CDM Regulations 2015

From 6th April 2015, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 were replaced by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (the “Regulations”).

The Regulations are intended to be less bureaucratic than the previous regulations and to improve the planning and management of projects from the start.

CDM changes

The Regulations brought about key changes, which include:

  • Introduction of Principal Designers to replace CDM Co-ordinators
  • Inclusion of domestic clients
  • Clients having to undertake more duties
  • Changes in notification thresholds
  • Requirement for all projects to have a written Construction Phase Plan
  • Abolition of the Approved Code of Practice
  • Contractors and designers are to ensure that they have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to fulfil their roles and the person appointing them has to satisfy themselves of this also

CDM 2015 creates a new duty holder, the Principal Designer (PD) 

In many cases this will be the architect who on the majority of projects is appointed first by the client but not always. The HSE think that some designers will not want to take on the functions of the PD and many would not be capable of doing so for all but the smallest of projects.

The PD must be a designer as defined in the Regulations, i.e., anyone who as part of their business (a) prepares or modifies a design; or (b) arranges for, or instructs any person under their control to do so.
A “design” is widely defined to include specifications, bills of quantities and calculations prepared for the purposes of a design.

The HSE consider that “Chartered Surveyors and Technicians” are also “designers” under CDM 2015. Equally, anyone who selects a product for use or develops a detailed design which is then manufactured for a project is also treated as a designer according to the guidance.

A six-month transitional period is in place from 6 April – 6 October 2015.

What does this mean for current construction projects during this transitional period?

In this period, special provisions will apply before the Regulations take full effect across the board. Such provisions apply during the transitional period as follows:

  1. Projects where as at 6 April 2015, the Construction Phase has started, no CDM Co-ordinator is in place and where there is more than one contractor:
  • a Principal Designer may be appointed in writing by the Client (but this is not obligatory);
  • a Principal Contractor must be appointed in writing by the Client as soon as reasonably practicable;
  • the Principal Contractor must draw up a Construction Phase Plan, or make arrangements for one to be drawn up as soon as reasonably practicable;
  • where the Client has not appointed a Principal Designer, the Principal Contractor must also prepare the Health and Safety file as soon as reasonably practicable and ensure that it is reviewed, revised and updated from time to time;
  • where a Client has failed to appoint a Principal Contractor, in commercial projects, the Client must fulfil the duties of Principal Contractor and in domestic projects, the Principal Contractor is deemed to be the contractor “in control of the construction phase”.
  1. Projects where as at 6 April 2015, a CDM Co-ordinator has been appointed by the Client and where there is more than one contractor:
  • the CDM Co-ordinator appointment continues until a Principal Designer is appointed by the Client;
  • the deadline for the Client to appoint a Principal Designer is 6 October 2015 (unless the project comes to an end before that date);
  • until such appointment is made, the CDM Co-ordinator will take on additional duties as set out in Schedule 4(5) of the Regulations which largely cover the role of the intended Principal Designer;
  • where the Client fails to appoint a Principal Designer by 6 October 2015, the Client is to take on the responsibilities relating to the Health and Safety Plan and must assist the Principal Contractor in preparing the Construction Phase Plan.
  1. Projects with only one contractor:
  • there is no requirement for the appointment of a Principal Designer;
  • the contractor must draw up a Construction Phase Plan or make arrangements for one to be drawn up as soon as reasonably practicable.

Make sure you are CDM 2015 compliant. These regulation changes effect the smallest projects to the largest. At PropVestment we can advise and recommend professionals who can ensure you are compliant and can take on the Principal Designer role for you.



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