Building Regulations Principal Designer – FAQs

October 13, 2023


Building Regulations Principal Designer - FAQs

How is competency demonstrated for the Building Regulations Principal Designer (BRPD) role?

The minimum competencies for the Building Regulations Principal Designer role are detailed in the PAS 8671, and include:

  • The ability to plan, manage monitor design work, and cooperate, coordinate and communicate to ensure the design work, if built, complies with building regulations.
  • The BRPD is currently expected to be part of the design team and not a third-party without any influence over design decisions.
  • The BRPD should be able to co-ordinate the design team.
  • A BRPD is not expected to be an expert in every design specialism, but they are expected to know enough about the building regulations to assess whether a building design will comply with all relevant regulations.
  • BRPDs should support others, for example, in being able to pass on necessary information to contractors and explain to them how to demonstrate that elements are built properly.

Can the contractor take on the BRPD role?

Yes, as long as they can demonstrate competence as detailed in PAS 8671, anyone can take on any duty holder role, and more than one role.

Can the BRPD role be consulted out?

The duty must always stay with the directly appointed dutyholder, but you can have a contract with others to advise you, as long as the person appointed has the relevant skills, knowledge and experience.

Can Harwood do it?

It is expected that the Lead Designer in control of the design coordination takes on the dutyholder role.

However, there is likely to be an industry requirement for third parties, such as Harwood, to take on the dutyholder role.* This can only happen if there is a Lead Designer to coordinate design and the third party are empowered to have control to discharge the duties of the BRPD, working closely alongside the Lead Designer.

*In order to remain impartial, should Harwood be providing building control services, they would not also be able to undertake the dutyholder role, or vice versa.

Who is the PAP?

The Principal Accountable Person (PAP) is ultimately the person who owns the structure and exterior of the building, or the person responsible for maintaining the common areas of the building when there is more than one Accountable Person (AP).

Who appoints the BRPD and PC?

The person commissioning the work (the client dutyholder) is responsible for appointing the BRPD.

Is a BRPD different to the experience/qualifications an existing CDM PD needs?

Yes. The functions of a CDM PD relate to Health and Safety and making sure buildings/structures are safe for people who use, clean, maintain and build (demolish) them – all structures. BRPD functions relate to the “material functions” of building regulations, the finished building and only where building regulations apply. If competent, one person or organisation can cover both dutyholder roles.

Is it possible to have a CDM PD and a BRPD on the same project?

Yes, it is possible, as long as they are competent, and they have the insurance (PII). This may become common on more complex projects, where there will be a PD for CDM working alongside a PD for Building Regulations.

Do these new roles only apply to higher-risk buildings (HRBs)?

No. From 1st October 2023, the new responsibilities apply to all construction projects where building regulations apply – where there is a submission for building regulations control – including domestic projects. A BRPD is required where there is more than one contractor, a Principal Contractor.

If you have any specific questions about how the new legislation will impact the way you work or projects that are in the pipeline, please get in touch via