Designer Duties – Clause-by-clause comparison of the CDM 2015 Regulations and CDM 2007


CDM Designer duties – Comparing the changes in the CDM 2015 Regulations and CDM 2007

Download a note prepared by Mike Webster that identifies, clause-by-clause, the changes in the Designer duties in the CDM 2015 regulations compared to those in CDM 2007, so making it easier to comply.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) govern the management of health, safety and welfare when undertaking construction projects in Great Britain.  CDM 2015 replaced CDM 2007 on 6 April 2015.

The eight key changes to the CDM 2015 Regulations from CDM 2007 are:

  • The CDM 2015 Regulations have a simplified structure
  • Clients' responsibilities have been strengthened and broadened
  • The exemption for Domestic Clients has been removed
  • The role of CDM Coordinator has been removed
  • The new role of Principal Designer has been introduced to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the pre-construction (design) phase
  • Notification of the project to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been removed as a trigger point for additional duties
  • The threshold for appointing a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor is if more than one Contractor is required on a project
  • The requirement for 'competence' has been removed and replaced with 'skills, knowledge, experience and training' and 'organisational capability’

To read a brief summary of those eight key changes and what they mean in practice, click here.

To read a summary of published discussions and answers to a range of frequently asked questions click here.

A series of articles providing information on key issues regarding the CDM 2015 Principal Designer duties are collected together for ease of use in this post.

Detailed changes have been made to the clauses of the CDM Regulations themselves.  To capture these changes, I have prepared a document containing a clause-by-clause comparison of the Designer duties in CDM 2015 and CDM 2007.  This allows all of the changes to be identified, including the relatively subtle changes to the wording of the Regulations, so that you can make the necessary changes to your practice.

This is the first document in this series.  Comparisons are also available for Client duties and Principal Contractor / Contractor duties.

This document may be subject to change as more information becomes available.  If you let me have your email address I will notify you when updated versions and other relevant CDM 2015 material are available.

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About the author:

Dr Mike Webster is a chartered civil and structural engineer with over 30 years' experience including ten years' at director level.  He founded MPW R&R to provide Consulting, Forensic and Expert Witness services for Construction and Structural Safety, CDM and Risk.

Mike led a review of CDM 1994 and the independent evaluation of CDM 2007 for the Health and Safety Executive.  He reviewed the use of CDM 2007 in the construction of London 2012, and has acted as an expert witness in criminal prosecutions regarding breaches of the CDM Regulations (CDM 1994, CDM 2007 and CDM 2015).  He is the author of around 20 published reports and papers on construction health and safety and the CDM Regulations.

Mike can provide advice or training on CDM 2015, or work with you in your organisation to implement changes.  If there has been an incident on site that is heading to dispute or litigation, he would be willing to act as an expert witness.

For more information drop Mike a line at or give me a call on  07969 957471.



7 comments on “Designer Duties – Clause-by-clause comparison of the CDM 2015 Regulations and CDM 2007
  1. Thanks for the info Mike, a valuable document that will help a former CDM-C a) understand the changes better, b) give appropriate advice to my clients.
    cheers Steve

  2. Mandi Holt says:

    Thank you for this Mike. Very helpful.

  3. John Chilver says:

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for publishing this easy to to Follow guide. I notice that section 11 has not be included in the PDs duties have I missed it mentioned elsewhere. Section 11 involves the info for the PC. I do like the layout of your guide. I hope that designers take notice of safety advice when preparing the PCI.

  4. Mike Webster says:

    Hi John

    Thanks for your comments.

    I decided to focus these comparisons on the duty holders that are present in both CDM 2007 and CDM 2015 – I have covered Designer and Client duties so far, and plan to cover Contractor and Principal Contractor duties soon.

    I didn’t include Regulation 11 in the Designer comparison as the Principal Designer is a new role. However, I do plan to produce a note on Principal Designer duties at a later date.



    • John Chilver says:

      Thanks Mike,
      I understand that is clear, it is comparing the two regulations as the designers were not specifically responsible for producing any part of the plan in the old regs.
      It will be a big shock to many designers when they realise their grand designs present a risk to the builder and potential user. But will they take notice of safety advisers when they are required to redesign to reduce the risk of injury. Therefore all designers require suitable safety training, there are some big nuts to crack.

  5. Zoe Speirs says:

    Thanks Mike, an excellent format and easy read. Looking forward to the PD information.
    Best wishes

  6. Valerie Robinson says:

    Thank you for sharing this very interesting work. I look forward to hearing more.
    Great stuff Mike!

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