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Accreditation for CDM 2015 Dutyholders and Advisors

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Löfstedt report and comments

“My overall conclusion is that there is no evidence for radically altering current health and safety legislation.” However, Professor Löfstedt recommends that The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and the associated ACoP evaluation currently underway should be completed by April 2012 to ensure there is a clearer expression of duties, a reduction of bureaucracy and appropriate guidance for small projects

Who will review the ACoP in order to make duties clearer to understand, and to reduce bureaucracy in the available timescale – i.e. before April 2012? More crucially will ICS and others be formally consulted? We will be pushing for this, as we have an opportunity here to clarify and strengthen what is required by law of small and one-off clients, design consultants and contractors, particularly SMEs and those dealing with small projects on the “fringes” of Notification.

Löfstedt continues - “The recent review of the impact of CDM 2007 reported to the Construction Industry Advisory Committee in July 2011 concluded that the regulations were meeting the objectives of the 2007 changes with respect to improving clarity and the management of health and safety within the construction industry. The research did, however, note that there remain concerns… over the effectiveness of the regulations in minimising bureaucracy, bringing about integrated teams and addressing issues of competence. The requirement for competence of all duty holders seems to go further than required by the TCMSD, making explicit the general duties on employers and the self-employed under HSWA, and it appears to have led to some unintended consequences, with a proliferation of accreditation schemes and competency qualifications that are costly for industry, particularly small firms, and which have questionable benefits”. (ICS assumes the reference is to construction accreditation schemes – ed )

“The issue of competence, training and proliferation of overlapping accreditation schemes was raised by many during the evidence gathering phase of this review. Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) Forum, launched in 2009, is a welcome initiative.”

We think that the Professor is referring here to accreditation of suppliers of construction services, not individual professionals – in other words this is a general statement which does not compare apples with pears. There is no way that general accreditation in health and safety awareness and application is sufficient in itself to confer competence on an individual to act as a CDM Co-ordinator – ed

The Löfstedt review is to be welcomed as reported in earlier NewsFiles. But, once again, a major review misses a key point. Although the ACoP to CDM 2007 describes routes to competency at length, we think that the competency for CDM Co-ordinators should be stated clearly as requiring a CDM Co-ordinator to be on a register of practitioners independently assessed by their member organisation. And once again the emphasis seems to be on construction not the design and pre-construction phases.

Let’s recall Matthew 7:24-27 – unless CDM gets to grips with the industry at large – not just the big players - and promotes the understanding of the roles and responsibilities to clients, designers, small builders, in a sensible way, the application of regulations will be founded on the sands of ignorance and ambivalence to be encountered particularly in the small works sector. We hope this time that the penny drops.

ICS will comment more fully in the next NewsFile.

First published in ICS NewsFile, December 2011.

Löfstedt Report – read it here (PDF)

Government response – read it here (PDF)

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