What Qualifications Do You Need For A Career In Health & Safety?

Careers By Matthew Coombes

Qualifications aren’t always the be all and end all of health and safety, there’s a lot to be said for on-the-job experience, and dedication to improving safety bit by bit. But if you’re looking for a long term career in health and safety, there are some qualifications that you should consider working towards.

Managing Safely Qualifications

If you have no prior knowledge of health and safety and are looking to start a new career, a great place to start is the IOSH Managing Safely course. The course is based around a 22-hour study programme and you can choose to attend a classroom course, a virtual classroom via video conferencing software, or sign up for an e-learning course. It covers the essential requirements for managers who have health and safety responsibilities, no matter the size of the organisation or the industry they’re a part of. The course is not too long to be unapproachable, is quality assured by IOSH, and contains an appropriate amount of information for a managerial level.

NEBOSH General Certificate

The NEBOSH National General Certificate is highly regarded in the health and safety industry as being a key qualification for those with health and safety management responsibilities. The Nebosh Certificate develops your knowledge of health and safety including relevant UK law (or examples of relevant laws from around the globe, if you’re on the International General Certificate), common hazards, and best practice to help you to understand your responsibilities and what you can be doing to improve health and safety within your workplace. We have been delivering the NEBOSH General Certificate since ACT was founded in 1991, and it has been consistently updated throughout the years. Most recently, the syllabus was streamlined and updated to enable learners to complete their assessments online.

We offer this course across three different learning methods. You can learn in-person in a classroom, or virtually using video conferencing software like Zoom. Both of these options are taught across a 9-day study period. If you’re more confident following the self-study route, the General Certificate is available as an e-learning course on our custom-built platform. A member of our team will work with you to set out a learning schedule, help you stay on track, and answer any questions you might have about the syllabus.

There are also NEBOSH courses that are for specific sectors and responsibilities, such as the NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety which focuses on best practice management of fire and explosion risks, and the NEBOSH Health and Safety Management for Construction which centres around construction based risks and UK legislation such as CDM Regulations 2015.

NEBOSH Diploma

Once you have completed the NEBOSH General Certificate, you may want to consider moving on to the NEBOSH Diploma online. The NEBOSH Diploma is the highest level of health and safety qualification that we offer. The course typically takes several years to complete and successfully completing the diploma is considered by some universities as meeting the full or partial entry requirements in order to move onto a Masters degree in health and safety. A successful career in health and safety doesn’t necessarily require a NEBOSH Diploma, but it can help open the door to many of the highest ranking jobs in health and safety.

City & Guilds NVQ’s

National Vocational Qualifications are courses that you undertake that relate directly to the role that you are currently in. In some cases, employers will allow you to take on some health and safety based tasks to help you to complete an NVQ if you’re looking to progress within the company, or a new company may put you on an NVQ when you start a role with them.

NVQ’s are a great way to get credit for your skills, and to develop your health and safety knowledge on the job. You can submit work and documents that you have already completed against the assessment criteria and work through the course unit by unit. You also can’t fail an NVQ – there are no exams and you can resubmit work until it demonstrates that you are meeting the assessment criteria. They’re a great option for people that don’t get on well under exam conditions and have the motivation to develop their skills at work.

Our NVQ Level 3 Qualification is equivalent to the NEBOSH General Certificate, and the NVQ Level 5 is equivalent to the NEBOSH Diploma.


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