The current CDM regulations, CDM 2007, are to be revoked. They will be replaced by CDM 2015. The new regulations are due to come into force on 6th April 2015. Only 74 days away.

What needs to happen between now and then?

If a project is underway and will still be ongoing on 6 April 2015 it can carry on as is IF it will be complete by 6 October 2015. 

If a project is underway and will still be ongoing on 6 April 2015 AND will still be ongoing 6 October 2015, it will need to change to comply with the new CDM Regulations from 6 October 2015. 

If a project does not start before 6th April 2015 it will need to comply with the new CDM Regulations from the date that it starts.

What is different in the new CDM Regulations?

  • CDM Co-ordinators are gone and replaced with principal designers
  • Clients have more to do  Principal Contractors have additional coordination duties
  • ACOP is gone and replaced with guidance
  • Threshold for notifiable projects has increased
  • Competency of duty holders is gone and replaced with skills, knowledge and experience
  • Domestic clients are included.

For a table showing the differences in more detail please click here.

What are the practical implications? Should we start changing our contracts and appointments?

  • All the standard form documents that refer to the role of CDM Co-ordinator will need to be updated.
  • Agreements appointing CDM Co-ordinator will need to be redrafted to reflect the change in terminology and more importantly the change in role.
  • Building Contract wording around the role of the Principal Contractor will need to be updated.

The extent of change will depend on who fills the role of Principal Designer. The lead consultant? Project manager? Client? Contractor? It is still possible for one party to be appointed as more than one duty holder. So it is still possible for a design and build contractor to be appointed as Principal Designer although in most cases a design and build contractor will not be in place at concept design stage. Of course it could just be the same CDM Co-ordinator in a new capacity as Principal Designer. The general view at the moment, however, is that the Architect is most likely to take on this role, which is to be filled from concept design until completion of the pre-construction phase with some additional duties relating to the health and safety file. At the end of the pre-construction phase he would pass the health and safety file to the contractor (specifically provided for in CDM 2015). 

The biggest practical change that the regulations are aiming to achieve is in the behaviour of the Client. The Client has greater responsibility - absolute obligations to perform, duty holder by default, notification duties etc. Clients who are regular developers will be more able to manage these but it is a substantial ask for new or inexperienced clients. Finding the right CDM team will be important.