Construction Design Management (CDM)

Construction Design Management (CDM)


New CDM Regulations (April 2015)

CDM regulations changed in April 2015 placing more responsibility on the Client.  In many case the school is the client.  The client must be named and must appoint a Principal Designer and Principal Contractor if there is more than one contractor.  The Client has a number of legal duties that they must perform.  All construction work must have a written Construction Phase Safety Plan.  There is a free app to create plans for smaller schemes on the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) website.

H&S Accountability

Overall accountability for health and safety lies with the employer of the members of staff in the school. However day-to-day running of the school including responsibility for the health and safety of staff and pupils is delegated to the head teacher and school management team.

The Employer

Who the employer is will vary according to the type of school. This can be a local authority, board of governors, an academy trust, a charity, company or partnership.

Head Teacher

Head teachers and the school management team, in consultations with governors, have considerable autonomy in the day-to-day running of their schools. It is important that head teachers exercise this autonomy in line with their employer’s policies, procedures and standards. In many cases this will be the local authority

Business Manager

In some schools the business manager, business leader or bursar takes the lead for health and safety on site. They often provide the focal point for the school's health and safety management arrangements. Their school wide roles may include:

  • management and monitoring of purchasing and contracting
  • procedures to ensure risks are effectively managed
  • advising contractors of site specific risks and overseeing their activities on site
  • ensuring staff and visitors are aware of the on-site procedures and the precautions to follow
  • accident and incident reporting
  • implementation, monitoring and review of training procedures
  • preparation of reports and returns for the school leadership team

N.B. The HSE has the power to prosecute any individual or organisation involved in any safety related incident. They will look to prosecute individuals if they have behaved negligently.

Advice and Support

School Building Notification

  • All schools who use Council land or buildings need to notify the Council before any building works/building alterations are undertaken on their campus
  • At the point of notification, you will receive free guidance and support to help ensure your project is planned and managed safely


  • The Council will shortly publish a short online training course to take you through the new CDM regulations.  This will help to ensure that you personally and your school are protected from prosecution and fines. A news item will inform school once the CDM eLearning course has been published.

To access the training, you must first create an account with the Council's 
Learn and Develop with Bradford site.


  • Client Services offers free workshops to help school staff and governors plan and manage construction projects. This aims to help you understand the construction process, avoid prosecution & fines, avoid unnecessary risks and avoid wasting money.


In order to support schools the Council has created guidance documents and checklists to help plan and manage construction safely.


Accountability and H&S Failings

HSE clarification of accountability and what happens when things go wrong

School Building Notification

Required by all schools who use land or buildings which belong to the Council

CDM Letter to all Head Teachers

Outlines school responsibilities regarding the new regulations

CDM Checklist

A simple checklist with guidance on how to manage CDM

Managing Building Contractors

Advice and templates for managing building work on school sites

Safeguarding on Building Projects    

Advice on safeguarding issues during construction work

HSE CDM guidance for Clients

Health & Safety Executive guidance for Clients

School Building Project Advice

Key messages from Client Services on managing building projects


Facilities Management Service Level Agreement for regular maintenance



Craig Blackwell (CDM Manager) tel: 07582101859 or email:


The HSE Website has more detailed guidance and advice.

Page owned by Fatima Greenwood, last updated on 28/06/2024. This page has been viewed 16,230 times.