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CDM co-ordinators

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007

Is the CDM co-ordinator the same as the former planning supervisor?

No. Although the duties are broadly similar it requires a very different approach from the old planning supervisor. The co-ordinator is the facilitator that makes sure the project team co-operates, co-ordinates their work on health and safety and advises the client. The CDM co-ordinator needs different skills and competences to make sure these duties are met. In particular, they must advise the client on how to meet the client duties under CDM 2007, and assist them in doing so. The role of CDM co-ordinator is to provide the client with a project adviser on health and safety management, and makes sure the work is planned effectively – to assist with the appointment of competent contractors, to ensure proper co-ordination of the design process, and to prepare the health and safety file.

What are the main duties of CDM co-ordinators?

The main duties of CDM co-ordinators are to advise and assist the client in meeting their duties as a client under the Regulations, in particular the duty to:

  • appoint competent designers and contractors
  • make sure adequate arrangements are in place for managing the project
  • notify HSE about the project
  • co-ordinate design work, planning and other preparation for construction, where relevant to health and safety
  • identify and collect the pre-construction information and advise the client if surveys need to be commissioned to fill significant gaps
  • provide promptly – and in a convenient form – to those involved with the design of the structure, and to every contractor (including the principal contractor) who may be or has been appointed by the client, such parts of the pre-construction information as are relevant
  • manage the flow of health and safety information between clients, designers and contractors
  • advise the client on the suitability of the initial construction phase plan and the arrangements made to ensure welfare facilities are on site from the start
  • produce or update a relevant user-friendly health and safety file suitable for use at the end of the construction phase

What do you mean by a ‘project adviser’?

Clients are required to make sure that other members of the project team have adequate arrangements in place to ensure the health and safety of those working on the project. The CDM co-ordinator has a duty to advise and assist the client in meeting this obligation. If the CDM co-ordinator is unhappy with the arrangements made by a particular project team member, they should advise the client of their concern. The client can then insist that the problem is put right.

When should the CDM co-ordinator be appointed?

The CDM co-ordinator should be appointed as early as possible, and before initial design work or other preparations for construction work have been completed. ‘Initial design work’ includes feasibility studies to enable them to decide whether or not to proceed with the project, and any work necessary to identify the client’s requirements or possible constraints on the development. The CDM co-ordinator must be appointed early in the project because the role is crucial for the effective planning and establishment of health and safety management arrangements from the start. The CDM co-ordinator must be appointed before detailed design work begins.

Can a CDM co-ordinator be a company or an individual?

Either. For many projects, particularly smaller ones, the CDM co-ordinator appointed by the client may be an individual. For larger projects, the CDM co-ordinator is more likely to be a company/firm/partnership. In this instance, it is acceptable for the name of the CDM co-ordinator on the notification form F10 to be that of the organisation.

Can there be more than one CDM co-ordinator for a project?

There can be only one CDM co-ordinator at any one time, but this can be changed throughout the life of the project. The client has to make sure the appointment is changed or renewed, as necessary, so that there is at all times a CDM co-ordinator until the end of the construction phase.

Where there is more than one client for a project, they should agree on the appointment of the CDM co-ordinator, unless they have elected one of the clients to act as sole client under regulation 8. The sole client then appoints an individual or company to act as CDM co-ordinator and fulfil the co-ordination function described in regulations 20 and 21.

Do projects with a domestic client, and which last longer than 30 days, or 500 person days of construction work, require a CDM co-ordinator, a principal contractor, a written construction phase plan and a health and safety file?

No. This is because a domestic client is not a ‘client’ as defined by the Regulations, and Part 3 of the Regulations does not apply to projects where there is a domestic client.

Who can be a CDM co-ordinator?

Anyone can be a CDM co-ordinator provided they have the appropriate level of competence for the duties they have to perform. They will need good communication and inter-personal skills to fulfil their role. They will need to have a good understanding of the design and construction process and knowledge of health and safety. The CDM co-ordinator can be a designer, contractor or a stand-alone CDM co-ordinator. The task can be shared out and the role can be combined with another role, for example project manager, designer or principal contractor. A formal appointment in writing must be made. See also Competence.

Should the CDM co-ordinator monitor site conditions?

No. The Regulations do not require the CDM co-ordinator to assess the performance on site of the principal contractor. The overall responsibility for controlling and monitoring site health and safety standards lies with the principal contractor.

Further guidance for CDM co-ordinators

See the free download of the ACOP, HSE publication L144 (CDM co-ordinator – notifiable projects only) and related industry guidance.