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The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 came into force on 6th April 2015, and replaced the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.   

A summary of roles and duties under CDM 2015

CDM duty holders: *

Who are they?

Summary of role/main duties

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

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

■   other duty holders are appointed;

■   sufficient time and resources are allocated.

Make sure:

■   relevant information is prepared and provided to other duty holders;

■   the principal designer and principal contractor carry out their duties;

■   welfare facilities are provided.

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.

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.

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.

Provide information to other members of the project team to help them fulfil their duties.

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.

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 are contractors appointed by the client to coordinate the construction phase of a project where it involves more than one contractor.

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.

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;

■   cooperate with their employer, fellow workers, contractors and other duty holders.


*Organisations or individuals can carry out the role of more than one duty holder, provided they have the skills, knowledge, experience and (if an organisation) the organisational capability to carry out those roles in a way that secures health and safety.

** Principal designers are not a direct replacement for CDM co-ordinators. The range of duties they carry out is different from those undertaken by CDM co-ordinators under CDM 2007