CDM Regulations are being revised and here’s what you need to know

New draft regulations for the third update in the CDM regulations have been published by the Health & Safety Executive. Vertias Consulting Safety Services managing director David Cant gives a quick guide to the changes which are due to become law in April.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 last got a bit of a facelift back in – 2007. Clue’s in the name, really.

And the powers that be have decided that it’s high time for a new makeover.

That means folk in construction need to pay super-sharp attention to what’s coming up this year. Because there’s no excuse for not knowing!

What will change

A lot of the changes are all about simplification – and to be honest, this is something most of us can definitely get behind.

So, the regulations have been simplified – with a structure that follows project process.

There is a simpler Approved Code of Practice (ACoP).  Upside of this? Greater clarity should result in greater compliance across the board. Everyone’s a winner.

The CDM Co-ordinator role is being replaced with principal designer. This is a big deal and means principal designers have to be qualified in health and safety CDM guidance. The draft regulations explain that the principal designer must plan, manage and monitor the pre-construction phase and coordinate matters relating to health and safety during the pre- construction phase to ensure that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the project is carried out without risks to health or safety. The designer should already be a member of the project team, so should be able to take on health and safety issues too. We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out. But it’s an important one to keep in mind – so make sure you’ve got it stuck in before you start your next project.

Raising notification requirements. The changes mean you won’t need to notify HSE unless it’s a project lasting longer than 30 days – and with more than 20 simultaneous workers. That might actually mean there will actually be fewer projects needing all the hassle of notification.

Written health and safety plans for all construction phase projects. One step forward and one step back, I’m afraid. But before you groan at another mountain of paperwork, there is a bit of a bright side. Clearer plans mean safer workplaces for all of us – hopefully! That said, it definitely means those working with smaller projects have to put in an extra shoulder to the grindstone, filling in plans where you never had to before.

What if you’re half-way through a job already? If you’re working with a principal contracto, you just need to make sure it is up to speed with the new rules. Simple. But you’ll still need to appoint a principal designer once the new rules are implemented, although there will be a six month leeway for transition.

Your take-away points

▪   Simpler CDM Regulations and a simpler ACoP

▪   Need to appoint a PD

▪   Notification not needed for smaller and shorter projects below 30 days

▪   But you have to have written H&S plans for all projects


What do you think of the new revisions? Is there anything that’s concerning you about what to expect?