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appointing a principal contractor letter
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Appointing a principal contractor letter

Appointing a principal contractor letter

If you’re a construction client for a project which will involve two or more contractors, you must appoint one of them to take overall control. Use our template letter to do this.

Legal reasons

The requirement to appoint a principal contractor (PC) originates from the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM). These state that you make the appointment and put it in writing. To help you do this we’ve produced an Appointing a Principal Contractor Letter.


Why is this necessary?

The aim of the PC is to establish a leadership role to eliminate some of the hazards which would otherwise arise if there were a free-for-all on site. The PC has certain specific responsibilities as set out in CDM, including the preparation of a construction phase plan. This contractor must also implement a health and safety management system for the whole project, for example by putting in place site security and carrying out new worker and visitor inductions.

Who’s a contractor?

The need to appoint a PC applies to all projects involving more than one contractor. But be careful, your in-house staff count as one of your “contractors” when they are participating in construction work. Commonly for example, a company’s IT department might be involved in the installation of communications cabling and equipment. Another scenario is that your own staff might carry out the decorating after refurbishment work.

Note. If in-house staff are involved you might decide to appoint yourself as the PC. This is permitted, so long as your firm has the competence to oversee the work safely and you have put the appointment in writing.


What’s in the letter?

Our document is a single page letter with space for you to fill in the blanks with the appropriate information.

Since not all contractors are familiar with the PC’s duties, our letter gives a very brief summary of the requirements, plus a link to further HSE information. It goes on to confirm that a client brief and pre-construction information will be issued, or have already been provided, to the contractor.

The letter ends with a reminder that the appointee must provide you with a construction phase plan, and evidence that welfare facilities will be made available to workers before any work begins on site.


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