What is NEBOSH? Idiot’s guide explains all

If you’ve ever asked this, or ever wondered exactly what is the NEBOSH diploma, or NEBOSH certificate for that matter, then this post is for you.

What is NEBOSH?

Known by its acronym, NEBOSH stands for ‘the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health’. NEBOSH doesn’t deliver health and safety training courses; instead it provides syllabuses, exams and assignments to Accredited Course Providers, such as RoSPA, who in turn deliver training courses to prepare candidates for NEBOSH qualifications.

Those working in health and safety are often required to hold the appropriate NEBOSH qualification for their job role, and for many, career progression is closely linked to enhanced NEBOSH qualifications. The qualifications are also recognised by professional membership bodies including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). This means that successful candidates can apply to use letters such as TechIOSH, GradIOSH, CMIOSH, and MIIRSM after their name – the  chart below maps the relationship between NEBOSH qualifications and IOSH Membership. Please note however that a NEBOSH qualification does not automatically equate to an IOSH membership level. For example, you must submit both your NEBOSH certificate and your CV to IOSH so that they can check that you have the qualifications and experience necessary for TechIOSH. Likewise, your NEBOSH Certificate must be dated after 2002 in order for it to be considered:

Each year over 30,000 candidates take a course that leads to a NEBOSH qualification, and courses are offered in 33 countries around the world – so if this is something that you are considering you’re not alone! NEBOSH qualifications range from introductory Health and Safety at Work Qualification to the professional safety practitioner level NEBOSH Diploma. If you’re not sure what NEBOSH qualification is right for you, this online interactive quiz which will help you choose.

What is the NEBOSH Certificate?

The NEBOSH Certificate is the UK’s most popular health and safety qualification. Because it’s so well known and highly regarded it’s ideal if you’re looking to launch a career in safety – and although it’s useful to have some prior knowledge there are no formal entry requirements.

The course itself is divided into three units, the first two are assessed by exams and the third one by a practical assessment. Once successfully completed candidates meet the academic requirements for Technical Membership of IOSH (Tech IOSH) and associate membership of the IIRSM.

For those working overseas, the increasingly popular NEBOSH International Certificate replaced UK based law with international standards and management systems.

What is the NEBOSH Diploma?

The NEBOSH Diploma is a prestigious and highly respected qualification, ultimately enabling Chartered (CMIOSH) status. Divided into four units (three assessed by exams and one by an assignment), it’s a rigorous and demanding course which never the less grows in popularity as safety professionals continue to recognise the benefits of holding such a qualification.

There are alternative routes to CMIOSH status but arguably the diploma remains the most highly regarded and transferable across job role and sector and therefore stands candidates in good stead for the future.  That said, the cost and time out of the workplace represent investments that inevitably not all workplaces will support, in which case the NVQ Level 5 may be worth considering.

What next?

RoSPA have produced a FREE NEBOSH ebook providing tips and advice for maximum success! Sign up to SafetyMatters newsletter to receive your copy.

Follow RoSPA’s brand new Twitter feed dedicated to workplace safety, @RoSPAWorkplace for all the latest NEBOSH revision guides, hints and tips!
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