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Alex Hamer
Written by Alex Hamer

Client Duties

What are a Client's Duties and Responsibilities according to CDM 2015?

The CIOB "Code of practice for project management (4th edition)", defines a Client as the 'Entity, individual or organisation commissioning and funding the Project, directly or indirectly.' 

The CDM regulations define domestic clients as '... people who have construction work carried out on their own home, or the home of a family member that is not done as part of a business, whether for profit or not.' It is the status of the person procuring the work that determines whether they are a domestic client, not the nature of the premises. For example, a Housing authority or landlord may own property, but they are not Domestic Clients.

The Client is rarely a single person, even on relatively small projects. Within a Client, there could be a number of groups and individuals with an interest in, or control over the project.

The Client must;

  • Make arrangements for, and allow sufficient time and resource to manage, Health & Safety for the project so that construction work can be carried out safely and without risk to health 
  • Arrange suitable welfare facilities are provided to comply with Schedule 2 
  • Make sure that all the above arrangements are maintained and reviewed throughout the project 
  • Provide pre-construction information in a timely manner to every designer and contractor 
  • Make sure that a Construction Phase Plan is developed BEFORE work starts on site 
  • Make sure that the Principal Designer prepares the Health and Safety File during the pre-construction phase 
  • Appoint a Principal Designer where applicable and make sure that they have the necessary Skills, Knowledge, Training & Experience (SKATE) 
  • Appoint a Principal Contractor where applicable and make sure that they have the necessary Skills, Knowledge, Training & Experience (SKATE) 
  • Make sure that the Principal Designer complies with their duties Make sure that the Principal Contractor complies with their duties 
  • Notify the project when it is required under the new notification threshold and updating this when necessary 
  • Co-operate with everyone involved in the project When providing information or instruction – make sure it is comprehensible and provide in good time 
  • Pass on the Health and Safety File if they dispose of their interest in the structure 

NOTE - Failure to appoint the Principal Designer and Principal Contractor will result in these duties defaulting to the Client

Key Appointments and Notifications

  • There MUST be a Principal Designer on EVERY job where there is more than 1 contractor no matter what the duration on site is.
  • A Health and Safety File MUST be provided on EVERY job with more than 1 contractor
  • EVERY job must have a Construction Phase Plan regardless of how many contractors are on site
  • F10 Notification to the HSE does not trigger the need for any appointments or documents – it is purely a notification

Projects must be notified when

(a) The duration on site is more than 30 days AND there will be 20 or more people on site simultaneously at any one time; OR

(b) There are more than 500 person-days

Note - This page is for guidance only. Application on a project must comply with the official HSE issue of the Regulations