Back arrowButton/calendaricon/lockicon/sponsor
Open search
Close search
Call us on0808 168 5874

CDM 2015 is the common abbreviation for the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The regulation requires competent people are appointed to specific roles and ensures they carry out very specific tasks. So, a better title may have been, Good Project Management Regulations 2015!

The aim of the regulation is to improve the overall health, safety, and welfare of those working in construction.

Although it has been in place for almost 10 years, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the regulation. Here we will seek to explain the regulation as simply as possible, including when it applies and the scope of projects covered.

CDM 2015 applies to all construction work, including domestic projects. The scope of projects defined as construction within the regulation is very broad; from a small job, such as painting a wall, to cleaning a large machine, to the development of a new building, or:

  1.  the construction, maintenance, demolition or dismantling of a structure.
  2.  the preparation for an intended structure, including site clearance.
  3.  the removal of a structure, or of any product or waste resulting from demolition.
  4. the installation, commissioning, maintenance, repair or removal services.

A structure is defined as:

“Any building, timber, masonry, metal or reinforced concrete structure, drainage works, earthworks, underground tank and fixed plant”

L153, HSE, 2015

In other words, the maintenance of fixed plant is construction work and CDM applies.

CDM 2015 places legal duties, which are enforceable by criminal law, on all involved in construction work. The regulation defines responsibilities according to specific roles, including client, designer, contractor and, where necessary, principal designer and principal contractor.

A brief description of these roles is as follows:

Client – organisations or individuals for whom a construction project is carried out

Designer – those, who as part of a business, prepare or modify designs for a building, product or system relating to construction work

Principal designers – appointed by the client in projects involving more than one contractor, can be an individual or company

Contractor – those who complete the actual construction work, can be an individual or company

Principal contractor – appointed by the client to coordinate the construction phase of a project when it involves more than one contractor

Worker - the people who work for or under the control of a contractor on a construction site

The regulation makes it clear that it is the responsibility of those procuring such works (i.e. the client) to be familiar with their and everybody else’s obligations. This is because the client is accountable for ensuring obligations are met.  

Additionally, the client (is this you?) needs to seek permission to carry out work from the HSE if the work will take 30 working days or more AND at some point will have more than 20 workers simultaneously working on the project.

Even if this doesn’t apply, the rest of the regulations do! Check out this earlier blog post from our team - 8 ways manufacturers could get caught out by the CDM Regulations 2015 | Make UK.

In addition, to the moral imperative to keep people safe, the HSE will investigate and fine those found guilty of breaching regulations. 

In 2022, an energy technology company were fined £900,000, under CDM 2015, after an employee sustained an injury to their retina injuries during construction works. More recently, in May 2023 two companies received fines totaling over £130,000 when they failed to adequately assess the risk associated with site deliveries led to life-changing injuries to a member of the public.

For confidence in managing CDM 2015 compliant projects, we’d recommend a combination of training and consultancy to ensure compliance. Make UK’s CDM implementation experts can appraise your current arrangements and make recommendations – contact us to learn more.

Additionally, training can be provided to develop confidence in your workforce.Our in-company CDM course can be tailored to your organisation and delivered via face-to-face or virtual classroom delivery - CDM Course. Construction Design & Management | Make UK | Make UK. Alternatively, you can choose to study via eLearning - CDM 2015 in Practice – E-Learning | Make UK.