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Join the Principal Designer Register

The RIBA Principal Designer Register allows individual RIBA Chartered Members in the UK to demonstrate that they meet the competence criteria to serve as principal designers.

The RIBA Principal Designer competence criteria covers the competences necessary to perform the principal designer role effectively.

Registrants will have demonstrated knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours to support the dutyholder role under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and the new principal designer role under the amended Building Regulations, RIBA is naturally concerned to support its members to acquire, attest and maintain their competence to perform the role’s duties.

RIBA is confident that architects can meet the competences of PAS 8671 and the RIBA Principal Designer Register has been established to support clients in respect of their duty to take all reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that they are appointing a competent principal designer.

A designer intending on carrying out the principal designer role may choose to demonstrate their competence via an alternative method, but the register is the approach that RIBA are taking to support Chartered Members in proving their competence as a third party certification.

For those interested in developing their knowledge in the subject area, the RIBA Academy offers a Principal Designer Course. For members wishing to apply to become a principal designer they can begin their application process.

For further information about the course, application and assessment process, please have a look at our Principal Designer Handbook.

Domestic Application Fee is £360 + VAT

Domestic Annual Register Fee is £120 + VAT

General and Higher-Risk Building Application Fee is £420 + VAT

General and Higher-Risk Building Annual Register Fee is £360 + VAT

View the current Principal Designer Register list.

Related RIBA resources

Illustration by Natalie Gall from RIBA Health and Safety Guide

Using a Principal Designer

Under the CDM Regulations and the Building Regulations clients have a statutory duty to appoint a principal designer.

A Principal Designer can be an organisation or individual who is appointed by the client (commercial or domestic) to take the lead in planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating health and safety and building regulations' compliance during the design of a project.

Your architect will explain the requirements of your duties, specific to your project.

Illustration by Natalie Gall from RIBA Health and Safety Guide

How to Become a Principal Designer Register Examiner

RIBA recognises that the register must be trustworthy for its stakeholders.

Construction clients who rely on the register to assure them of an individual’s competence must be confident that its assessment criteria are accurate and sufficiently high, the assessment process is sufficiently robust and consistent, and both keep up with change.

We are recruiting a team of examiners to support an informed and impartial process, which includes written-submission reviews and interviews. Currently, it is a requirement that all examiners are RIBA Members.

The skills, knowledge and experience that will make for a successful assessor, include (but not essential for all):

  • significant experience of coordinating health and safety and building regulations for compliance.
  • understanding of the new building safety regulatory regime.
  • experience in mentoring, teaching or assessing individuals.

If you think you may meet these criteria, please do not hesitate to contact us at

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