Designing for domestic clients under the CDM Regulations 2015

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CDM 2015 Domestic Projects Training


The Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force on April 6th and provide the main legal requirements for managing health, safety and welfare on construction projects throughout Great Britain. CDM 2015 replaces the current 2007 Regulations (which have been revoked) and announces many new requirements and sees the introduction of a new duty holder labelled ‘the Principal Designer’. The Principal Designer attracts the key responsibility for ensuring the pre construction period is planned and managed in such a way that secures the health, safety and welfare of others involved or affected by the project. The role of the Principal Designer begins as early in the project as possible, including concept stage when the client is considering project protocol, and procurement routes are determined. The first and absolute duty of any designer is to ensure any client for the project is aware of his duties (as a client) prior to commencing any design work. This duty now extends to a person having work carried out on their own home (when not in connection with a business).

Unlike CDM 2007 ‘domestic clients’ have now been included as duty holders under CDM 2015 to bring GB into line with the EU Directive. However, for several reasons these duties are ‘passed on’ to a Principal Designer in a written agreement or a Contractor, or Principal Contractor (if more than one contractor is involved). In addition, if a domestic client fails to make an appointment, the ‘fall back’ position is the designer in control of the pre-construction phase will be deemed to attract the legal duties of the Principal Designer. Applicable domestic client projects will now also have to be notified to the relevant enforcing authority, and as a designer will normally be the first point of contact for a client, you are ideally placed to provide the necessary advice and assistance to ensure all legal responsibilities as both client and designer under CDM 2015 are met.

The Principal Designer role duties are similar to the departing CDM Co-ordinator under the previous regulations but with a few differences (in some circumstances your organisation could find themselves attracting legal duties and responsibilities even without a written formal appointment or agreement with a client). If your organisation intends to perform this role in the future or could by default, now is the time to get your staff trained up to fulfil this pivotal legal position. Synergie Training are recognised as an important provider of construction industry training throughout Scotland.

CDM 2015 applies to all building and construction work including new build, renovation, refurbishment, extensions, conversions, demolition, dismantling, repair and maintenance and will impact on any person or organisation who is involved in any associated design work.

Who is this course intended for

This course is primarily intended for smaller design organisations currently providing planning and management services to homeowners in the UK and who intend to fulfil the role of Principal Designer on future construction projects. It is aimed at duly technically competent organisations that require supplementary training in order to provide them with the additional necessary skills and knowledge to accept such an appointment under CDM 2015 (on suitable projects for which they have an appropriate level of relevant experience). This course is ideal for design practices, engineering consultants and project management organisations who currently operate such an undertaking in Great Britain.

Key Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course delegates should:

  • Be aware of the structure and range of UK health and safety law;
  • Understand the scope and application of CDM 2015;
  • Know the potential duty holders and what is expected of them;
  • Recognise the appropriate level of advice and assistance needed to support the client on any given project;
  • Evaluate what pre construction information will be appropriately required and passed on to other relevant duty holders on any given project;
  • Recognise and apply suitable management arrangements for successful pre construction phase health and safety;
  • Be familiar with the principals of prevention hierarchy of control taken from the Management Regulations and know how they can be applied at all stages of a construction project;
  • Be familiar with appropriate design risk management techniques and how to record the significant outcomes;
  • Discern how to compile a meaningful health and safety file with the appropriate level of information for any given project;


Session 1    Opening and setting course objectives    

Introduction of trainer and delegates, complete attendance register, talk through objectives, syndicate exercises and exam. Brief safety induction and emergency arrangements.

Session 2     Structure of Health and Safety Law

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Approved Codes of Practice and guidance.
  • Prosecutions and the justice system in Scotland.

Syndicate exercise

Identification of statutory instruments applicable to a typical construction project scenario.
Session 3   Introduction to CDM Regulations 2015

Brief history, background and development of the regulations. When and how the regulations apply to a project. Definitions of official terminology used including a structure and construction work. Identification of the various duty holders and their legal responsibilities. Accidents and ill health in construction. Group discussion on trends and underlying causes.

Syndicate exercise

 Identification of main causes of fatalities and ill health on UK construction sites.

Session 4   Pre Construction Health and Safety Management

Initial meeting with clients and providing advice and assistance.

Explanation of the new requirements regarding competence, co-operation and co-ordination. Duties of the Client, Designer and Contractor for all construction projects. Requirements for pre construction information and the construction phase plan. Appointments of the Principal Designer and Principal contractor.

Requirements for the health and safety file.

The examination forms 50% of the course assessment marks available to participating delegates. Syndicate exercise work forms the other 50% and the pass rate is 70% overall with at least 50% in all individual assessments. Any delegate who fails the course assessment will receive a certificate of attendance.

The course Tutor will provide the correct answers to the questions following exam conclusion.


Duration: 1 Day

Cost: £275 + VAT


CDM 2015 Training for Architects and Design Practices.


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