What are the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015?

On 6th April 2015 the CDM regulations were updated once again in order to simplify the existing regulations, improve interpretations and align more fully with the EU Temporary and Mobile Construction Directive (TMCSD).

The aims of the Regulations are to ensure that the right information goes to the right people at the right time; whilst reducing paperwork and encouraging teamwork. The focus is on effective planning and risk reduction.

The Regulations recognise that clients have substantial influence and contractual control and that their decisions and approach determine the project’s resources, those who make up the project team and their co-operation and co-ordination.

Clients are made accountable for the impact of their approach towards the health and safety of those working on or affected by the project.

However, the Regulations also recognise that many clients know little about construction health and safety, therefore clients are not required or expected to plan or manage projects themselves. Nor do they have to develop substantial expertise in construction health and safety.

Those clients without construction expertise should rely on the Principal Designers advice on how best to meet their duties, but Principal Designers will need their client’s support and input to be able to carry out their work effectively. The client remains responsible for ensuring that client’s duties are met.

Clients can also, intentionally or unwittingly, take on additional responsibilities. If they specify materials or methods of working, they may well become designers in relation to those specific matters. They will also legally become contractors if they directly manage or carry out construction work.


So, what are the key changes in the revised CDM Regulations 2015?


CDM Coordinator Role:

The CDM Coordinator role has now been removed. The duties previously undertaken by the CDM Coordinator are now split between the Client, the Principal Contractor and a newly created duty holder, the ‘Principal Designer’.

The Principal Designer role will be undertaken by the Lead Designer, Project Manager or indeed the Client themselves on simple projects. However, a 3rd party consultant could be appointed to assist or carry out the role to ensure that the Pre-Construction Phase is completed in line with the CDM regulations and all pre-construction safety information gathered and provided to the contractor.


Principal Designer:


The principal designer is responsible for co-ordinating the health and safety aspects of the pre-construction phase of the project.

The Client is required to appoint a Principal Designer where there is more than one Contractor involved on a project, regardless of project timescale/notifiable status. This differs from CDM 2007 requirement – 30-day period which triggered the appointment of a CDMC.

The Client must ensure that the Principal Designer complies with their duties.


F10 Notification:


The Client is required to issue the F10 notification to the HSE (formally done by the CDMC). This is only required when a project lasts 30 working days and have 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project or exceed 500 person days.


Pre-Construction Information:


The Client is now responsible for preparing and disseminating the Pre-Construction Information (formally done by the CDMC). We would recommend that you work with your Principal Designer who will assist you with this.


Construction Phase Plan:


Clients must ensure that an adequate Construction Phase Plan is prepared by the Principal Contractor prior to work starting on-site. A Construction Phase Plan is now a requirement for all construction work including domestic work!




Clients no longer have an explicit duty to check competence prior to the appointment of Designers and Contractors; they should, however, be satisfied that individuals have the specific skills relevant to the works and adequate supervision in place before works start on-site.




When more than one Contractor will be required on a construction project the following parties must be appointed in writing by the Client.

  • Principal Designer
  • Principal Contractor

Failure to do so will result in the Client inheriting the legal responsibility of the above parties.


Domestic Projects:


Domestic projects are no longer exempt from the Regulations. If the Client for domestic work does not appoint a Principal Designer or Principal Contractor these duties are automatically place on the first appointed Designer and Contractor accordingly.


Transitional Arrangements:


The new Regulations are due to come into force 6th April 2015, so they will apply to all projects which begin from that date – a project begins with the design phase.

Ongoing projects can continue to operate under CDM 2007 until the 6th October 2015.

From this date, a project must implement CDM 2015 including the appointment of a Principal Designer. The new regulations will apply from 6th October 2015 regardless of whether a project has weeks, months or years left to completion.