Under the Operator Rating System (ORS), the NZ Transport Agency collects relevant safety information to collate your overall rating. The information is collected from three types of safety-related events over a 24-month period:
certificate of fitness (CoF) inspections
relevant traffic offences and infringements.
When you present a vehicle for a CoF inspection, you have to provide your transport service licence (TSL) number. This is recorded on the inspection check sheet along with other safety inspection information, such as any faults detected.
The vehicle testing station then enters the results of the CoF inspection into the Transport Agency's computer system against your TSL number. Inspection results for trailers will be assigned to the TSL of the prime mover unless another TSL is provided.
To ensure accuracy of information, the Transport Agency's CoF agents have developed an issue resolution process that outlines the steps you can take if you don’t agree with the outcome of an inspection.
During a roadside inspection, the New Zealand Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) or one of our inspectors will record your TSL number on the inspection form, along with other safety inspection information such as faults detected.
The results are entered into the roadside inspection database against your TSL number.
To ensure accuracy of information in the roadside inspection database, the New Zealand Police have developed a resolution process for faults or defects.
There may be times where the Transport Agency carries out audits or where the CVIU run operations focusing on a specific operator or identified group of transport operators to address a particular safety issue within the industry. When this type of operation is run, either at the roadside or within an operator's premises, the results of these activities will be recorded in the ORS but will not be used in calculating an operator's rating.
You can sign up to receive an e-mail notification every time a vehicle linked to your TSL is stopped at the roadside. Send your TSL number and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that this email service is not in real time.
If you (or one of your drivers) commit an offence that is on a specific schedule of offences that impact on road safety, it is likely to affect your operator safety rating.
When a police officer issues you with a ticket for an offence, they'll record your TSL number on the ticket along with other offence details. The offence notice will be entered into the police computer system against your TSL number, then sent to us.
Crash information is not included in your rating, but any information about a crash, including the TSL number of any commercial vehicles involved, will be recorded by the police on a crash report form. The crash report form is sent to us and entered into our crash analysis system against your TSL number. We will tell you about the crashes that have been recorded against your TSL number when we notify you of your proposed rating, to help you manage your road safety risk.
If an offence notice is issued to you or your driver as a result of the crash, this information and any related penalty is included in your rating.
A purpose-designed computer program calculates the scores. This program has been independently reviewed and quality assured by a statistics expert.
Your scores are weighted according to the risks that the events pose to road safety. For example, offences pose the highest risk to road safety, so any offences linked to your TSL number will have greater impact on your rating (your rating will be poorer) than other types of event, such as a fault at a CoF inspection. These weightings were determined with the help of an independent study that assessed the safety-related risks relevant to transport operators, drivers and vehicles.
Some CoF and roadside faults pose a more significant safety risk than others. For example, problems with a vehicle's brakes, lighting or tyres have a greater impact on safety than a certificate not correctly displayed. The faults are weighted so the more serious faults in relation to road safety result in a poorer rating for you.
Similarly, more serious offences, such as drink-driving, speeding or careless driving, will have a greater impact on your rating than less serious offences.
Other factors also affect your score, such as:
the number of times a vehicle is inspected in a certain rating period
the number of kilometres a vehicle travels.
Scores will be allocated to a single transport service licence (TSL). If you have more than one TSL, scores are calculated for each TSL separately.
ORS ratings are calculated using an algorithm, which is a series of mathematical steps which produces a final score. The final score corresponds to a star rating of 1 to 5.
The algorithm steps are shown in the diagram below.
These are ranked based on the component that is faulty and how unsafe the vehicle becomes if that component doesn't work properly. For example, any brake fault will be ranked the same, whether the brake is worn, seized or contaminated.
CoF fault ranks range from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest) – so, for example, faulty brakes are ranked highly, while missing certification doesn't pose a high risk to safety so has a low ranking.
The ranks were assigned by a team of heavy vehicle specialists from the Transport Agency's Vehicles team.
Roadside inspection faults are also ranked based on the faulty component and the relative safety risk of that component being faulty.
Ranks are assigned based on the recommended action for that fault as specified in the HMV categorisation of defects handbook used by NZ Police and Transport Agency vehicle inspectors.
Unsafe components have a high bearing on safety and so carry a high score. Defective components have a moderate bearing on safety and so carry a medium score. Components that are non-compliant but not unsafe score the lowest.
The recommended actions for roadside faults, and the resulting ORS scores, were assigned by a panel of experts from the Transport Authority, Police CVIU, the Road Transport Forum, and the Bus and Coach Association of New Zealand.
Offences are scored based on the risk to safety of the offending behaviour. Scores range from a low of 20 for the lowest safety risk to 100 for the greatest safety risk. This includes third and subsequent offences and offences causing injury or death.
The types of offending that carry the highest scores fall roughly into the categories of dangerous driving, drink-driving, speeding, unsafe load or vehicle, and fatigue (reflected through work-time and logbook offences).
Some offences carry a score of 0, so have no impact on your ORS rating as they are not safety-related. The scores for offences were assigned by a panel of experts from the Ministry of Transport, NZ Police, the Transport Agency, Road Transport Forum, and Bus and Coach Association of New Zealand.
The ratings are similar to hotel or restaurant ratings, with stars being allocated based on performance.
|Rating||Definition||Overall score range|
|5||Very good level of compliance||0–0.4999|
|4||Good level of compliance||0.5000–2.1041|
|3||Unsatisfactory level of compliance||2.1042–3.7082|
|2||Very unsatisfactory level of compliance||3.7083–5.3124|
|1||Extremely unsatisfactory level of compliance||5.3125 or higher