The proposed Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM) came into effect on 6 April 2015.

What’s changed?

It is important to note that Directive 92/57/EEC – temporary or mobile construction sites externallink, the European law basis for CDM, has not changed – only the UK interpretation of that directive.

According to HSE, there are three main changes:

  • Principal designer: The replacement of the ‘CDM co-ordinator’ role (under CDM 2007) by ‘principal designer’
  • Client: The new regulations recognize 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 organization – organisational capability.

In addition, the definition of ‘client’ has been extended to include ‘domestic clients’ – defined as those who are having work carried out that is not as part of a business. This means that, subject to the other thresholds and exclusions, residential occupiers are now required to comply with CDM when having work done to their homes.

Transitional arrangements

HSE advises the following:

  • For projects started before 6 April 2015, where the construction phase has not yet started and the client has not yet appointed a ‘CDM co-ordinator’, the client must appoint a principal designer as soon as it is practicable.
  • If the ‘CDM co-ordinator’ has already been appointed, a principal designer must be appointed to replace the ‘CDM co-ordinator’ by 6 October 2015, unless the project comes to an end before then.

What is the response from publishers of construction contracts?

Contract publishers will need to update their contracts to reflect the changes.

JCT have produced a Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 amendment sheet externallink. It is expected that other publishers will follow suit – although some contracts don’t refer specifically to CDM, preferring to deal with it as a ‘statutory requirement’ (i.e. it is a legal necessity for which no specific procedure is included in the contract itself). It is probable that these publishers will produce separate user guidance.

What is NBS doing?

There are references to CDM throughout NBS technical content. These references fall broadly into three categories:

  1. Clauses permitting user-specified requirements for CDM (e.g. NBS Building clause A10/150: ‘CDM Coordinator’)
  2. Guidance concerning CDM (e.g. NBS Building clause A34/110: ‘Preconstruction Information’)
  3. NBS text which reflects other publications – some documents make specific reference to ‘CDM Coordinator’, or clauses of the regulations.

These can further be subdivided into text within an NBS product, and hyperlinks to reference documents in other products or websites.

All references to CDM in NBS products have now been reviewed to see which of these categories apply. Now the new regulations are in force, references will be amended in our products as soon as possible, with the next scheduled updates in July 2015. It is worth pointing out that updates to those which are linked to ‘third party’ documents (e.g. contracts) or websites may not be possible until the third party document or website itself is updated. It is also important to note that some of the HSE guidance is in ‘draft’, and published ‘subject to’ other parts of the regulations being enacted.

Recommended reading from RIBA Bookshops

For an overview of the key changes see CDM 2015: A Practical Guide for Architects and Designersexternallink published April 2015.