Health and Safety Qualifications in the UK

NEBOSH is the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health. For anyone interested in health and safety qualifications, this is the officially recognised industry body. They also provide risk management and environmental work related qualifications.

health & safety qualifications paperwork

Professional membership bodies recognise the NEBOSH awards. These bodies are the IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health); the IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment); and the IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety Management).

NEBOSH health and safety qualifications can lead directly to membership of one of these bodies. Employers in the public and private sectors treat membership as a sign of expertise.

The four regional governments of the UK have given their approval to NEBOSH certificates and diplomas.

Health and Safety Qualifications – Getting Started

The starting point for a health and safety qualification is the NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work award.

This basic course is an introduction to health and safety. Among those who apply are supervisors, team leaders, and anyone who wants to learn more about health and safety in the workplace.

National General Certificate

A National General Certificate is the next stage in the award process. To gain a NEBOSH certificate, it’s necessary to study a series of units.

Health and safety professionals assess the units and award pass certificates. The full award comes with the successful completion of all units.

The National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety gives a good idea of what’s involved. This course covers a number of key health and safety issues, including:

  • Health and safety legal requirements.
  • Identifying and controlling workplace hazards.
  • Applying health and safety knowledge in a practical manner.

This is the UK’s most popular health and safety qualification.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of obtaining a National General Certificate varies between providers. There are more than 400 providers who have NEBOSH approval, so it’s worth shopping around.

About the Course

Whoever the provider is, students must devote about 80 hours to direct tuition, and a further 50 hours to private study.

But it’s possible to take the course to suit individual circumstances. Providers offer distance learning, and day or evening classes. There are also block release periods and options to spread the modules over a number of weeks.

The provider of the course makes an assessment based on two written exams. These are two hours each. There’s also a two-hour practical exam at the end.

Once the course is finished, students receive the NEBOSH Level 3 Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. This certificate can lead directly to technician membership of the IOSH, and associate membership of the IIRSM.

Other Health & Safety Courses

Among the other NEBOSH courses available are the:

  • National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management
  • National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety
  • International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

Students with certificates have a further chance to study, this time for NEBOSH diplomas. After getting a NEBOSH diploma for occupational health and safety, the next step is to apply for chartered membership of the IOSH.

The diploma and IOSH membership confer professional health and safety status on all those who achieve them.

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