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Cutting through the legalese: CDM Regulations 2015 – Contractual Changes

Following on from my article in the October newsletter, Changes to the CDM Regulations, it has been confirmed that there will now be a transition period running from 6 April 2015 until 6 October 2015. Full details are set out in Schedule 4 to the CDM Regs 2015, some of the key points are listed below:

  • On projects where a CDM Co-ordinator has already been appointed, the client has until 6 October 2015 to replace its CDM Co-ordinator with a principal designer (unless the construction phase will complete before that date)
  • During the transition phase, CDM Co-ordinators will have revised duties in order to comply with CDM 2015.
  • For projects where a CDM Co-ordinator has not yet been appointed and where there will be more than one contractor, a principal designer must be appointed instead.
  • On projects with no principal contractor appointed, a principal contractor must be appointed as soon as practicable if the project involves more than one contractor.
  • A principal contractor already appointed under CDM Regs 2007 will remain principal contractor for the purposes of CDM Regs 2015.

Due to the transitional arrangements, there is no real need to amend existing contracts to refer to the CDM Regs 2015 once it comes into force, but any new contracts which have not been entered into yet and work will start after 6 April 2015, should be amended to refer to the CDM Regs 2015.

CDM Co-ordinator appointment documents will no longer be required and standard design consultant appointments will need to be amended to make way for the possibility of a designer being appointed as a principal designer.The JCT will publish a supplementary amendment which will need to be incorporated into all contracts where work will start after 6 April 2015.

The RIBA Standard Conditions of Appointment do not refer expressly to CDM Regs 2007 but the schedule of services that accompany them do, so they are likely to require amendment.
Where a contract is not yet entered into but work will start before 6 April 2015, the parties may wish to add wording to the contract acknowledging that the new Regulations will come into force during the course of the project.

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These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. “Cutting through the legalese” in particular is intended to be a short and introductory feature which does not provide comprehensive guidance on the topic in question. Legal advice should always be sought.

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