Construction (Design and Management) Regulations

The revised Construction (Design and Management) Regulations affect the roles and responsibilities of companies and clients involved in construction projects across England, Scotland and Wales. Companies have had to comply with the regulations from 6th April 2015, however enforcement action is unlikely to be taken until April 6th 2016.The six-month transition period for on-going projects continuing beyond 6 October 2015 to make the necessary arrangements to comply with the new requirements has now expired and the regulations apply in full to all workplaces where construction work is taking place.

The main changes, outlined in general by the Health & Safety Executive, are as follows:

1. Significant structural simplification of the Regulations

2. Replacing the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) with targeted guidance for the five duty-holders: clients, designers, principal designers, contractors and principal contractors

3. Replacing the CDM coordinator role with the new role of ‘Principal Designer’

4. Replacing explicit requirement for individual competence with a need to have appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision to work safely. Note that the final wording of the Regulations is likely to focus upon skills, knowledge, training and experience of individual workers.

5. Remove domestic client exemption but those duties fall to contractor or Principal Contractor where more than one (in effect, this places legal obligations on house-holders who are having even minor construction work done on their homes e.g. a bathroom refurbishment)

6. HSE notification level changes:
2007: 30 days or 500 person days
2015: 30 days and more than 20 workers simultaneously

Industry guides have been produced for the five duty holders under the CDM Regulations 2015 as well as workers. The guidance answers FAQs such as ‘Who is a designer?’ and can be used to assist clients in detemining their roles under the forthcoming rules. You can find them here:

Principal Designers
Principal Contractors

The changes had been put forward by the HSE following research revealing that the construction industry views the (2007) CDM Regulations as being too bureaucratic, the  pre-construction phase was not working as well as many had hoped and the current CDM Regs did not adequately reflect the requirements of the Temporary and Mobile Construction sites directive.

How do the new regulations affect construction companies?

• Employers will need to provide information, instruction, training and supervision, with workers having their training needs assessed against the needs of the job and employers to meet the gap in skills knowledge through appropriate training

• A principal designer and principal contractor role has replaced the CDM Coordinator role. The CDM Regs have always required safety to be part of the initial planning of the project at design stage. Some designers have not taken full responsibility for this duty, leaving this to someone generally not part of the initial team, as was often the case, with the CDM Coordinator.

The HS&E Test, taken by more than 500,000 people a year, will be refreshed and updated to reflect the new CDM Regs.

Other core HS&E publications, including the  GE700 Construction Site Safety and all NCC and Site Safety Plus courses, such as the Site Safety Plus site manager safety training scheme (SMSTS) and the site supervisions safety training scheme (SSSTS), will also be updated.

What does this mean for domestic clients – homeowners?

For the first time, the revised CDM Regs apply to domestic clients (homeowners), although these duties can be done by the contractor or principal contractor, or if the client makes a specific appointment, the designer.

• All building and renovation work shown in property development programmes is covered by the revised CDM Regs, as these are likely to involve more than one contractor

• Written construction phase plans for all construction projects and a principal designer and principal contractor appointed when there is more than one contractor on a project.

The full responsibilities of each key duty-holder, as defined by the regulations, is explained in CITB’s Industry Guidance documents which are linked above.