Changes under CDM 2015 - A Checklist

Changes under CDM 2015 - A Checklist
shutterstock_110397776The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) govern the management of health, safety and welfare on construction projects in the UK. CDM 2015 will replace the current Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM 2007). CDM 2015 will apply to both new and existing projects.
The checklist below sets out a summary of the principal differences between the old and new regimes.
Also available to download as a PDF from our free downloads area.


Client Duties

CDM 2015 is client focussed—the client is ultimately responsible for managing the health and safety of the construction site (CDM 2015, reg 4) as they are responsible for ensuring the principal designer prepares the health and safety file. They are also responsible for ensuring the maintenance and review of this obligation through the lifetime of the project.

Client duties under CDM 2015 in relation to managing projects are similar to 2007 duties (CDM 2007, regs 9 - 10) with the additions that the client must take reasonable steps to ensure the principal designer and contractor are compliant with their duties (CDM 2015, reg 4(6)). Election by clients is also included in client duties under regulation 4 in the 2015 Regulations.

NEW 2015 - CDM applies to domestic clients—this is new under (CDM 2015, reg 7). However, the regulations automatically pass a client’s duties to other parties, such as the contractor or principal contractor.


Under the CDM 2007 (reg 14), appointment of a principal contractor was required for notifiable projects.

NEW 2015—Under the CDM 2015 (reg 5), the client is required to appoint a principal designer as well as a principal contractor in any project where there is more than one contractor working on the project.


Under CDM 2007 (reg 4), competence was dealt with as a general duty applying to construction projects.

NEW 2015—Competence is no longer explicitly dealt with under the 2015 Regulations—clients need to ensure that appointees such as the designer and principal contractor can demonstrate competence in their roles (CDM 2015, reg 4(5)).


Co-operation was dealt with explicitly under CDM 2007 (reg 5).

NEW 2015—There is no explicit reference to co-operation in the 2015 Regulations.


Co-ordination was dealt with separately under CDM 2007 (reg 6).

NEW 2015—There is no longer a CDM co-ordinator under CDM 2015. The duty to co-ordinate is replaced in CDM 2015 under client duties, (CDM 2015, reg 4). The new role of principal designer must co-ordinate the pre-construction phase. The principal designer is the health and safety co-ordinator for the project preparation stage, which includes all design and preparation for the project. Under CDM 2015 (reg 5), the client must appoint both the principal designer and principal contractor in writing, otherwise it is assumed the client is carrying out those roles.


Under CDM 2007 (reg 21) the duty of notification lay with the CDM co-ordinator.

NEW 2015—The duty to notify now lies with the client under CDM 2015 (reg 6). Domestic and commercial projects are notifiable to the HSE under CDM 2015 if the construction work on site is scheduled to last 30 construction days with 20 or more workers working simultaneously or if the project exceeds 500 person days. CDM 2015 imposes duties on domestic project clients as well as commercial clients, although domestic client duties will normally be transferred to the principal contractor/contractor, or, if the client wishes, to the principal designer.

Construction Phase Plan

CDM 2015 (reg 4(5)) imposes the duty to ensure a construction phase plan is provided by the contractor or principal contractor on the client, whereas it was previously the duty of the contractor (CDM 2007 reg 16(a)).

Additional Duties

There are no separate and explicit additional duties in the 2015 Regulations.

Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
About the author:

Sarah specialises in non-contentious construction law. She has extensive experience advising contractors, public- and private-sector employers, consultants, developers and banks on construction projects and in relation to construction contracts and their associated documents. Sarah also has experience advising project companies and construction contractors on PFI projects in various sectors. She qualified at CMS Cameron McKenna before joining Trowers & Hamlins. She subsequently spent nearly five years in the construction & engineering team at Pinsent Masons. For three years prior to joining LexisNexis, Sarah was Commercial Legal Adviser at Wates Group Limited, a major contractor, where she provided legal advice to the business units in relation to pre- and post-contractual commercial activities.