How does Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 apply to Self Builders?

CDM for self builders

Everyone in the construction industry is obliged to comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015). These regulations set out what people involved in construction work need to do to protect themselves – and anyone the work affects – from harm. These regulations also apply to self builders although the degree to which they apply depends on the type of project.

If a self builder is building a home they will live in and it is not being constructed part of a business they are classed as a ‘domestic client’.

If the self builder is carrying out the work for a business purpose, or because they intend to sell the property on, they are not a ‘domestic client’ and the whole of CDM 2015 applies to them.

Self Build scenarios

  • The self builder does it all himself, employs no contractors, and uses the structure constructed as a home to live in afterwards. This will be a DIY project because no-one involved is ‘at work’ in the meaning of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The self builder appoints an architect or designer as Designer or Principal Designer and that person or business to take on the client duties on behalf of the self builder. In this instance the Principal Designer may also be appointed as Principal Contractor. In this case the self builder has no legal duties beyond the appointment of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor
  • The self builder employs a contractor to carry out construction work, and then appoints that contractor as Principal Contractor. In this case the self builder again has no legal duties beyond the initial appointments of Principal Designer and Principal Contractor
  • The self builder acts as their own project manager, employing individual trades at different times. In this instance the self builder steps out of the DIY arena, because they are taking control of construction work. Where a self builder controls the way in which construction work is carried out, by a person at work, they must comply with Part 4 of CDM 2015  This requirement is set out in Regulation 16 of CDM 2015. The HSE will expect self builders to demonstrate sufficient health and safety capability to meet the requirements of the regulations.  Individual contractors will be expected to advise the self builder on specialist matters within their own work activities. HSE’s expectation of a self builder in this position will be one of co-ordination and management, not of direct supervision of contractors on site. The self builder is entitled to expect contractors to plan, manage and monitor their own work in compliance with CDM 2015.

If you need health and safety advice visit or contact us at or on 01604 930380.

More Health and Safety Articles

Acorn Safety Services - National Forklift Day

What is the impact of a forklift truck accident?

Today is National Forklift Safety Day, a day that aims to raise awareness of the dangers of forklift trucks and the importance of forklift training. Kevin Burt, who joined Acorn Safety Services in April as our new Health and Safety ...


Understanding RIDDOR

Understanding RIDDOR is crucial for maintaining a safe workplace. This comprehensive guide explains the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, detailing its history, purpose, and steps to ensure compliance. Learn about your legal obligations, how to report incidents, and the importance of accurate record-keeping. If you need help understanding RIDDOR or think you have a RIDDOR case, contact Acorn Safety Services for expert assistance and support.

Cases of fire

Understanding the Different Classes of Fire

Understanding the different classes of fire is crucial for effective fire safety. This comprehensive guide covers Class A, B, C, D, Electrical, and Class F fires, detailing how to extinguish each type. From residential to industrial settings, knowing the right extinguishing methods can save lives and property. Dive into practical advice, historical context, and actionable tips to enhance your fire safety knowledge. Stay informed and prepared with Acorn Safety Services.

The team from Acorn Safety Services celebrate their success at the SME Northamptonshire Awards

Reflecting on our success at the SME Northamptonshire Awards

THE team at Acorn Safety Services was delighted to attend the SME Northamptonshire Awards earlier this month – a unique celebration of some of the brightest and best businesses in Northamptonshire. Just four years after its launch, Acorn Safety Services ...

12342 Next