Posted by James Bostock

Posted 18 March, 2015 OBI BLOG

CCDM regulations are changing – are you ready?

Here’s a date for your diary: 6th April 2015. This is when dramatic changes in the health and safety regulatory regime for procurement, design and delivery of construction projects will come into effect, as decreed by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Fear not! Help is at hand – here’s a summary of the key changes to the CDM (Construction Design & Management) regulations:


Structural Simplification

The HSE aims to make regulations clearer and easier to understand. While this would ideally cover all jobs, it’s mainly targeted at small to medium projects.

CDM Co-ordinator role to be replaced with ‘Principal Designer’

All Clients will now need to appoint a ‘Principal Designer’ for any project involving more than one contractor on site at a time. Any Designers appointed should not carry out any work beyond initial design unless the Principal Designer has confirmed that the Client is aware of their duties. This role can be fulfilled by an individual or an organisation.

Duties to be applicable to domestic projects

For all projects involving more than one contractor it is proposed that the Principal Contractor will normally assume the Client duties. The domestic Client can choose to appoint the Principal Designer for the project. However, if they do not make this appointment, the first Designer appointed during the pre-construction phase is the Principal Designer for the project. If this is the case, then the Principal Designer will be answerable to the Principal Contractor in their role as ‘Client’ for the project and will need to be responsible for liaising with them.

Principal Designer and Principal Contractor appointed for all projects with more than one “trade” Contractor on site

The Client must appoint both the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor in writing, otherwise they themselves are deemed to be carrying out these roles.

Construction phase plan is required for all projects

The Client must ensure a Construction Phase Plan, provided by the Contractor or Principal Contractor, is in place before works commence on site. Construction Phase co-ordination duties remain with the Principal Contractor. The new legislation does not make any provision for an independent role currently provided by the CDM co-ordinator.

‘Explicit competence’ requirements removed

The Client must ensure that those who are to be appointed (i.e. Designer, Contractor or Principal Contractor and Principal Designer) can demonstrate appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision, which replaces the duty to assess competence. No minimum standard required for compliance has been detailed yet.

Threshold for notification

The threshold for notification has been amended slightly with the Client now needing to notify the HSE of projects before works commence if they will exceed 30 construction days, with a new requirement to notify where 20 or more workers are working simultaneously or if the project exceeds 500 person days.

Information, Instruction, Training and Supervision (IITS) requirements

Anyone working on a construction project should be able to demonstrate capability and have the necessary resources to fulfil legal duties. They must provide sufficient information in relation to the preparation, provision and, where necessary, revision of health and safety information such as Pre-Construction Information, Construction Phase Plans and Health & Safety Files.

The current Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) will be substituted with HSE and Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Industry Guidance.

There will be a replacement of ACoP with tailored guidance, however no date has been announced for HSE to issue the guidance documents.

Client to Notify HSE

It will be the responsibility for the Client to now notify the HSE of a project (F10 notification).

In summary, the new regulations will increase the health and safety responsibilities for clients. Currently, the CDM co-ordinator role is that of the client’s key safety adviser. Removal of the role will impact project safety governance. If you are a CDM client, after 6th April any new project you undertake will require you to be responsible for;

  • Notifying HSE of the project particulars and confirm you are aware of their duties.
  • Appointing a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor
  • Ensure duty holders comply with their duties
  • Provide pre-construction information
  • Ensuring minimum health & safety standards are maintained on site
  • Ensuring Construction Phase Health & Safety Plan is drawn up by the Principal Contractor
  • Ensure a Health & Safety file is produced by the Principal Designer

(all without assistance of the CDM Coordinator)

With small projects, these changes may lead to increased associated costs and resources if projects are to meet the requirements of the formal appointments of Principal Contractor and Principal Designer.

The changes don’t come in overnight – there is a six month transition period ending on 6th October 2015 to bring project arrangements in line with the new legislation.

For any further information or questions regarding the changes to CDM Regulations please do not hestitate to contact a member of the OBI Building Consultancy team.