• Have you appointed a Principal Designer for all your construction projects?
  • The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) transitional arrangements end on Tuesday 6 October 2015.

This note sets out the transitional position and highlights actions required NOW

Transitional Arrangements are ending

Don’t get caught out: the transitional arrangements for the new CDM Regulations were put in place to only run for six months from 6 April 2015 to 6 October 2015:-

  • On projects commenced before 6 April 2015, where the construction phase had not yet started and the client had not yet appointed a CDM-co-ordinator, the client was required to appoint to a Principal Designer as soon as it is practicable;
  • If a CDM Co-ordinator had already been appointed, a Principal Designer must be appointed to replace the CDM Co-ordinator by 6 October 2015, unless the project comes to an end before that date;
  • In the period it takes to appoint the Principal Designer, the appointed CDM Co-ordinator should comply with the duties contained in Schedule 4 to the new CDM 2015 Regulations.

Other transitional arrangements that happened automatically were:

  • pre-construction information, construction phase plans or health and safety files provided under CDM 2007 were recognised as meeting the equivalent requirements in CDM 2015;
  • any project notified under CDM 2007 were recognised as a notification under CDM 2015;
  • a principal contractor appointed under CDM 2007 will be treated as a principal contractor under CDM 2015.

What you need to do today!

If you have any design, construction or building works which started before 6 April 2015 to which CDM 2015 applies and which will continue after 6 October 2015, you should consider the following:

  • Prepare to terminate the appointment of your CDM Co-ordinator. The HSE has proposed that the CDM Co-ordinator's role will continue until the earlier of 6 October 2015 or the end of the project.
  • Put in place the appointment of your Principal Designer by 6 October 2015. If no Principal Designer is appointed, you as the client will undertake this role (whether or not you realise this is the case).
  • Under the new simplified assessment of competency, you will need to show that individuals and organisations are capable of delivering work safely. If you have not already done so, you should review whether your designers and contractor meet these competencies.

Appointment of the Principal Designer

The Principal Designer must be appointed in writing. CDM 2015 does not specify the method by which a client may appoint a Principal Designer. If it is simply a re-appointment of your consultant, you may choose to use similar conditions of appointment as for their role as CDM Co-ordinator but with the services adjusted to take account of the different requirements under CDM 2015. In re-appointing a consultant, you should satisfy yourself that the consultant satisfies the requirement of a designer under CDM 2015 i.e. that in the course of its business it prepares or modifies design or arranges for or instructs a person under its control to do so. If the consultant cannot satisfy that requirement, you will need to consider an alternative provider.

The Association for Project Safety has produced a form of appointment for a Principal Designer (FOAPD2015) which is similar to their previous form for a CDM Co-ordinator. If using this form, the liability wording should be considered carefully.

If you don’t appoint a Principal Designer, CDM 2015 requires that you fulfil the role. The duties are set out in Regulations 11 and 12; the latter is more likely to be relevant to existing projects as it deals with the obligation to review and update the construction phase plan and the health and safety file.

HSE Guidance

Guidance on CDM 2015 from HSE was published in April 2015 and can be downloaded for free from the HSE website (reference L153 – Managing Health and Safety in Construction).

TAKE ACTION TODAY or you may become liable as the Principal Designer!