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Talks and lectures

One-day Principal Designer Course: Tunbridge Wells, May 2020

Looking to consolidate your skills and knowledge in the Principal Designer role? Need some training to give you confidence in your skills? 

Since the Health and Safety Executive’s CDM regulations came into effect in 2015, RIBA has been offering a range of half, one and two day courses on the principal designer role. These are the only principal designer courses offered by RIBA.

This accredited course defines and provides adequate skills, knowledge and experience to a professionally-agreed standard. To show awareness and capability to deliver this role, there is an industry expectation for professionals to demonstrate attendance and knowledge attained.

Following completion, an attendance certificate will be issued as proof of participation on this course. You will also be given the opportunity to participate in an online exam, after which successful delegates will be issued an exam result certificate. This could be useful should a client, stakeholder or external body require evidence that you have the industry-standard skills, knowledge and understanding of the principal designer role. For more information please see our course factsheet.

Course content and structure

This interactive six-hour course is divided into two sessions. The morning session focuses more on practicalities of CDM regulation, whilst the afternoon session explores case studies provided by course leaders, as well as your own ongoing projects.

The morning session will include:

  • a Q&A - you can write your own questions for later discussion
  • an introduction to CDM and the important messages using case studies, key quotes and historical analogies
  • CDM and related regulations and statutes; how it has evolved from 1974, 1994, 2007, and 2015
  • a review of previous CDM methods, and the current recommendation for CDM analysis
  • skills, knowledge, experience and training, but also attitude - capability not competency
  • principles of prevention
  • information on the principal designer role and other duty holders
  • ICE CDM project strategy brief and collaborative working, facilitated by a principal designer

The afternoon session will include:

  • visual risk pathways CDM analysis documents, using case studies such as Florence, Shard, and a university project
  • temporary works and PD guidance
  • teamwork, but not unnecessary paperwork
  • exemplar project reviews format
  • an interactive workshop session, discussing your ongoing projects
  • a concluding summary and HSE’s views
  • another Q&A - your questions discussed, and further open discussions

Delegates are encouraged to bring project drawing bundles. Some projects will be selected by the course leader for group discussions, during which time significant risks will be captured so that delegates can develop further after the course.


This course is designed and developed by Paul Bussey and Tony Putsman, and will be delivered by both speakers.

Paul Bussey, AHMM
Paul Bussey is a RIBA chartered architect with over 30 years’ experience, working within both large and small practices both in the UK and abroad.

Paul is currently a technical consultant at the Stirling Prize 2015 award-winning practice, AHMM Architects. He has developed a technical expertise in all types of building-related legislation and constructional guidance. He provides CDM, principal designer, fire strategy engineering and inclusive design services, as well as quality management and project compliance services.

Paul sits on various HSE, RIBA and CIC Health and Safety expert committees, and is an IMaPS member of the Association for Project Safety. He was part of the CITB/HSE Industry Guidance Team for Designers under CDM 2015, and has authored 'CDM 2015: A Practical Guide for Architects and Designers' (RIBA Publishing).

Tony Putsman, Xenophon Project Services Limited
Tony Putsman MICE, C.Eng., AIEMA, is a qualified civil engineer and experienced project manager.

For the past 40 years, he has worked across all the major sectors of the construction industry, moving from a practical project delivery role to a training and development specialist, and is a leading advocate of team-based risk management.

Tony set up his own risk management consultancy in 2002 and is currently working with clients in the energy, rail, off-shore, house building and refurbishment sectors, promoting a strategic approach to project risk management through enhanced collaborative working. He is also co-author of 'The Practical Guide to using the CDM Regulations 2015 - Teamwork not Paperwork' (ICE Publishing).

Tony is a professional trainer and a member of the ICE Health and Safety Expert Panel. He has represented the ICE on the CIC Health and Safety Panel since January 2013; has been vice chair since July 2014, and sits on the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC).

Seminar fees

  • RIBA/CIAT members - £149+VAT 
  • Non-members - £298+VAT 

Core curriculum

1. Health, safety and wellbeing
2. Architecture for social purpose

How to book


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