8 Key Steps to understanding changes to CDM 2015

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CDM 2015 will come into force 6 April 2015 but is still awaiting parliamentary approval and therefore both the Regulations and the guidance remain subject to change. Final versions of both CDM 2015 and the related HSE guidance will be available on 6 April 2015.


The purpose of CDM 2015 is that the HSE was looking to create a more efficient and integrated approach to risk management.

So what are the key changes?

The key changes made by CDM 2015 are:

1. A new role of principal designer is created. The principal designer can be an individual or an organisation. As the principal designer, you must be a designer on the project and be in a position to have control and influence over the design. As an important member of the project team you will have the authority to influence the management of health and safety on the project. The designer will be an existing member of the design team and will have responsibility for the pre-construction phase.
2. The CDM Co-ordinator role is to be removed. Under CDM 2015, the role of the CDM Co-ordinator will be split between the principal designer, the client and the principal contractor.
3. The client is given more responsibility. Its extra duties are intended to reflect its ability to set standards for a project and to influence health and safety throughout the life of a project.
4. All of CDM 2015 will apply to projects, whether they are notifiable or not.
5. Notification requirements have been revised. Under CDM 2015, a project needs to be notified to the HSE where it is scheduled to last more than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers on site at the same time (at any point in the project), or where it exceeds 500 person days. This will mean fewer projects will require notification. Also, it has now become the client’s duty to notify, if appropriate. Notification will no longer give rise to additional duties.
6. Whereas, under CDM 2007, only notifiable projects require a CDM co-ordinator, under CDM 2015 a principal designer must be appointed whenever there is more than one contractor working on a project.
7. The duty in CDM 2007 for those appointing Dutyholders to ensure their competence is amended. The requirement in CDM 2015 is to ensure that they have the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and (where appropriate) organisational capability to fulfil the role that they are being appointed to.
8. CDM 2015 will apply to all clients ie anyone for whom a construction project is carried out and so domestic clients will now also have duties under the Regulations (although they differ from the duties on commercial clients). Domestic clients will be able to delegate their duties to a contractor or the principal designer.

If you need any advice on familiarising you or your client with the forthcoming CDM 2015 changes to the regulations, please get in touch.



On 9 January 2015, draft guidance was published for the duty holders under CDM 2015. This included enhanced transitional provisions to cover projects which are already underway on 6 April 2015, to allow CDM co-ordinators already appointed on projects to remain in post for six months, or to the end of the project, whichever is earlier.

The draft guidance and draft regulations may be subject to further change in the run up to 6 April 2015.

Find out more

Source Designing Buildings Wiki

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