Introduction to this document

Principal designer assessment checklist

For construction projects involving more than one contractor, clients must appoint a principal designer. Our checklist will help you to appoint a firm or individual with the right attributes.

Competency checks

When the client of construction work starts to plan a project they must consider whether the job will involve more than one contractor. If it will, then there are two appointments they must make: a principal contractor and a principal designer (PD).

These are roles both defined in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The PD has health and safety duties during the pre-construction phase. They help to ensure that the risks of the construction work are reduced through good design, help the client to develop essential pre-construction information to pass to prospective contractors, and more.

The PD may be an organisation or an individual who has the knowledge, skills and experience to cope with the project. A large complex build will normally require an experienced firm of architects to take on the role, whereas a small refurbishment could be taken on by the contractor.

It’s legally required that you review the competency of the firm or individual you plan to appoint. You can do this by using our Principal Designer Assessment Checklist.