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CDM 2007 FAQs: CDM Co-ordinator Role

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 CDM 2007, in particular:

What do you mean by 'a project advisor'?

Under the CDM 2007 Regulations, 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. This means that the client empowers the CDM Co-ordinator to ensure that the arrangements put in place by the project team are sufficient in health and safety terms.

When should the CDM Co-ordinator be appointed?

The CDM Co-ordinator should be appointed as early as possible because the role is crucial for the effective planning and establishment of health and safety management arrangements from the start of the project. This should be no later than after initial design work is completed and before detailed design work begins. 'Initial design work' includes feasibility studies to enable the client 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.

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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 person. 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.

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 that they have the appropriate level of competence. 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. Adopt a system that works for your project.

Should the CDM Co-ordinator monitor site conditions?

No. CDM 2007 does 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.

However this should not be confused with the idea that the CDM-C would not be involved during the construction phase. Most projects involve design variations during construction and the CDM-C should be advised of such changes and if appropriate (i.e. if the change introduces a significant risk or otherwise creates new issues that would affect safe site operations) review the Principal Contractors adjustments to the Construction Phase Plan.

Many refurbishment projects cannot be fully designed at the award of the contract - these projects involve opening up for inspection once work has commenced, and may expose unexpected constructions which alter the design solution. The CDM-C would liaise with the designers and Principal Contractor / Contractors to review any changes to the Construction Phase Plan.

Design and Build Contracts (and other procurement routes) also often proceed to commencement of construction without being fully designed. The CDM-C involvement would reflect the development of the design for each package in the same way as approaching a traditional single stage design procurement route.

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