Duty Holder Appointment Letters

Clients can purchase templates for Duty holder appointment letters below.

Under CDM Regulations 2015 (Reg 5) Clients must appoint in writing: Principal Contractors and Principal Designers where there is more than one contractor, or if it is reasonably foreseeable that more than one contractor will be working on a project at any time.

The appointments must be made as soon as is practicable, and, in any event, before the construction phase begins.

A principal designer is required to plan, manage and coordinate the planning and design work. Appoint them as early as possible so they can help you gather information about the project and ensure that the designers have done all they can to check that it can be built safely.

A principal contractor is required to plan, manage and coordinate the construction work. Appoint them as early as possible so they are involved in discussions with the principal designer about the work.


Getting the right people for the right job means your designers and your contractors need to have the skills, knowledge and experience to identify, reduce and manage health and safety risks. This is also the case if they are a company (known as having ‘organisational capability’ for the job). The designers and the contractors should be able to give references from previous clients for similar work and explain to you how they will achieve this.

Professional bodies can help you choose your architect and other designers. The Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) website has lists of businesses which have been assessed on their health and safety management. A contractor may be a member of a trade association.