• 8 April 2015

All change for CDM 2015

As part of the UK Government’s drive to cut bureaucracy, Professor Löfstedt’s 2011 report and the need for the UK to fully implement EU Directive 92/57/EEC, some major changes have been made in relation to the management of health and safety within the construction industry.

It has been recognised that the majority of fatalities within the construction sector occur in smaller construction sites. It is with this in mind that the HSE focused on the simplification of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, so they are easier to understand by those in control of small and medium projects. HSE also introduced a structural simplification to the Regulations so that they flow in the logical sequence of a successful construction project.

Under the previous regulations, projects became notifiable to the HSE if the construction phase exceeded 30 construction days or 500 person days. The notification threshold under the new regulations has been changed to 30 construction days with more than 20 workers occupying the site simultaneously or over 500 person days. The including of the need to have more than 20 workers occupying a construction site simultaneously means that many construction projects lasting longer than 30 days will not qualify as notifiable to the HSE, unless they exceed the 500 person days. The HSE expects the reduction in notifiable projects will be as much as 50% of the number of notifiable projects under the previous regulations.

Now the new regulations are in force (as of 6 April 2015), the CDM Coordinator (CDMC) role has been replaced with that of a Principal Designer, who is a designer with control over the pre-construction phase, appointed by the Client. The need to appoint a Principal Designer will be where a project involves more than one contractor on site. It is hoped that through the removal of the CDMC role and the introduction of the Principal Designer (who has responsibilities for health and safety in the design team), that health and safety may be integrated within the project from the outset. Domestic clients will also now have duties for domestic projects, which can be transferred to the Principal Designer and/or Principal Contractor.

The new regulations remove the need to assess strict competency, which was seen as one of the elements of the old Regulations that was overly bureaucratic and replaces this with a legal obligation on the Client to ensure that the parties they appoint are able to demonstrate they have the skills, knowledge, training, experience and organisational capability (if they are an organisation as opposed to an individual).

It was recognised by HSE the that the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) associated with the old Construction Design and Management Regulations was too large, and the original proposal was to remove the ACoP and replace it with industry specific guidance. However, HSE has listened to responses to the consultation document and a slimmed down version of the ACoP, in the form of L series guidance (L153) has been retained, but industry specific guidance will also be issued.

Under the new regulations, more onus will also be placed on the Client to ensure that both the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor they appoint comply with their legal duties. It is important that all duty holders under these new Regulations are fully aware of what their responsibilities are and put in place the necessary framework in order to demonstrate compliance.

Being recognised by the APS as CDM Coordinator of the Year 2014 and with our specialist health and safety knowledge, International Workplace is able to assist in the following ways: 


  • Provide a source of competence advice in relation to meeting the needs of the new Regulations.
  • Provide independent assurance that the Principal Designer and the Principal Contractor are carrying out their duties under the new Regulations throughout the construction phase.

Principal Designers:

  • Provide a competent source of advice on health and safety information within the pre-construction information being compiled by the Client in preparation for a pending construction project.
  • Working with appointed Designers to provide information on foreseeable risks associated with the designs and making recommendations on suitable controls.

Principal Contractors/Contractors:

  • Providing assistance to Principal Contractors/Contractors with the development of Construction Phase Plan that meets the project needs.
  • Carrying out construction site inspections and audits on construction projects, against the new Regulations and industry best practice, and making recommendations on improvement opportunities.