CDM Regulations 2015—the role of the client
Produced in partnership with Gowling WLG
CDM Regulations 2015—the role of the client

The following Construction guidance note Produced in partnership with Gowling WLG provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • CDM Regulations 2015—the role of the client
  • Are you a client?
  • Are you the only client?
  • Client brief
  • General duties
  • Client duties for all projects
  • Additional duties

The client must take a central role throughout a construction project. The client will be driving the project and will normally be responsible for allocating budgets, setting timetables and exerting considerable influence over contractors and the other participants in the project. These factors are integral to the proper control of risk during construction and in the future.

The client’s central role in risk management is recognised by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (the ‘Regulations’) and is reflected in the related Construction Industry Advisory Committee document CONIAC Industry Guidance for Clients (the ‘CONIAC Guidance’).

Despite the client’s central role, it will typically have limited knowledge about how to manage health and safety on construction projects. In most cases, clients will appoint and be supported by a team of specialist advisors who will support it in complying with the Regulations, this team will, in most cases, consist of a principal designer, principal contractor, contractor and designer. Collectively, these are known, under the Regulations, as the ‘duty holders’. If the client fails to appoint a principal contractor or a principal designer (in the case of projects with more than one contractor) the client must fulfil those duties as well as their own.

Are you a client?

One of the fundamental reasons for the review and replacement of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations