Changes to CDM (Construction Design and Management) Regulations

Changes to CDM (Construction Design and Management) Regulations


The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) is making changes to the 2007 CDM Regulations.
HSE’s stated objectives behind the proposed changes:

  • Maintain or improve worker protection
  • Simplify the regulatory package
  • Improve health and safety standards on small construction sites
  • Implement the Temporary or Mobile Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD) in a proportionate way
  • Discourage bureaucracy
  • Meet better regulation principles
  • Key changes
    • Replacing the CDM-C role with the Principal Designer (PD)
    • Changes to the threshold for appointment of co-ordinators
    • Changes to the threshold for notification
    • Replacing the CDM-C with a PD

The aim of changing from having a CDM-C to appointing a PD is largely driven by the desire to meet the requirement of the TMSCD which requires pre-construction co-ordination. The PD will be responsible for:

– Planning, managing and monitoring the pre-construction phase
– Ensuring that where reasonably practicable, risks are eliminated or controlled through design work
– Passing information to the Principal Contractor (PC)
– Ensuring co-operation and co-ordination
– Ensuring designers comply with their duties
– Assisting the Client in preparing the pre-construction information
– Preparing the health and safety file

Who are or who are likely to be designers?
The CDM Regulations says:

“Designer” means any person (including a client, contractor or other person referred to in these Regulations) who in the course or furtherance of a business –

a) Prepares or modifies a design; or
b) Arranges for or instructs any person under their control to do so;

relating to a structure or to a product or mechanical or electrical system intended for a particular structure, and a person is deemed to prepare a design where a design is prepared by a person under their control

Changes to the threshold for the appointment of co-ordinators
TMCSD requires the appointment of co-ordinators wherever there is more than one contractor. The consultative document aims to set out clearly as part of its proposed guidance sensible and proportionate arrangements for co-ordination of smaller projects which fall within the scope of this requirement. It goes on to say that it is expected that the PD role will be discharged by the person responsible for the design work, which may be a contractor, an architect, an engineer etc. The belief is that there should be more effective co-ordination, particularly of smaller and poorly managed projects involving significant health and safety risks.

Changes to the threshold for notification
Under the proposed changes a project is notifiable if construction work lasts longer than 30 working days AND has more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project or exceeds 500 person days. So in practice it would be possible to have a project on site for say 40 working days with the maximum number of persons on site not exceeding say 12 (max possible 480 person days) or 60 days with 8 workers (max possible 480 person days).

Because of the introduction of the ‘and 20 persons’ element to the revised notification threshold, it is likely that less projects would be notifiable under the proposed changes.

Other changes

  • Replacing the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) with guidance.
  • Replacing the explicit requirement for individual competence and CDM’s explicit requirement for corporate competence.
  • Clients duties include domestic Clients.
  • It is important to remember that these proposed changes are only proposed and therefore, details can and often do, change.


For review of current regulation requirements, see:

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