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Cutting through the legalese: CDM Regulations 2015

CDM 2015 Regulations are live, they have been passed through Parliament and came into force on 06 April 2015 with a six month transition prior for projects started before then.

1. Where can I find the regulations:

See the regulations here

The JCT have also issued updates and are working on 2015 contracts, which can be found here

2. Has the role of CDM co-ordinator changed?

This role disappears. The Health and Safety Executive introduced a new role of the Principal Designer. The Principal Designer will have responsibility for the health and safety aspects of the pre-construction phase of the project, passing it on to the Principal Contractor during the construction phrase.

3. Who can be Principal Designer?

“designer” means “...any person (including a client, contractor or other person referred to in these Regulations) who in the course or furtherance of a business...prepares or modifies a design; or...arranges for, or instructs, any person under their control to do so, relating to a structure, or to a product or mechanical or electrical system intended for a particular structure, and a person is deemed to prepare a design where a design is prepared by a person under their control;” and
“design” includes “...drawings, design details, specifications and bills of quantities (including specification of articles or substances) relating to a structure, and calculations prepared for the purpose of a design.

4. Does the test of competence stay the same?

No, the designer or contractor must have the “skills, knowledge and experience” and if an organisation, the ”organisational capability”, necessary to fulfil their appointed role.

5. How has notification changed?

Under the proposed changes a project will be notifiable if construction work lasts longer than 30 working days AND has more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project or exceeds 500 person days.

6. Is a construction phase plan still required?

Yes, but only on those that are notifiable.

7. What is the transitional period?

This is 6 months and can be found in schedule 4 of the Regulations.

8. What are the changes to the client duties?

The clients responsibilities have increased, they must:

  • make, maintain and review “suitable arrangements” for managing the project;
  • provide pre-construction information to designers and contractors;
  • ensure that a construction phase plan is drawn up by the contractor or principal contractor, as appropriate, before the construction phase begins;
  • ensure that the principal designer prepares, updates and keeps available for inspection, a compliant project health and safety file;
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that the principal designer and principal contractor comply with their other duties;
  • give written notice of the project, where appropriate.


9. What has happened to the ACOP?

The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) has been removed and new guidance has been issued and can be found here.

10. What are the industry guides?

The CITB has issued 6 documents (one for each duty holder plus one for additional workers) setting out actions required to prevent injury and ill health, these can be found here 

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. 

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