CDM Changes for April 2015


In just over a month, the new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM Regs) will come into force. Having been passed in the Houses of Parliament, the new legislation will come in to play on April 6 2015, featuring a number of changes across the board focusing on the following key points:

Principal designer – The replacement of the CDM co-ordinator role (under CDM 2007) by principal designer. This means that the responsibility for coordination of the pre-construction phase – which is crucial to the management of any successful construction project – will rest with an existing member of the design team.

Client – The new Regulations recognise the influence and importance of the client as the head of the supply chain and they are best placed to set standards throughout a project.

Competence – This will be split into its component parts of skills, knowledge, training and experience, and – if it relates to an organisation – organisational capability. This will provide clarity and help the industry to both assess and demonstrate that construction project teams have the right attributes to deliver a healthy and safe project.

There are also a number of nuances that have also been added in the most recent addition of the regulations, which include:

  • Inclusion of domestic clients
  • Replacement of CDM Coordinator by a Principal Designer for the planning, managing, monitoring and coordination of pre-construction phase health and safety
  • Principal Designer and Principal Contractor will be required on all projects where there will be more than one contractor working on the project
  • Replacement of explicit requirement for duty-holder competence with need for appropriate Skills, Knowledge and Experience
  • Change to the Notification level – F10 is now only required for projects lasting more than 500 person days, or lasting more than 30 days with more than 20 workers simultaneously

Full details of the current draft guidance for the 2015 Regulations can be found here.

Guidance

To aid each of the five main duty holders as well as workers, the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) have written a number of draft guidance documents in support of the changes to the regulations. These documents set out the requirements for each stakeholder in order to ensure compliance throughout a construction project. These can be found at:

Transitional Period

Whilst the regulations come in to force on 6 April 2015, existing projects may overrun this date in some cases. Due to the changes in requirements of duty holders, this presents a number of challenges. To assist in dealing with these issues, a set of transitional arrangements have been put in to place for six months from 6 April 2015 to 6 October 2015. During this period, the following arrangements will be utilised:

  • For projects starting before 6 April 2015, where the construction phase has not yet started and the client has not yet appointed a CDM Coordinator, the client must appoint a principal designer as soon as it is practicable.
  • If the CDM Coordinator has already been appointed, a principal designer must be appointed to replace the CDM Coordinator by 6 October 2015, unless the project comes to an end before then.
  • In the period it takes to appoint the principal designer, the appointed CDM Coordinator should comply with the duties contained in Schedule 4 to the new CDM 2015 Regulations. These duties reflect the existing requirements under CDM 2007 for the CDM Coordinator rather than requiring CDM Coordinators to act as principal designers, a role for which they may not be equipped.

These industry-wide regulations are going to mean changes for practices the nation over, and inform how we approach our project management in Essex here at Munday + Cramer. Further details regarding the transitional arrangements can be found here.