The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (2015 Regulations) came into force on 6 April 2015, replacing the CDM 2007.

Key changes

  1. CDM Co-ordinator abolished and a Principal Designer created

The role of CDM Co-ordinator will now be abolished and a new role of Principal Designer is being created, not to be confused with the role of Principal Contractor.  The Principal Designer must be appointed by the client in writing and is the designer with control over the pre-construction phase of the project.  His/her duties will include ensuring that the design comes together in a way that delivers a project that can be built and used safely, ensuring parties cooperate and  coordinate the handover of a safely-designed project to the Principal Contractor. He/she will be appointed from the pre-existing project team as opposed to appointing an additional consultant in order to discharge the health & safety requirements.

  1. Notification

The notification threshold has changed so going forward, HSE will need to be notified about projects exceeding 500 person days or “longer than 30 working days” with “more than 20 workers working simultaneously”. This should reduce the number of notifiable projects. The notification threshold no longer triggers additional duties. Instead, additional duties are triggered by there being reasonably foreseeable that more than one contractor will be working on a project at any  time.  This includes sub-contractors. So, for example, a Principal Contractor must be appointed where there is more than one contractor on a project as opposed to when the project is notifiable.

  1. Removal of domestic client exemption

The 2015 Regulations now apply to all “clients”, namely “any person” for whom a construction project is carried out and this means domestic clients are now subject to the 2015 Regulations. However, a client’s duties under the 2015 Regulations will fall on their Principal Designer or Principal Contractor if the client is a domestic client, and the designer in control of the pre-construction phase, and the contractor in control of the construction phase automatically become the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor respectively if the domestic client fails to make the relevant appointments.

  1. Structural simplification

The layout has been revised to try and make the 2015 Regulations simpler and more accessible.  The revised structure seeks to follow the process of a project more logically.

  1. Simplification of the Approved Code of Practice

The Approved Code of Practice has been abolished with effect from 6 April 2015 and is to be replaced by new shorter guidance. This new guidance has not yet been published.

Transitional  provisions

The 2015 Regulations are subject to certain transitional provisions which apply to construction projects that started before 6 April 2015 and continue beyond that date. Where it is reasonably foreseeable that there will be more than one contractor involved in the project:

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