CDM 2015 - The Story So Far...
The new CDM 2015 regulations came into effect on 6th April with immediate effect. With the final implementation for the regulations on 6th October 2015, Faithful+Gould’s safety services team has taken the opportunity to provide an update on how our clients have approached the regulations in order to dispel some of the confusion and to emphasise why you should obtain sound professional advice and assistance.
The original CDM 1994 regulations were updated in 2007 and then again in 2015. The regulations place statutory duties on all clients, Principal Designers (PD), Designers, Principal Contractors (PC) and Contractors. The 2015 regulations removed the role of the client’s CDM advisor (the CDM Coordinator) and brought in the new role of Principal Designer.
The 2015 regulations removed the role of the client’s CDM advisor (the CDM Coordinator) and brought in the new role of Principal Designer.
The new regulations place greater emphasis on the legal duties of the client. These include the obligation to ensure that both a PD and PC are appointed where it is foreseeable that more than one contractor will be working on the project, regardless of the project’s size, duration or risk. Clients must now ensure that the HSE is notified of their project (when the appropriate threshold is triggered); a suitable construction phase plan is produced and the management arrangements for the health and safety of the site are maintained throughout the project duration.
As with any change of regulation there have been a number of myths surrounding the new PD role. These include:
The architect will be the PD going forward and will not be able to reject a request from the client to undertake the role – This is incorrect. There is no obligation for the client to appoint any particular profession or member of the design team to the PD role
The PD must be the lead designer – This is incorrect as noted above
The role of the PD automatically defaults to the Design & Build PC – The role of PD does not automatically fall on the PC if the client fails to appoint another party as the PD
The PD does however have the following responsibilities:
They must be a member of the design team
They must be able to control/co-ordinate the health & safety aspects of the design process
They must be appointed by the client, in writing
They must have the necessary Skills, Knowledge, Experience and Training (SKET) to undertake the role (commonly and previously known as competency)
It should also be noted the new regulations allow for a PD to be assisted by a third party advisor in discharging their duties, however this does not absolve them of their legal responsibilities. Similarly, the client can also appoint an advisor to assist in discharging its duties as a “client”, but again this does not absolve the client of its legal and statutory obligations. As theses duties are distinct and separate there is no conflict of interest in these roles being undertaken by the same person, company or organisation which possesses the correct SKET.
With the 6th October deadline approaching, there is still a lot of confusion within the industry. Our safety services team can deliver the following services:
Undertake the PD role in full (provided the project is such that we can properly control and influence the design process)
Act as a PD advisor to architects or other designers who have been appointed as the PD by their clients. These designers may feel they do not have the necessary SKET to undertake the pre-construction Health & Safety aspects of the role and will therefore require assistance
Perform a standalone client CDM advisor role appointed directly by and to the client
Provide a combination of the above so creating the common CDM consultant role which encompasses both the duties of the PD and client advisor role
A number of clients have already appointed Faithful+Gould to undertake some or all of these roles. For more information and to find out how Faithful+Gould Health and Safety Services team can assist you, your projects and clients, please contact one of our regional contacts below. We have cut through the mixed and conflicting advice that others are providing to the industry in order to provide a service which meets the requirements of various procurement routes and clearly discharges the duties imposed under the CDM 2015 Regulations.
Remember, the role of the CDM Coordinator will no longer be available to clients following the 6th October 2015 (even on existing projects).
Remember, the role of the CDM Coordinator will no longer be available to clients following the 6th October 2015 (even on existing projects). The client will need to appoint a Principal Designer in writing or by default they will take on this role. Existing contracts and documentation will also need to be updated. HSE notification is no longer the main trigger point and if your project will foreseeably have more than one contractor working on site, your project will require a PD (and a PC) along with the correct advice to ensure the CDM 2015 Regulations are being applied correctly from the start of the project.