keyed in twice Every event counts in ORS so double-keying a CoF could unduly increase or affect the rating score

There is also potential for a fault code to be miskeyed. It is important to get this right because the component code (first two letters of the code) determines the score for the fault and impacts on the overall rating score.

Disputed results

Staff may find that operators will question or dispute inspection results more often than they currently do, because their ORS rating will be affected. It's important for agents to keep good records of any discussions that they have with operators, especially where an original decision is changed, and make sure that the relevant changes are made to LATIS.