• 0344 288 9000

CDM Regulations Overview

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force on 6th April 2015. They replace the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and provide a simpler format for the regulatory requirements and principles.

The key changes from the 2007 Regulations are:

  • The role of the Principal Designer has been introduced. More information about this role can be found here – The Role of the Principal Designer.
  • The role of the CDM Co-ordinator has been removed.
  • CDM 2015 also applies to domestic projects.
  • The threshold for notification of projects to the HSE has been changed. Notification by the Client is now required when the work is scheduled to last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project or exceed 500 person days.
  • Additional duties have been defined for key duty holders.
  • A Construction Phase Plan is now required for all construction projects.

The Regulations are divided into 5 parts.

Part 1 deals with matters of interpretation and application.

Part 2 covers the duties of Clients under the Regulations.

Part 3 sets out the health and safety duties and the roles of all other duty holders under the Regulations. These duties require particular appointments or particular documents which will assist with the management of health and safety, from concept to completion.

Part 4 covers the general requirements for all construction sites including the physical safeguards which need to be provided to prevent danger.

Part 5 covers issues of civil liability; the transitional provision which will apply during the period when the Regulations come into force and amendments and revocations of other legislation.

Under CDM 2015, organisations or individuals can fulfil the role of one or more duty holder(s) for a project. The different duty holders are summarised below. The table does not include all the duties, nor does it distinguish between duties that are absolute (duty holders ‘must’ comply with them), and duties that are qualified by terms such as ‘as far as practicable’ or ‘as far as reasonably practicable’ (duty holders ‘should’ comply with them).


CDM duty holders: Who are they? Summary of role/main duties

Clients are organisations or individuals for whom a construction project is carried out.

For more information please see The Role of the Client

Make suitable arrangements for managing a project. This includes making sure:

· other duty holders are appointed;

· sufficient time and resources are allocated;

· that relevant information is prepared and provided to other duty holders;

· that the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor carry out their duties;

· that welfare facilities are provided.

Domestic clients

Domestic Clients are people who have construction work carried out on their own home, or the home of a family member that is not done as part of a business, whether for profit or not.

For more information please see The Role of the Client


Domestic Clients are in scope of CDM 2015, but their duties as a Client are normally transferred to:

· the Contractor, on a single Contractor project; or;

· the Principal Contractor, on a project involving more than one Contractor.

However, the Domestic Client can choose to have a written agreement with the Principal Designer to carry out the Client duties.


Designers are those, who as part of a business, prepare or modify designs for a building, product or system relating to construction work.

For more information please see The Role of the Designer


When preparing or modifying designs, to eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during:

· construction; and

· the maintenance and use of a building once it is built.

They also need to provide information to other members of the project team to help them fulfil their duties.

Principal Designers

Principal Designers are designers appointed by the client in projects involving more than one Contractor. They can be an organisation or an individual with sufficient knowledge, experience and ability to carry out the role.

For more information please see The Role of the Principal Designer



Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase of a project. This includes:

· identifying, eliminating or controlling foreseeable risks;

· ensuring Designers carry out their duties

Prepare and provide relevant information to other duty holders.

Provide relevant information to the Principal Contractor to help them plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the construction phase.

Principal Contractors

Principal Contractors are Contractors appointed by the Client to coordinate the construction phase of a project where it involves more than one Contractor.

For more information please see The Role of the Principal Designer


Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the construction phase of a project. This includes:

· liaising with the Client and Principal Designer;

· preparing the Construction Phase Plan;

· organising cooperation between Contractors and coordinating their work.


· suitable site inductions are provided;

· reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access;

· workers are consulted and engaged in securing their health and safety; and

· welfare facilities are provided.


Contractors are those who do the actual construction work and can be either an individual or a company.

For more information please see The Role of the Contractor



Plan, manage and monitor construction work under their control so that it is carried out without risks to health and safety.

For projects involving more than one Contractor, coordinate their activities with others in the project team – in particular, comply with directions given to them by the Principal Designer or Principal Contractor.

For single-Contractor projects, prepare a Construction Phase Plan.


Workers are the people who work for or under the control of contractors on a construction site.



They must:

· be consulted about matters which affect their health, safety and welfare;

· take care of their own health and safety and others who may be affected by their actions;

· report anything they see which is likely to endanger either their own or others’ health and safety;

· co-operate with their employer, fellow workers, Contractors and other duty holders.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 are structured to:

  • Improve health and safety in the construction industry
  • Have the right people for the right job at the right time to manage the risks on site
  • Focus on effective planning and managing the risk – not the paperwork

Everyone controlling site work in any way has health and safety responsibilities. Checking that working conditions are healthy and safe before work begins and ensuring that the proposed work is not going to put others at risk, requires planning and organisation. This applies whatever the size of the site.

The CDM 2015 Regulations are about focusing attention on effective planning and management of construction projects, from design concept onwards. The aim is for health and safety considerations to be treated as a normal part of a project’s development, not an afterthought or bolt-on extra. The object of the Regulations is to reduce the risk of harm to those that have to build, use, maintain and demolish structures.


Further help

You can also contact us to speak to one of our expert construction consultants for further help in understanding your responsibilities under the Regulations and to find out about the services that we can offer to support you.