Who is responsible for the Golden Thread of building safety information

May 21, 2021 | Golden Thread, Insight

Developers are required to provide a Golden Thread of information that spans the entire lifecycle of old and new facilities. But who is responsible for the Golden Thread of building safety information? We explain everything in this quick guide. 

The responsibility of your Golden Thread changes depending on whether your project is in the Design and Construction phase or the Occupational phase. Essentially the person in charge of submitting the information depends on whether tenants have moved into your building or if your building is still in development.

Need to take step back and find out what the Golden Thread is first? Click here.

We’ve previosuly outlined everything you need to know about the Golden Thread and how to create and maintain your digital record of building safety information. Clink on the button below to read our helpful article.

Alternatively, hit play on our short explainer video here…


The person responsible for the Golden Thread in the Design and Construction phase is known as the Dutyholder. This can be an individual or a legal entity, and they can hold more than one role in your building project.

Appointing the Client as the dutyholder. 

The client – the person or organisation that the project is being carried out for – can be appointed as the Golden Thread dutyholder. 

Appointing a Principal Designer as the dutyholder. 

The Principal Designer can also be appointed as the Golden Thread dutyholder. 

They are appointed by the client under Construction (Design and Management) 2015 (CDM 2015) when there is more than one contractor working on the building project to plan, manage, monitor and coordinate the pre-construction phase when most design work is carried out. The Principal Designer is in control of the pre-construction phase so could make an ideal candidate for the dutyholder. 

Appointing a Designer as the dutyholder. 

A designer can also be chosen as your Golden Thread dutyholder. This is usually a person or company who is connected to the project in the Design and Construction phase as they have prepared or modified a design for the project, making them a good candidate for the role. 

Appointing a Principal Contractor as the dutyholder. 

Your Principal Contractor can also be appointed as a dutyholder. 

This is the contractor who has been appointed by the client under CDM 2015 when there is more than one contractor working on the building project. Their responsibilities usually include planning, managing, monitoring or coordinating the construction phase, making them a suitable choice for submitting the required Golden Thread information.

Appointing a Contractor as the dutyholder. 

A contractor can also be your dutyholder for the Golden Thread information. This person or company usually controls the construction stage of your project and so would be an appropriate choice to be responsible for creating and maintaining your Golden Thread information during the Design and Construction phase of your project. 

Who is responsible for the Golden Thread during Occupation?

Accountable Person (AP)

During the Occupation phase, it’s the Accountable Person (AP) who is responsible for maintaining your Golden Thread of building information. 

They are responsible for registering existing and new occupied buildings and applying for a Building Assurance Certificate (BAC) and is required to comply with all the statutory obligations on an ongoing basis.

The AP is the dutyholder during the Occupation phase. They may be an individual, partnership or corporate body and there may be more than one Accountable Person for a building. 

Building Safety Manager (BSM)

The AP nominates a Building Safety Manager (BSM) to continue maintaining and updating the information to record the ongoing safety of the building. 

The BSM can be either an individual or organisation that must have the organisational capability and relevant skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours to support the Accountable Person in the day-to-day management of fire and structural safety in the building.

How to get started and begin creating the Golden Thread
Our ‘Operance 4-Step Golden Thread Solution’ breaks down the process of creating and maintaining the golden thread and developing a digital estate into four simple, easy to follow steps.

Step 1 – Define:

To help organisations take the first step, our Operance DX team develop your organisation information requirements. They help understand your owners, operators and occupiers in-use information needs and create a tailored set of requirements using the expected building safety bill requirements as a foundation. Contact Tom, our Digital Transformation Lead here for a chat today about your digital ambitions.

Step 2 – Curate:

Our award-winning Operance BIM team then helps curate your digital building information on both legacy and new buildings ensuring information is accurate, complete and fit for use. Contact Ian, our BIM Lead here for a chat today about BIM management, coordination and BIM Information Management.

Step 3 – Audit:

Operance O&M is the first purpose-built desktop application to define, curate, audit and maintain the golden thread in one place. It is a common data environment (CDE), O&M coordination tool and supply chain database solution in one. It provides an immutable ‘quantum ledger’, built on blockchain technology, to produce a secure lifecycle record of high-quality building safety and asset information. Contact Scott, our O&M Lead here or on 07939 808441 for a chat today about O&M software and our physical O&M Information Management and Coordination service.

Step 4 – Maintain: 

Our user-friendly Operance FM mobile application enables owners, operators and occupiers to easily search, share, update and use your building safety and asset information for simple property and facilities management. Our Smart HUG (Home User Guide) extension also enables tenants to access information in line with new building safety legislation. Contact Scott, our FM Lead here or on 07939 808441 for a chat today about FM software and our Smart HUG solution.

It’s free to upload your own BIM models and helps operatives access, search, share edit and update their information, utilising it for simple planned and preventative maintenance:

Download on Google Play 

Download on IOS App Store


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