Last edited 20 Oct 2016

CDM 2015

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations) ( are intended to ensure that health and safety issues are properly considered during a project’s development so that the risk of harm to those who have to build, use and maintain structures is reduced. They were introduced in 1994 following publication of European Directive 92/57/EEC on minimum safety and health standards for temporary or mobile construction sites. The CDM Regulations were revised in 2007, and the latest revision came into force on 6 April 2015.

The latest revision resulted from:

  • The perception that the regulations had been over-interpreted.
  • A belief that the coordination function in the pre-construction phase was often a bureaucratic add on that was not always embedded in the project, resulting in additional costs with little additional value.
  • The persistence of unacceptable standards, particularly on smaller sites.

The regulations therefore made the following changes:

  • Structural simplification of the regulations to make them easier to understand.
  • The replacement of the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) with more targeted guidance.
  • Replacement of the role of CDM coordinator with a new role of ‘principal designer’.
  • Splitting competence assessment into its component parts of skills, knowledge, training and experience, and, if it relates to an organisation, organisational capability.
  • Removing the exemption for domestic clients, but passing their CDM duties to the contractor.
  • Changing the threshold for appointment of coordinators (principal contractors and principal designers), to require coordinators where there is more than one contractor. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggest that this will capture close to an additional 1 million projects a year, but that the requirements will be proportionate and little more work will be necessary. Some concern has been expressed about what constitutes more than one contractor, and how it is possible to know how many contractors may be needed.

These changes separate the threshold for coordination from that of notifying the HSE about the works. The HSE must be notified where the construction work is likely to last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point, or exceed 500 person days.

In terms of the organisation of projects, the most significant of these changes is the replacement of the role of CDM coordinator with a new role of ‘principal designer’ (PD). The reason for the change is to give responsibility for CDM during the design phase to an individual that has the ability to influence the design. The role of principal designer is analogous to that of the principal contractor during the construction phase and includes:

This change required the amendment of appointment documents and contracts.

Other duty holders under the regulations are:

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