What are Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015?

What are the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015?

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations were introduced in 1994, with the aim of improving the health, safety and welfare of people working in construction. The regulations have been updated since then, the current regulations being the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The regulations apply to all construction work, and include everything from new builds and refurbishments, to repair and maintenance. Every construction project needs to conform to the CDM Regulations 2015 as a legal requirement. 


Why are the CDM Regulations necessary?

Construction workers suffer from thousands of work-related accidents and illnesses every year, some of them being fatal. By following the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, construction companies can safeguard against hazards, ensuring staff and clients are protected from possible injury. 

Who is responsible for what, under the CDM Regulations?

To make sure risk is efficiently managed during construction, the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 list a number of responsibilities, for different duty holders. 


Commercial client

Anyone who has construction work carried out for them, as part of their business.

Make suitable arrangements for managing a project, including allocating sufficient time and resources.

Must appoint, in writing, a principal contractor and a principal designer.

Must issue the F10 notification to the Health and Safety Executive. (The F10 is an online form which needs to be completed for all projects that will be on site for either 30+ days, with more than 20 people on site, or 500+ man days.)

Must ensure no contractor is allowed to start work on site, until a suitable and sufficient construction phase plan is in place.

Must make sure sufficient welfare is provided by the principal contractor.

Provide the principal designer with any pre-construction information in their possession (e.g. asbestos surveys, existing drawings, ground investigation reports, facilities management rules, the existing health and safety file).


Domestic client
Anyone who has construction work carried out for them, not in connection with any business.

Must appoint, in writing, a principal contractor and a principal designer.

If they fail to appoint a principal contractor and a principal designer, the lead contractor and lead designer automatically become the principal contractor and principal designer. 

The principal contractor becomes responsible for the domestic client’s duties unless there is a written agreement for the principal designer to do so.


Principal designer

The lead designer involved in the project with control over the pre-construction phase.


Plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety, in the pre-construction phase of the project.

Identify, eliminate and control foreseeable risk. Principal designers must ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that foreseeable risks to health and safety are identified.

Ensure designers carry out their duties.

Collate and issue the pre-construction information, assess the adequacy of existing information in relation to health and safety, to identify any gaps in the information which it is necessary to fill.

Begin the health and safety file, and collate information into it throughout the project. (The health and safety file must contain relevant information about the project which should be taken into account when any construction work is carried out on the building after the current project has finished, specifically residual risk assessments relating to health and safety issues with the on-going use, cleaning and maintenance of the building.)

Handover the health and safety file to the principal contractor, if they are no longer involved in the project.


Principal contractor

The lead contractor involved in the project.


Plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety in the construction phase of the works.

Liaise with client and principal designer.

Prepare a suitable and sufficient construction phase plan (which sets out the health and safety arrangements and site rules, and must be periodically reviewed and updated) developed from the pre-construction information.

Organise co-operation between contractors and co-ordinate their work.

Ensure suitable site inductions are provided.

Ensure reasonable steps are taken to prevent unauthorised access.

Ensure welfare facilities are provided.



Anyone who prepares or modifies a design for a construction project.


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 duty holders to help them fulfil their duties.



Anyone who directly employs or engages construction workers or manages construction.


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, co-ordinate 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.



People who work for or under the control of contractors, on a construction site.


Must be consulted about matters which affect their health, safety and welfare.

Must take care of their own health and safety and others who may be affected by their actions.

Must report anything they see which is likely to endanger either their own or others’ health and safety.

Must co-operate with their employer, fellow workers, contractors and duty holders.

What can AGA Ltd do to assist you with the CDM Regulations?

Here at Andrew Goddard Associates, we can assist you if the client or principal designer lacks the skills or knowledge to carry out their duties under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. 

Our consultants will:

  • Communicate with all parties, ensuring they understand their duties under the regulations
  • Ensure that the project is managed adequately
  • Collect any surveys and reports required to anticipate hazards related to the project
  • Create the pre-construction information document
  • Prepare or assess the suitability of the construction phase health and safety plan
  • Co-ordinate the preparation of the health and safety file
  • Assess the safety of work carried out on site through site inspections 
  • Identify health and safety issues which could affect those involved in the construction.


To find out more about how our consultants can help with your project, contact us today.