CDM Principal Designer

In the UK, it’s been a legal requirement that the client of any significant, non-domestic construction project (known as a “notifiable project”) must appoint someone to manage the health and safety issues. In the past, he or she was known as the CDM coordinator.

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations sets out a series of duties which the CDM coordinator applies to help ensure that all parties to a project are aware of the relevant health and safety issues, potential hazards are identified and that corresponding mitigation measures are implemented.

These rules were updated in 2015; they replaced the coordinator role with that of the Principal Designer (PD) who, along with the Principal Contractor (PC) and the client (who appoints the former two), comprise the three main roles for managing the health and safety of a construction project.

KGAL has frequently undertaken the CDM coordinator role for clients in construction management and we’ve also acted as project managers on numerous occasions. And since the PD has to have a technical knowledge of the construction industry relevant to the project, and of how health and safety is managed throughout the design process and construction itself, it makes KGAL well placed to handle the PD role - particularly in hydro projects.

Our contractor background also adds value to this key function. Although the client has overall responsibility, depending on the phase of the project all three participants have critical roles so it’s important that they have good working relationships, a shared understanding of objectives and a belief in each other’s professional integrity. To quote the Health and Safety Executive’s  own words: “(people) who communicate, cooperate and coordinate with each other”.

The scope of the role is wide and comprehensive: everything from site security and emergency evacuation procedures to the welfare conditions for site workers.

Whilst the Regulations’ requirements are universal, no two projects are the same; that’s why we at KGAL tailor our approach to the unique client requirements whilst still adhering to the standard processes.

It’s important that clients nominate a Principal Designer as early in the project schedule as possible,­ ideally even before any other contract appointments are made. But if you already have initial design work underway, or you’re close to arranging site preparation, it’s still not too late to start a conversation with us

Remember, the Regulations require a PD to be in place until the end of the construction phase; depending on the size of the project, therefore, the relationship could be lengthy. All the more reason to turn to true experts who know how to balance formality and ease; all the more reason to turn to KGAL. We’ll cover your risks by keeping you ahead of your legal obligations as a responsible client to stakeholders, supply chain employees and the general public. 

Note: The UK Cabinet Office believes the Regulations might require further amendments. Any such moves are likely to impact mostly on the housing sector but KGAL will monitor any changes closley to ensure any relevant clauses affecting our markets are understood and followed. 

The image shows one of two 93T MIVs (main inlet valves) being delivered to SSE's Foyers hydropower station in Scotland in 2014. KGAL managed the project through the design, manufacture and delivery stages and provided planning and coordination services of the site instalment and testing.