Which NEBOSH course is right for you?

If you’ve decided a career in health and safety is right for you – then a NEBOSH qualification is likely to be your next step, but which one is right for you? To help shed some light on that question we’ve explored the different levels of NEBOSH training available and what each one has to offer.


NEBOSH award level courses provide delegates with an introduction into basic health and safety principles and practices that can be adapted to suit any workplace. Whilst award level courses are primarily designed to help employers improve their health, safety and environmental culture, they also offer a clear route to a range of higher level NEBOSH certificates for those who are interested in developing their knowledge and skills further.

The NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work Qualification provides a perfect introduction to health and safety in the workplace. The qualification covers the principles of health and safety rather than specific law. Its focus is on common workplace hazards and how to identify and control them. The qualification includes a practical requirement to carry out a risk assessment. No prior knowledge is required and the content is relevant wherever you work around the world.

NEBOSH Certificates

There are a number of NEBOSH certificates available to delegates including area specific specialisms such as; fire safety and construction, as well as options geared to both national and international standards and legislation.

NEBOSH certificates are widely seen as the first step towards a career in health and safety, providing a good foundation in health and safety or environmental management systems and principles to help managers, supervisors and those in health and safety with their day-to-day responsibilities.

However, the NEBOSH National General Certificate in occupational health and safety is the most popular and recognised health and safety certificate. As a level 3 qualification (equivalent to UK A-levels) it provides a broad understanding of health and safety issues within the modern workplace.

Holders of this accredited qualification are able to identify, evaluate and control a wide range of workplace hazards. The qualification encourages a pragmatic approach to managing risk and covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK.

Many employers find that the NEBOSH National General Certificate can improve the safety culture of their organisation by providing line managers and staff with a sound understanding of the principles of risk management.

NEBOSH Diploma

The NEBOSH National Diploma (Level 6) is the most popular and recognised health and safety qualification of its kind, developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

Indeed, in the UK nearly half of all advertised health and safety positions ask for applicants who hold a NEBOSH Diploma as employers increasingly see health and safety management as a strategic role demanding an appropriate professional level qualification.

This qualification assists in the development of professional competence, increasing students’ ability to help organisations make sensible and proportionate decisions in order to manage risk, meet business objectives and regulations.

Because of the demands of high-level study and time commitment, it is highly recommended that delegates have a foundation understanding of health and safety principles either gained from previous study, such as the NEBOSH National General Certificate, or from experience within the field.

How to train?

Once you’ve assessed which course is right for you, the next step is to decide how you’d like to train. There are three options available to organisations which include classroom, in-company and e-learning.

Classroom learning is considered the most effective form of learning. Attending a class requires an investment of time and effort, but the rewards are significant. The classroom environment removes learners from the distractions of everyday work so you can focus on improving your development skills.

More and more organisations are also using an in-house approach to deliver training to their colleagues. The great thing about in-company training is that it can fit around the demands of your business and is flexible in terms of where and when you choose to train.

A key advantage of e-learning is that it has a quicker delivery cycle time than traditional classroom based instruction. This is mainly due to the practical limitation of how quickly learning can be rolled out with classroom-based instruction, as the capacity to deliver is limited by the number of available classrooms and trainers.

Moreover, e-learning services provide a practical, flexible and convenient way of learning, designed to fit around you and your needs. It’s important to note however that there will always be some skills-based/competence-based subjects on which a classroom course is still the best approach.

 Chosen your course?

Hopefully you’ll now have a better understanding of the different NEBOSH courses available to you. But if you’re still un-decided on whether or not a NEBOSH qualification is right for you, why not take a look at our Where will NEBOSH take you? article to find out how investing in a NEBOSH qualification could benefit you and your business.

If you’re interested in learning more about our suite of NEBOSH courses and want additional information you can also call us on +44 (0)121 248 2233, email or visit our website.

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