Principal Designer Services (CDM)

On the 6th April 2015, The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) replaced CDM 2007. The regulations govern the management of health, safety and welfare for construction projects.

The concept of the new regulations is to bring health and safety design management for construction and future maintenance into the design team which will be the prime responsibility of the Principal Designer. 


The Principal Designer must carry out the majority of the former CDM Coordinator functions including the gathering and dissemination of Pre-construction Information and development/issue of the Health and Safety File.


CollectiveCM have vast experience of discharging the duties of first the Planning Supervisor role under CDM 1994, followed by the CDM Coordinator role under CDM 2007.  We can continue to support Clients with their duties and assist designers who will discharge the new role of Principal Designer under the regulations.


Our Client CDM Consultant service includes advice on ensuring contractors and designers have adequate skills, knowledge, experience, training and organisational capability, providing advice and assistance with ensuring the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor are undertaking their duties effectively by means of Construction Phase Plan reviews, design risk reviews and site safety inspections.


Our CDM Consultant service to Principal Designers includes support in pulling pre-construction information together and ensuring it is disseminated to relevant parties, assistance on the design risk management process using the elimination, reduce and control model, general construction health and safety advice for the duration of a project and development/issue of the Health and Safety File to the Client at the end of the project.

Over the last few years CollectiveCM have acted as CDM Coordinator for a variety of Clients and we have the knowledge, experience, skills and resources to assist the various duty holders under the newly introduced regulations.


Below is a summary of the key requirements and duties within the regulations.


The Role of the Client


Clients are to make suitable arrangements for managing a project and maintaining and reviewing them for the project duration, so it is carried out in a way that manages health and safety risks. For projects involving more than one Contractor, these regulations require the Client to appoint a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor and to make sure they carry out their duties.


The Client must ensure that these arrangements are maintained and reviewed throughout the project. The Client must also ensure that before the construction phase begins, a construction phase plan is drawn up by the Contractor if there is only one Contractor, or by the Principal Contractor if more than one Contractor is involved.


The Client must take reasonable steps to ensure that the Principal Designer complies with all of the Principal Designer duties in the regulations and the Principal Contractor complies with all other Principal Contractor duties in the regulations.


Appointment of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor


Where there is more than one Contractor, or if it is reasonably foreseeable, that more than one contractor will be working on a project, the Client must appoint in writing:


A designer with control over the pre-construction phase as Principal Designer; and

A contractor as Principal Contractor.


The appointments must be made as soon as is practicable, and in any event, before the construction phase begins. If the Client fails to appoint a Principal Designer, the Client must fulfil the duties of the Principal Designer.


When is a Project Notifiable?


Regulation 6 of CDM 2015 sets out the duty that a Client has to notify the relevant enforcing authority of certain construction projects. A project is notifiable if the construction work on site is scheduled to last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project or it exceeds 500 person days. Where a project is notifiable, the Client must give notice in writing to the Executive as soon as is practicable before the construction phase begins. The Client can request someone else do this on their behalf.


Roles of the Principal Designer


The principal designer is responsible for planning, managing and monitor the co-ordination of the pre-construction phase, including any preparatory work carried out for the project.


This includes:

Assisting the Client in identifying, obtaining and collating the pre-construction information.

Providing pre-construction information to designers, Principal Contractor and contractors.

Ensuring that designers comply with their duties and co-operate with each other.

Liaising with the Principal Contractor for the duration of their appointment.

Preparing the Health and Safety File.


Role of the Principal Contractor


The Principal Contractor is a key duty holder who is responsible for managing health and safety on the construction site. The role includes planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating the construction phase so that health and safety risks are controlled.


Key actions include:

Planning: preparing a construction phase plan that ensures the work is carried out without risk to health or safety.

Managing: implementing the plan, including facilitating co-operation and co-ordination between contractors

Monitoring: reviewing, revising and refining the plan and checking work is being carried out safely and without risks to health.

Securing the site: taking steps to prevent unauthorised access to the site by using fencing and other controls

Providing welfare facilities: making sure that facilities are provided throughout the construction phase.

Providing site inductions: giving workers, visitors and others information about risks and rules that are relevant to the site work and their work.

Liaising on design: discussing with the Principal Designer any design or change to a design.



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