Commercial clients: roles and responsibilities

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015)

CDM 2015 makes a distinction between commercial clients and domestic clients. Client duties apply in full to commercial clients (for domestic clients the duties normally pass to other dutyholders).

A commercial client is any individual or organisation that carries out a construction project as part of a business. 

Commercial clients have a crucial influence over how projects are run, including the management of health and safety risks. Whatever the project size, the commercial client has contractual control, appoints designers and contractors, and determines the money, time and other resources for the project.

For all projects, commercial clients must:

For notifiable projects (where planned construction work will last longer than 30 working days and involves more than 20 workers at any one time; or where the work exceeds 500 individual worker days), commercial clients must:

Further guidance on who a commercial client is; why they are important in influencing health and safety during the procurement and management of their project; when their duties start and finish; and what skills, knowledge and experience they need to ensure that their project can be managed in a way that secures health and safety is available at: Are you a commercial client?

Updated 2022-08-10