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Alex Hamer
Written by Alex Hamer

Principal Designer or PD Advisor?

Which defines your role as PD on this Project?

The Principal Designer (PD) is the organisation or individual who has been formally appointed in writing by the Client to take control of the health and safety aspects of the pre-construction phase of any project involving more than one Contractor

This is a legal requirement of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and unless a Client makes this formal appointment the role automatically defaults back to them.

This may not seem to be a problem but if the Client does not have the necessary skills training and experience to perform this role they could be found in breach of the regulations and at risk of enforcement action from the HSE.

A Principal Designer Advisor (PD Advisor) is a third party consultant employed to assist the appointed Principal Designer to discharge his duties.

They are usually engaged when the PD either does not have the necessary skills, knowledge training and experience to accept the appointment or when they don’t have the resource capacity. 

They are not necessarily designers and very often are specialist construction health and safety consultants and they do not have a formal CDM appointment. 

They are usually engaged by the PD on a back to back basis based on the PD duties and are employed to discharge the PD duties in their entirety on behalf of the PD. Whatever the agreement between the two parties the Principal Designer still retains the liability.

The PD advisor must be able to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills knowledge training and experience for the particular type of project they are engaged on. Mosaic will present those Duties and Responsibilities to the user upon invitation to a Project, ensuring the user accepts those duties before adding them to the project team.

Mosaic asks the user when Creating a Project to state whether they are the PD or the PD advisor and presents the Duties accordingly.