Aug 26

The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 came into force on 6 April

Posted by admin on Wednesday 26th August 2015

The reasons for the changes were to align The Regulations with the European Directive (including domestic Clients), make them easier to use, reduce the need for detailed competency assessments and make the CDM process properly embraced by the design team.

From 6th April there will be a six month transitional period (to 5th October) for existing projects to either be completed, or replace the CDM Co-ordinator with the Principal Designer regulations place more duties on the Client, (including domestic clients), incorporating some actions previously undertaken by the CDM Co-ordinator. During the Pre-Construction Phase a Principal Designer will control the design risk management process previously undertaken by the CDM Co-ordinator. 


The role of the CDM Co-ordinator will be replaced by a Principal Designer. The Principal Designer will control the design risk management process.
Some former CDM-C duties will be undertaken by the Client.
Domestic projects will be covered by the regulations. Client must appoint Principal Designer and Principal Contractor (where more than one contractor).
There is an increase in Clients duties and obligations. These are summarised below.
The Approved Code of Practice is replaced with a guidance note. There is also industry guidance notes available for the Duty Holders.
The threshold for notification (F10) has changed. The existing 30 days requirement now only applies when there are 20 or more workers working simultaneously.
The current 500 man day requirement remains Fewer projects will be notifiable. The 500 man days will trigger more often, such as 15 men for 5 weeks.
Domestic projects are subject to the same notification criteria.
Competence requirements and checking has been reduced. (CDM07 appendix4) It is intended to simplify the PQQ process.

A Construction Phase Plan will now be required for all projects. This is to include domestic projects where there is more than one contractor.


With the exception of replacing the CDM Co-ordinator with the Principal Designer the other Duty Holders are the same, although responsibilities have changed as detailed below.


There is recognition of the importance and influence the Client has over the design and construction process and that they are best placed to set the required health and safety standards. The Client is now responsible for some of the tasks previously undertaken by the CDM Co-ordinator.

Client duties now include;

  • To make suitable arrangements for managing the project throughout the whole process, including allowance of sufficient time and resources.
  • To issue a Client brief outlining requirements and expectations.
  • To ensure construction work can be carried out safely.
  • To ensure suitable welfare facilities are in place.
  • To ensure arrangements are maintained and reviewed during the project.
  • To appoint the Principal Designer and the Principal Contractor in writing. Failure to do so defaults to the Client fulfilling their duties.
  • Be satisfied that any designer or contractor they appoint has the skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability to fulfil their role.
  • To provide pre-construction information to each designer and contractor who is being considered or appointed for the project.
  • To ensure that a Construction Phase Plan is drawn up before the construction phase commences.
  • Ensure that the Principal Designer prepares the Health & Safety File.
  • Ensure that the Principal Designer complies with their duties.
  • Ensure that the Principal Contractor complies


The Principal Designer undertakes many of the duties previously undertaken by the CDM Co-ordinator. The intention is to ensure that health and safety is an integral part of the design process and the design team.

Principal Designer duties include;

  • Ensure that they have the skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability to fulfil their role.
  • Throughout design take into account the general principles of prevention.
  • Plan, manage and monitor the pre-construction phase and coordinate matters relating to health and safety.
  • Identify and eliminate or control risks to health and safety.
  • Ensure that all other designers comply with their duties.
  • Assist the Client in preparation of the Pre-construction Information.
  • Provide Pre-construction Information to every designer and contractor appointed or being considered for appointment.
  • Assist the Principal Contractor in the preparation of the Construction Phase Plan.
  • During the pre-construction phase prepare the Health & Safety File, and review and update it.


Generally the Principal Contractors duties are unchanged from the previous Regulations and include the following:

  • To plan, manage and monitor the construction phase, including cooperation between contractors.
  • Before setting up the site prepare a Health & Safety Plan and review this throughout the project.
  • Apply the general principals of prevention.
  • Keep the site secure and control access.
  • Provide site inductions
  • Provide suitable welfare facilities.
  • To liaise with the Principal Designer for the duration of the designers appointment.
  • Consult with workers and provide information.
  • Where the Principal Designer has not been retained until completion of the construction phase, receive the Health and Safety File from the Principal Designer and


Contractors duties are generally unchanged.


There is a six month period ending 5th October 2015.

Projects with an existing CDM Co-ordinator

The Client must appoint, in writing, a Principal Designer before 6th October unless the project is complete.

Projects without an existing CDM Co-ordinator and where construction work has started

The Client must appoint, in writing, as soon as practicable after 6th April a Principal Contractor. The Client may also appoint a Principal Designer.

The Principal Designer (if appointed) or Principal Contractor must as soon as practicable after 6th April prepare a Health & Safety File.

The Principal Contractor must as soon as practicable after 6th April draw up a Construction Phase Plan


The Regulations will apply to domestic projects generally in the same way as non-domestic projects.

The domestic Clients duties are undertaken by the Contractor/Principal Contractor, or the Principal Designer where a written agreement makes such provision.

If a domestic Client fails to make an appointment then the designer in control of the pre-construction phase is the Principal Designer and the contractor in control of construction is the Principal Contractor.


It is likely that many Clients, particularly domestic Clients will require assistance in discharging their duties. We can act as CDM Adviser reviewing and assisting with compliance

Alongside our Project Management role we can provide separate CDM Adviser assistance, or as an independent appointment if preferred. As CDM Adviser we can assist with the health and safety aspects, including design risk management.

Domestic building projects vary in size and complexity, each requiring independent review and analysis. Suitable management of Health, Safety and Welfare can be a simple process with the correct planned consideration before a project commences on site. The ideal time to ensure that your Contractor fulfils their duties under the Regulations is at tender stage. The skills required for Healthy and Safety Management and Project Management sit comfortably together as they are closely linked and involved from the start of a project through to the completion.

Should you wish to discuss any of the above and how your project will be affected, or require further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.