Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 - an update

Gerald Black

The HSE has now published a draft of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM 2015), together with accompanying guidance.

The draft of the CDM Regulations 2015 confirms their proposals, taking into account the results of the consultation process. The proposed key changes to CDM 2015 (from CDM 2007) are:

  • The CDM Coordinator is replaced by the Principal Designer, no duties are lost just transferred;
  • The ‘domestic client’ exemption is removed;
  • Notification requirements are changed;
  • A shorter ‘signposting’ Approved Code of Practise (ACoP) is to be published, and industry guidance documents (again in draft form) have been made available;
  • Construction Phase Plans will be required for ALL projects; and
  • Health and Safety Files will be required for ALL projects involving more than one contractor (notifiable or otherwise).

The CDM Coordinator (CDMC) role is replaced by the Principal Designer (PD). The PD is the designer with control over the pre-construction phase of the project and MAY have separate duties as a designer. They should:

  • Plan, monitor and coordinate the pre-construction phase;
  • Identify, eliminate or control foreseeable risks;
  • Ensure coordination and cooperation;
  • Provide pre-construction information;
  • Liaise with the principal contractor; and
  • Prepare, review, update and revise a health and safety file and pass this to the client (if role finishes before end of construction, this duty transfers to the PC).

These duties will be for the duration of the project and are likely to extend beyond the traditional competencies held by designers. It is unlikely that they (designers) will be able to contract out of these new requirements – the consequence of this may be the rise of the CDM Advisor (previous CDMCs), who PDs may turn to for advice. Santia Consulting are well placed to fulfil this function.

  • The contractor on domestic projects involving only one contractor (i.e. the contractor undertakes the client duties as well as their own); or
  • The contractor in control of the construction phase of projects involving more than one contractor, unless an appointment is made will be the Principal Contractor (PC) and take on both duties;

As a consequence of this, domestic clients and small contractors could, if they are not careful, fail to fulfil their legal duties.  This could be because they may not aware of them, might not be fully competent or are unable to allocate sufficient resources.

The threshold for the notification of a project is set to change, meaning that ALL projects (both commercial and domestic) will, if they meet the criteria, be notifiable. The criteria will be those projects which either last over 30 days and have more than 20 workers (simultaneously), or last over 500 person days. The party responsible for notifying the project will however, be the client.

CDM 2015 requires the appointment of a Principal Contractor whenever there is more than one contractor appointed to the project. Therefore, there will also be a requirement for a Construction Phase Plan on ALL projects; this plan however, needs to be ‘proportionate to the risks involved’.

The existing detailed requirements on competence will be replaced with a more general framework.  The aim of this is to improve clarity and provide comprehensive guidance on competence, however, competence will be based more generally on information, instruction, training and supervision.

A shorter ‘Sign Post’ Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) will be published and be supported by industry guidance. This ACoP is not yet available, but the guidance documents have been published and are available via

The HSE are still aiming to implement the Statutory Instrument in April 2015. They will however, allow projects which are already underway on 6th April 2015 (and have a CDM Co-ordinator in post) to continue for 6 months or to the end of the project (whichever is earlier).

At Santia Consulting, we pride ourselves in our delivery of CDM services and our integrative approach to ensuring the best results for you. We are able to support clients, designers and contractors alike, with any aspect of compliance with the proposed new legislation, and will also be able to provide this service to the proposed Principal Designer.

Gerald Black has over 40 years of civil engineering design, construction and management experience. As a key member of Santia's health and safety team, Gerald has extensive experience in construction training, safety auditing and inspections at construction sites both within the UK and overseas. He has worked extensively within the role of CDM Coordinator, and previously, as a Planning Supervisor under the CDM Regulations.


Post date: 13 Jan 2015

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