CDM – A Client’s Brief

It is recommended in L153 guidance to the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) that clients develop a “client’s brief” that sets out the client’s key requirements, project vision and communicates to others their “aims and aspirations” for the project.

The client brief may be a written document drafted by the client themselves or by a Principal Designer or designer/contractor following discussions with the client.  The HSE recommends that the brief sets out:

  • the main function and operational requirements of the finished project
  • how the project is expected to be managed including its health and safety risks
  • a realistic timeframe and budget
  • other relevant matters, such as establishing design direction and a single point of contact in the client’s organisation.

The brief can also be used to give others an overview of the client’s motivation for initiating the project and to explain the design direction that the client has in mind. Where warranted additional, more detailed, arrangements can be included such as:

  • The expected standards of health and safety, including safe working practices, and the means by which these standards will be maintained throughout.
  • What is expected from the design team in terms of the steps they should reasonably take to ensure their designs help manage foreseeable risks during the construction phase and when maintaining and using the building once it is built.