• Embark Consultants

CDM 2015 – Know your duties as a Client?

Health & Safety and CDM regulations are perpetually changing, necessary and here to stay. Here at Embark Consulting, we believe involving and engaging with clients leads to equal commitment and ownership, whilst consistently producing worthwhile results. As a team, we passionate about ensuring our clients projects are safe by design.

CDM (Construction Design and Management) Regulations 2015 apply to ALL construction work, including domestic projects.

Commercial Client

A Commercial client is an organisation or individual for whom a construction project is carried out in connection with a business, regardless of whether the business is profitable or non profitable. Examples of commercial clients are schools, retailers and landlords.

Commercial Client Duties

Make suitable arrangements for managing a project. This includes making sure that:

· Other duty holders are appointed

· Sufficient time and resources are allocated

· Relevant information is prepared and provided to other duty holders

· The principal designer and contractor carry out their duties

· Where appropriate the project is notified to the enforcing authorities (HSE)

· A construction phase plan is in place

· Welfare Facilities are provided

· Where appropriate a Health and Safety File is prepared.

Managing Projects

During the pre-construction phase, the Client must provide information to each and every designer or contractor who has been appointed or is being considered for appointment.

The client must ensure that the [Principal] Contractor formulates a construction phase plan and that the Principal Designer prepares an appropriate Health and Safety file for the project. This must contain information relating to the project which is likely to be needed during any subsequent project, such as extension, refurbishment or demolition, to ensure the health and safety of any person in the future. Every time new or appropriate information becomes available, the Health and Safety file will be revised with appropriate relevancy and adherence.

It is the responsibility of the Client to ensure that the Health and Safety file is kept available for inspection for any person who may require to see it in order to comply with any relevant legal requirements.

It is the duty of the Client to take reasonable steps to ensure compliance amongst the Principal Designer and their professional contractual duties, set out in CDM2015. Should the Client not appoint a Principal Designer or Principal Contractor, the duties of these roles will automatically become the responsibility of the Client.

Should the Client sell or lease the property to a third party, that is if one client disposes interest in the structure to another, it is the responsibility to provide the Health and Safety file to the person acquiring the client’s interest in the structure

What is the importance of a CDM advisor?

The changes to CDM 2015 regulations were created to improve health and safety in the construction industry and placed duties on every party involved with construction projects. This has consequently placed a greater prominence on the role of the client, whose responsibility is to control the health and safety of those who might be affected by the project and ensure that the project is suitably managed.

This can be problematic when the client themselves may not have the sufficient skills, experience or knowledge that is required to carry out these duties in accordance with full CDM 2015 compliance. Therefore, it is best practice to hire external professional guidance from a CDM advisor to support the principal designer or client. Additionally, CDM 2015 holds the client criminally accountable for any breaches to regulations.  A CDM advisor is thus recommended in order to avoid heavy penalties which can include unlimited fines or even imprisonment.

How can Embark Consulting help?

Our experienced Consultants can act as Client CDM advisors, advising and assisting you in discharging your duties. Furthermore, we can also act as the Principal Designer, allowing us to give you a tailored service that not only suits your needs, but relieves any additional stress. Embark will provide you with a quality, competitive service that will enable you to confidently comply with your CDM duties and ensure you are CDM compliant.

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Our services are tailored to suit your organisation, to provide the support that really protects your business.


By working in partnership with you, we work toward a common goal of positive changes in your workplace whilst delivering legal compliance.


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Industries evolve, and practices change. To keep pace, all consultants undertake regular Continous Professional Development, ensuring that our knowledge is always up-to-date and relevant.


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Our service enables you to meet your legal responsibilities while continuing to run your business effectively.

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Life as we know it has changed and change is now more important than ever for business. 

With our support and guidance, Embark can help you navigate through red tape demands and ensure your business and workforce are kept safe and well.

Many of our clients consider us part of their team and by working closely in partnership with you, we understand your business risks and the need to make a change in greater detail. Helping you to prioritise and focus your efforts on those areas that require support the most. 

As part of your team, you can flexibly access our expertise when you need it most.  Supporting you both onsite and virtually with clear and concise advice and guidance to suit your business.

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