By Warren Dodds

The 6th of April 2015 saw the implementation of the updated Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, and include major changes since the CDM regulations were previously revised in 2007. The regulations impact all those in Britain involved in construction, and define duties for the client, principal designer, designers, principal contractor, contractors and workers.

Key Changes 

  • The CDM coordinator role is replaced by the Principal Designer role.
  • Domestic clients are no longer exempt, however their duties are transferred to the designer or contractor.
  • Designers are required to have the skills, knowledge and experience to undertake the work.
  • The Approved Code of Practice has been withdrawn, and replaced with L series guidance and industry guidance

What is a Principal Designer?

The new role of a Principal Designer must be undertaken by

  • A designer who has the technical knowledge of the construction industry relevant to the project
  • A designer with the skills, knowledge and experience to understand, manage and coordinate the health and safety of the pre-construction phase, including any design work carried out after construction begins
  • Where the Principal Designer is an organisation, it must have the organisational capability to carry out the role


We are now in a six month transition period ending on the 6th October 2015, to bring project arrangements in line with the new legislation. Projects that started before the 6th of April 2015 where a CDM coordinator has not yet been appointed, will require the client to appoint a Principal Designer. If a CDM coordinator has been appointed, then a Principal Designer will need to be appointed to replace the CDM coordinator by the 6th of October 2015.

What should you be doing?

Health and safety regulations can often seem daunting, especially when there are 84 pages to read but don’t despair, I recommend:

  1. For each of your project you are working on, speak to your existing CDM Coordinator and find out how this impacts you and the project
  2. For new projects ensure that all involved understand the new regulations and ask the Principal Designer for advice
  3. Make sure all your staff are aware of the changes and encourage them to do points one and two!
  4. Attend a seminar about the regulation changes (Cundall is hosting some, click here for more information)

Following a review of the changes, I would say that the HSE have built on a the existing regulations to further improve the safety of the construction industry. The decision to ensure that the Principal Designer has technical knowledge of the projects is a very positive step that will help health and safety and design go hand in hand.  As a CDM Consultant who is also an engineering technician, I have found having technical knowledge has helped in this role, so I am happy this has been acknowledged.

Find out more about Cundall –

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CDM-Coordination, Warren Dodds


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