Last edited 22 Sep 2020

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CIOB Institute / association Website

Design management plan

A design management plan can be used to co-ordinate design activities. It should at least cover:

  1. Compliance with brief.
  2. Cost acceptance.
  3. Value engineering analysis.
  4. Health and safety issues.
  5. Completeness for tender.

The project manager, may use the agreed design management plan as a basis for monitoring and controlling the design process. However, integration of the work of consultant and specialists lies with the lead designer. For certain elements of the project, different leads may be nominated, however, these roles will always come under the direction of the lead designer for co-ordination.

The text in this article is based on an extract from PROJECT MANAGEMENT, by Eric Stokes and Saleem Akram. The original manual was published in 2008. It was developed within the scope of the LdV program, project number: 2009-1-PL1-LEO05-05016 entitled “Common Learning Outcomes for European Managers in Construction”. It is reproduced here in a slightly modified form with the kind permission of the Chartered Institute of Building.


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This is a really useful resource for teaching how to discharge the duties of the Principal Designer under CDM 2015.

Like the Principal Contractor, the Principal Designer must "plan, manage and monitor" part of the project delivery, namely the pre-construction phase.

The Principal Contractor (and even the Contractor for smaller less complex projects) must produce a Construction Phase Plan. This makes sense. In order "to plan" you need "a plan".

Since the Principal Designer has a similar duty, there is an implied requirement on the Principal Designer to produce a Design Management Plan, Design Execution Plan or Pre-Construction Phase Plan.

The list of headings provided here is helpful because it shows how to integrate H&S into projects rather than having it as a separate item.

Like many other aspects such as the commercial aspects, professionals need to be continuously mindful of the issues and occasional focussed on them.

Liz Bennett

[email protected]

Designing Buildings Anywhere

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