Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015

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The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 came in to force on 6th April 2015. All
projects whether started before this date or after will be subject to the new Regulations.

One of the key changes to the Regulations is the removal of the role of CDM Coordinator (CDMC) and
the introduction of the new role of Principal Designer (PD). The role of Principal Contractor (PC)
remains the same. The key appointments of PD and PC are no longer linked to notification of the
project but where any project has or likely to have more than one contractor appointed.

Where a project has commenced and a CDMC has been appointed then the Client must appoint a
Principal Designer (PD) as soon as practicable but no later than the 6th October 2015. Where a CDMC
remains in place up to the 6th October they will be subject to transitional duties as noted in schedule 4
of the new Regulations.

Where the project has begun and no CDM-C has been appointed, the Client must appoint a Principal
Designer as soon as practicable and until such time the Client will be deemed the PD

Who is the Principal Designer?

The Principal Designer must be a “designer”, that is to say anyone who “prepares or modifies a design”
or “arranges for, or instructs, any person under their control to do so”. The Client is responsible
for appointing a designer with “control over the pre-construction phase as Principal Designer”. Before
starting work, the designer must be satisfied that the Client is aware of Client duties under CDM 2015.

A PD must not accept an appointment in that role unless they have the “skills, knowledge and
experience and, if they are an organisation, the organisational capability” that are necessary for the
delivery of the role as described in the CDM 2015 Regulations.

The role of Principal Designer

The Principal Designer can be an organisation or an individual with sufficient knowledge, skills and
experience to carry out the role. Key responsibilities include:

  • Plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate Health & Safety in the pre-construction phase.
  • Identify, eliminate and control foreseeable risks
  • Ensure that designers carry out their duties under the Regulations and cooperate with others on
    Health & Safety matters.
  • Provide pre-construction information to other duty-holders and liaise with the Principal
    Contractor to assist with the planning, management, monitoring and co-ordination of the
    construction phase plan through the development of pre-construction and design information
  • Assist the Client to identify, obtain and collate pre-construction information
  • Prepare the Health & Safety File

What options are available?

The role of Principal Designer may be undertaken by the designer, providing that an individual or the
organisation has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to undertake the role. Where these
skills are unavailable in-house, you could engage a sub-consultant or a new member of staff with the
necessary skills to assist the organisation in the delivery of the PD role. Whether you opt to use a
sub-consultant or a member of staff to undertake part or all of the PD role, liability for delivery of the
PD role remains with the organisation appointed as PD.

How can we help?


If you want to find out more about the practical implications of CDM 2015, we are currently taking
bookings for our half-day training course, which includes a workshop, case-study and Q&A session.

The training has been developed by an experienced CDM Consultant with over 15 years’ of CDM
experience, and is designed to enable individuals and organisations to gain a clear understanding of the
likely impact of CDM 2015, particularly with regard to the delivery of the Principal Designer role.


  • £895 + VAT (up to 10 delegates)
  • £1,595 + VAT(morning and afternoon session at the same location on the same day)

For more information, or to make a booking, please call Steven Bryan on 0207 129 7075 or email


Our team have been supplying CDM Coordinators and Health & Safety specialists to the construction
and engineering sectors on a permanent and consultancy basis since 2005. We draw upon our
unrivalled market access, established professional network, industry knowledge and extensive
recruitment experience to attract the best available candidates on behalf of our clients.

Permanent placements

We will run a full recruitment campaign on your behalf and provide a shortlist of suitable candidates for
you to interview for your permanent vacancy. There are no up-front costs, as we work on a full
contingency basis, only charging a fee upon successful placement of a permanent employee.

Temporary placements

If your organisation is likely to be taking on the Principal Designer role, engaging a CDM Consultant on
a temporary basis could help to fill any gaps in organisational skills, knowledge or experience. We
supply experienced CDM specialists on fixed-term or ad-hoc basis to meet the needs of your