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What is a Principal Designer?

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into effect in April 2015 and replaced the CDM 2007. One of the key changes was the introduction of the Principal Designer role, but what exactly is a Principal Designer and when do you need to appoint one?

What is a Principal Designer (PD)?

A PD’s main responsibilities are to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety during the pre-construction phase which is when most of the design work is carried out. A PD can be an individual or an organisation appointed by the client. They are instrumental in ensuring projects are delivered safely, protecting the health and safety of all involved.

Does my project require a PD?

PD’s are required when there is more than one contractor working on a project, you can read more about other roles under CDM 2015 here. They should be appointed before any work begins on site.

So what exactly do they do?

The key responsibilities of a Principal Designer are to:

  • manage health and safety in the pre-construction phase
  • advise the client on bringing together pre-construction information and provide contractors with the information they need to carry out their roles
  • work with other project designers to eliminate health and safety risks
  • facilitate efficient communication of work between all involved in the project
  • inform the Principal Contractor of any risks which need to be managed in the construction phase

Need more information?

If you need further CDM 2015 advice or construction health and safety advice get in touch.

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