CDM 2015: Domestic Client Guide

CDM 2015 regulations do apply to domestic clients, you are a domestic client if the work being carried out is not associated to any business-related property, for example, if you are having an extension built or work carried out on another family members house.

However, the good news is you are not expected or required to know the ins and outs of CDM 2015. In fact, we doubt you have even heard of it before researching the requirements of your project.

CDM 2015 sets out regulations and duties of all those involved in a construction project of some sort, they are there to ensure the project secures health and safety, is as risk-free as possible and that foreseeable risks are managed effectively. As you can imagine for commercial clients and big builds this is a very big deal with a lot of time and resource required.

As a contractor or designer if you are working for a domestic client you are expected to know about and comply with CDM 2015.

As a domestic client, you are not required to carry out the duties placed on commercial clients in regulations 4 (Client duties for managing projects), 6 (Notification) and 8 (General duties).

Client Duties Are Passed To The Contractor or Designer

The client duties in regulations 4 and 6 must be carried out by either the contractor or the principal contractor if your project has more than one. It is also possible for the principal designer, where there is a written agreement, to fulfill those client duties. As a domestic client, you don’t have to appoint the contractor in writing either, your duties in terms of complying with CDM 2015 automatically pass on to them.

If your project has only one contractor

Your client’s duties are transferred to the contractor and they must carry out the client’s duties as well as their own.

Extensions & Property Development

As an example, If you are extending, refurbishing or demolishing parts of your own property you may have appointed an architect or designer to create some mock ups of the proposed project. However, the construction phase may not occur straight after designs have been agreed and finalised.

If you wish, as a domestic client you have the flexibility of agreeing with the designer that they will coordinate and manage the project, rather than the duties being passed on automatically to the contractor or principal contractor. However, you must do this in writing.

What to do as a Domestic Client

With most of the duties being passed to either your contractor or designer, you may think you can sit back and relax. In the first instance, you need to ensure that the designer you have engaged with takes into account relevant legislation and risk planning in any designs produced.

It is also your responsibility to research your chosen contractor and ensure they have the relevant skills and experience to carry out the work effectively.

Do you need to notify the HSE?

As the CDM 2015 applies in full to domestic clients If the work meets the threshold for notification, you must be notifiy the HSE.

A project is notifiable if the construction work on a construction project is

  • Scheduled to last longer than 30 working days and have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project
  • Exceeds 500 person days.

If your construction project does not fall into the above criteria you will not need to notify the HSE.

How CDM 2015 Applies to Domestic Clients

Taken from CDM Guidance 2015

The below decision chart will help visualise how client duties are passed to either contractors or designers, and what classification of client you are.

CDM 2015 Client Duties

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