Construction Design Management 2015 – are we finally doing ‘CDM Differently’?

Tony Putsman, renowned health & safety expert and ICE representative on CONIAC, discusses the new ‘CDM 20-20 vision -changing the culture’ report following its launch this week.

Does the construction industry understand the CDM Regulations in their entirety?
Does the construction industry understand the CDM Regulations in their entirety?
  • Updated: 28 April, 2021
  • Author: Tony Putsman CEng, MICE, ICE Health & Safety Registered (Advanced)

Since 2015, ICE has been heavily involved with the CONIAC (Construction Industry Advisory Council) Keeping Pace with Change Working Group, leading the production of two reports relating to Construction Design & Management (CDM).

The CDM challenge

The first report ‘CDM 2015 – from compliance to consultation and collaboration’ (2019) set out to demonstrate how the professional institutions have taken on the challenge from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to enable their members to develop the skills, knowledge and experience to discharge their legal duties effectively. It included accounts from ICE, the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The report included case studies from early adopters, including three clients who had deployed the strategic approach learned from their (ICE) training courses - Network Rail, InterGen and Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

This approach was presented at the Construction Industry Advisory Network (CONIAN), event in July 2019. CONIAN is an advisory network established by the HSE to help work with the construction industry to improve workplace safety.

As a result, HSE subsequently invited the network’s suggestions on how to clarify those aspects of CDM 2015 that attendees on training courses found challenging.

Requirements of the regulations

It was decided that illustrating how the requirements of the Regulations could be satisfied in differing ways depending on the nature of the project would be more productive than suggesting changes to the wording of the regulations.

The latest report ‘CDM20-20 vision-changing the culture’ sets out the management arrangements for a range of projects, from small domestic building schemes to major infrastructure programmes, which are practical and CDM compliant.

The report also addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about the regulations. The strategic CDM approach promoted in this report aligns well with the philosophy of other initiatives such as Project 13 and the Construction Playbook.


Published this week by the Construction Industry Council (CIC), ICE will continue to work with the HSE, fellow institutions and influential individuals to promote the philosophy and resources in the report across all sectors of the construction industry throughout 2021.

CONIAC recommends all ICE members and individuals with a role in the effective management of construction projects read this report. Feedback to the CONIAN working groups is welcomed by e-mailing [email protected]

* CDM Differently was the name (influenced by the Safety Differently movement) chosen back in 2014 to describe our practical, non-legalistic approach to putting CDM into effect.

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