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CDM and the Role of the Principal Designer

05 February 2025

HSE runs two courses to help employers comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) 2015.

  • CDM and the Role of the Client
  • CDM and the Role of the Principal Designer

Both courses cover the fundamentals of the CDM 2015 regulations and the relationships between key dutyholders (Clients, Principal Designers and Principal Contractors). They both offer a very similar overview with this one giving greater focus to the role of the Principal Designer. With this in mind, you may feel that you do not need to attend both courses, and instead select the one which is more closely aligned to your role or specialism.


The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) set out legal requirements for those involved in construction projects, from concept to completion.

The principal designer (PD) is a key role in CDM 2015. They must plan, manage and monitor health and safety in the pre-construction (design) phase of a project. They must also co-ordinate the work of all the design functions and disciplines in the project team, ensuring that designers take proper account of the principles of prevention and any pre-construction information when preparing or modifying a design. Decisions taken at this point can significantly influence whether a project is delivered in a way that secures health and safety and meets the client's brief.

Learning outcomes

Delegates will be provided with information that will help them to:

  • Have an overview of CDM 2015 and where the PD role fits within it
  • Understand pre-construction information (PCI) requirements and the PD's role regarding it
  • Ensure design work in the pre-construction phase contributes to positive outcomes though knowledge and application of the principles of prevention to foreseeable health and safety risks
  • Understand the arrangements required by the PD to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the pre-construction phase with a focus on the flow of health and safety information
  • Prepare and handover the health and safety file
  • Understand the general CDM duties applicable to everyone on the project regarding appointments, cooperation, reporting and the provision of information
  • Understand the associated skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capabilities required to deliver the PD role and the challenges different contracts / project types may bring

What the course will cover

This course is designed to help delegates understand the role of the PD and the duties they are required to fulfil. It utilises the findings from recently published (2023) independent research commissioned by HSE, which give a comprehensive and up-to-date insight into how the PD role is working in practice.

Who should attend?

This course is for those classified as 'designers' under CDM 2015 and could be appointed as PD, or those who need an understanding of the duties of a PD as part of another role. Delegates who have previously attended training from HSE on the role of the PD may chose to attend as a refresher or update.


The course will be run at the HSE Science and Research Centre in the spa town of Buxton.

Buxton is in the heart of the Peak District and has good links to major roads and motorways, mainline train stations and Manchester International Airport.

Details of hotels in the Buxton area can be found at


£560 per person (includes course notes, lunch and refreshments).

Book Course

Please note that all courses must be paid for via credit card at the time of booking.

Some of our training courses can also be delivered in-company, please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Telephone: +44 (0)203 028 3704

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