CDM2015 Architects and Designer Quick Guide

Photo Credit: ScheijenWho is the Principal Designer?

Principal Designers are duty holders under CDM 2015 and appointed when there is more than one contractor. A Principal Designer can be one person or an organisation who is employed by a client.

Principal Designers have to demonstrate they have sufficient knowledge and experience for any project they take on.

What does the Principal Designer have to do?

The Principal Designer has to plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety in the pre-construction stage of a project. This will also include providing relevent information to other parties involved in the project, as well as liaising with the principal contractor to ensure that health and safety is managed in the same way during the construction stage.

What is the difference between a Designer and Principal Designer?

The duties between the two are basically the same. The Designer is usually someone who works in the same business as the Principal Designer and prepares / modifies drawings in relation to the project. The Principal Designer takes on some of the responsiblities of the previous CDM Co-ordinator which can either be outsourced or upskilled if necessary.

What is the biggest element of the Principal Designer's role?

When drawings and modifications are being made to a project, the Principal Designer must at all stages show they are identifying, eliminating or controlling risk. In addition, the Principal Designer needs to ensure that the client is aware of their duties and faciliate co-operation and co-ordination at all stages of the pre-construction phase.

Are there risk management tools that can help me to start my journey?

The HSE have published guidance and tools to help with "ALARP" (As Low as Reasonable Possible) and "SFAIRP" (So far as is reasonably practicable).

The R2P2 document ( also serves as a guidance document to demonstrate how the HSE validate their decision making. This includes risk management and risk assessment.

Both documents are well worth a read as is CDM 2015: A Practical Guide for Architects and Designers (Paul Bussey, 2015). Paul has many years experience in the field and this is reflected in his no–nonsense, straightforward book about CDM2015 for Architects/Designers.

ToolKit CS™ has a risk and hazard management tool within the software package to help any newbie get off to a good start. Customisation can also be considered to personalise the approach with further consultation. Compliance can start from £499 using CDM ToolKit CS™ Lite.

CDM 2015 Training

Ai Solutions also provide a CDM 2015 Awareness Course for as little as £399.

Call us today 01525 850 080 to find out more about how you and your business can achieve peace of mind, reduce costs and promote good practice.