Last edited 24 Sep 2020

CDM planning period

The CDM regulations require that, 'A client must make suitable arrangements for managing a project, including the allocation of sufficient time and other resources.'

The time allocated by the client under this part of the regulations must be notified to the Health and Safety Executive (along with other information) as soon as is practicable before the construction phase begins. See Notify HSE for more information.

This 'CDM planning period' is intended to allow contractors sufficient time to assess health and safety issues and plan their works before commencing construction. Duty holders will need to ensure that enough time is allowed for this in the programme, both for the appointment of contractors and sub-contractors (including trade contractors and works contractors on construction management or management contract projects).

The regulations do not say how long the CDM planning period should be, as this will vary significantly depending on the nature of the works that are being carried out. However, if the time allocated is short, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may consider that insufficient time has been allowed. Clients may discuss with duty holders how long they believe the CDM planning period should be and should also consult with proposed contractors.

The client must not allow work on site to proceed unless a construction phase plan has been prepared, at least for the early stages of the works, and arrangements made for the development of the rest of the plan. The construction phase plan sets out how health and safety will be managed during the construction of the project.

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