12th Sep, 2019 Read time 2 minutes

A brief introduction to the construction design and management (CDM) Regulations 2015

The construction design and management (CDM) regulations were introduced in 1994 to provide a framework for how health and safety is considered in the design phase of construction projects.  The regulations help you to plan the work whilst evaluating and managing the projects associated risks.


Regulations altered to provide a more logical framework

The regulations were altered in 2015 to try and provide a more logical structure to the framework. This was done to make the regulations (and the prospect of following them) more attractive to small businesses.


The key stakeholders outlined within the regulations are as follows:

  • Clients
  • Designers
  • Principal Contractors
  • Contractors
  • Workers


The biggest change resulting from the publication of the new regulations was the reassignment of CDM coordinator to the new ‘principal designer’ role. In theory this move pushes health and safety into the initial design phrase of the project.

The duties of the principal designer under this new regulation include:

  • Planning and overseeing the pre-construction phase of the project
  • Making sure risks are eliminated or managed through the designs
  • Passing information to the principal contractor
  • Making sure designers comply with their duties
  • Help the client prepare pre-construction information
  • Prepare the health and safety file


For a project to comply with the 2015 CDM regulations they must have:

  • Workers with the correct knowledge, training, experience and skills to perform the job
  • Contractors who can provide appropriate supervision, instruction, and information
  • A written construction phase plan

Commercial and domestic projects that have more than one contractor involved must also have:

  • A principal designer and principal contractor
  • A formal health and safety file


You may also have to notify the HSE executive of your project if:

  • It is scheduled to last longer than 30 working days and has more than 20 workers on simultaneously at any point on the project


  • If the project exceeds 500 person days


CDM Regulations are not all that developers should consider in Health and Safety

It is worth noting that whilst complying with these regulations will help direct a construction project towards good management of health and safety, projects must comply with the other relevant health and safety requirements to ensure the safe delivery of the project to clients.

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