• Mike M.

Construction Design Management Regulations 2015

Updated: Sep 11, 2018


The aim of this blog is to briefly outline the key changes introduced in the CDM Regulations 2015. In this introduction to CDM 2015 we’ll take a look at the eight main changes which are:

  1. The CDM 2015 Regulations have a simplified structure

  2. Clients’ responsibilities have been strengthened and broadened

  3. The exemption for Domestic Clients has been removed

  4. The role of CDM Coordinator has been removed

  5. The new role of Principal Designer has been introduced to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the pre-construction (design) phase

  6. Notification of the project to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been removed as a trigger point for additional duties

  7. The requirement for ‘competence’ has been removed and replaced with ‘skills, knowledge, experience and training’ and ‘organisational capability’

The CDM 2015 Regulations have a simplified structure

The new structure aligns itself more with the process delivering a construction project which will generally be:


Concept/Idea leading into the design stage and onto the construction phase which in turn leads to the handover of the project and future use through to possible end of life/ deconstruction.


Duty Holders are: Client, Principal Designer, Principal Contractor, Designer and Contractor.


Clients’ responsibilities have been strengthened and broadened

The Client is now responsible for making the arrangements by which the project will be managed and ensuring that those arrangements are maintained and reviewed throughout the life of the project.


This is a significant change to the 2007 regulations and one that many clients dislike. The Client now has a significant role in the construction project and in particular, setting the standards for a positive safety culture throughout the project and being a major influencer throughout the project. Some clients try to delegate their responsibilities under CDM 2015 to other duty holders and while they can employ other people or organisations to undertake certain duties. The clients responsibilities will always remine the clients responsibility.


Clients are also responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure:

  • Both the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor comply with their duties.

  • Pre-construction information is provided ‘as soon as is practicable’ to every Contractor and Designer appointed or considered for appointment.

  • The construction phase plan and health and safety file are produced.

  • The health and safety file is handed over to any new owner of the structure.

The exemption for Domestic Clients has been removed

Exemption for Domestic Clients has been removed in CDM 2015 and the only responsibilities placed upon them are to appoint the Principal Contractor and Principal Designer, where there is more than one contractor.


If the Domestic Client does not make these appointments, CDM 2015 automatically transfers the Client duties to the Contractor or Principal Contractor.


Unfortunately. Many domestic building contractors are unaware of CDM in general and many don’t know that the CDM Regulations changed in 2015. Getting the message across to domestic building contractors remains an issue that needs to be addressed. One possible solution could be the use of builders merchants and propaganda posters/ display stands and handing out information with purchase invoices. Food for thought….


The role of CDM Coordinator has been removed

Clients must now appoint a Principal Designer which replaces the role of CDM Coordinator.


The new role of Principal Designer has been introduced to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the pre-construction (design) phase


Principal designers have a duty to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the pre construction phase of a project. Principal Designers also have a duty to support the client in providing pre construction information which could be:


Previous use of land or buildings to be developed

  • Historical use

  • Soil contamination reports

  • Ground stability

  • Management survey

  • Asbestos contamination

  • Infrastructure

  • Utilities

Supporting the Principal Contractor or Contractor in developing a construction phase plan and also the development of the Health and Safety file which will need to be handed over to the client on completion of the project.

Supporting Designers with any changes to the design whilst considering at all times, the implications that any design change will have on health and safety while the project is under construction and for the lifetime and future use of the building.


A key role for the Principal Designer is acting as a conduit for with all information regarding the project will flow.


Notification of the project to the Health and Safety Executive has been removed as a trigger point for additional duties


· All projects now require a construction phase plan under CDM 2015.

· All projects requiring more than one contractor now require a health and safety file under CDM 2015.


The threshold for appointing a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor is if more than one Contractor is required on a project


All but the very smallest projects will require a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor.


The requirement for ‘competence’ has been removed and replaced with ‘skills, knowledge, experience and training’ and ‘organisational capability’


The most qualified is not necessarily the most competent and CDM 2015 recognises this. Competency now takes into account Skills, Knowledge, Training and Experience of the individual and when referring to an organisation is also takes into account the capability of the organisation which may be demonstrated through robust auditing or other measures.


Key points


The CDM Regulations 2015 aim to do two things:

· Ensure that Health and Safety is a primary consideration at the earliest possible stage in the project which is Idea/ Concept/ Design


· Ensure that all Duty Holders communicate with each other at the Pre Construction Phase, the Construction Phase and through to completion/ handover to the Client.


The specific roles of each Duty Holder and examples of individual Duty Holders failings since 2015 will be a feature of a future blog post. if you require any further assistance with any of the topics raised in this post or assistance with health and safety, please get in touch.

© 2019 by Yorkshire Health & Safety (United Kingdom). Proudly created by thisisbluedeer.co.uk

Email: info@yorkshirehealthandsafety.co.uk

  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle