IOSH vs NEBOSH: Which is Best? 

People looking for a health and safety qualification often ask what is the difference between IOSH and NEBOSH training, and which is the best?

Both NEBOSH and IOSH are recognised for their qualifications in health and safety. Both offer courses that are tailored to different industries and job roles. Both of them are members of the OSHCR, a public register of UK-based health and safety advice consultants.

So which one is right for you?  Time, cost of training, current qualifications, future responsibilities and long term goals all play a factor when choosing between NEBOSH and IOSH. So really, it is not a case of which one is best it is more a case of which one is best for you.

Let me explain . . .

What Are the Differences Between IOSH and NEBOSH?

The main difference is that NEBOSH is an awarding body, and IOSH is a member organisation and an awarding body.

NEBOSH courses are more comprehensive in both course length and subject matter but the courses cost more. Whereas IOSH training consists of modular courses which are less expensive and take less time to complete.

Generally speaking IOSH courses are for those looking to increase their workplace efficiency, manage risks and resources but are not looking to pursue a career in health and safety. While NEBOSH courses are designed for those who are pursuing a career within health and safety and want to have a professional high level of certification.

What is IOSH?

IOSH (The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) are a not-for-profit organisation based in the UK with members worldwide. They are a professional membership organisation for health and safety professionals that aims to raise standards and regulate the profession. IOSH develops and accredits health and safety training courses.

The popular IOSH Working Safely and IOSH Managing Safely courses are perfect if your primary role is not health and safety and they apply to any industry. These courses can be taken in a classroom setting or online.

  • IOSH is suitable for non-health and safety personnel who are looking to manage risk and resources.
    You will study on a modular basis, which will allow you to get smaller qualifications more quickly so you can gain higher-level knowledge and practical skills in a shorter period of time.
  • It gives health and safety awareness to people who don't always work in health and safety roles, but who are interested in workplace safety or the welfare of others.
  • IOSH courses can help team members or managers get up to speed on health and safety basics. If you are already qualified and working as a health and safety professional, then a NEBOSH qualification would be more appropriate.
  • Generally speaking IOSH courses take less time to complete and cost less.

IOSH Membership

IOSH is the only chartered body for health and safety professionals that offers membership.

Membership is divided into the following categories:

  • Affiliate Member: You don't need to meet any requirements to become an IOSH affiliate member, you just have to pay a membership fee.
  • Associate Member (AIOSH): Anyone who has obtained an IOSH qualification can become an associate member. This membership is for people who are not health and safety personnel but whose job still requires the management of risk.
  • Technical Member (Tech IOSH): You need experience in a health and safety role to be a technical member of IOSH. It is necessary for members to periodically undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to address any skill gaps.
  • Graduate Member (Grad IOSH): This is a study and not an experience-based qualification. It is necessary for graduates to have passed the relevant degrees and must keep up to date with CPD.
  • Chartered Member (CMIOSH): This is the highest qualification for health and safety professionals. With membership requiring the completion of various qualifications, as well as a skills development portfolio (SDP) and peer review.

What is Nebosh?

NEBOSH (The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) is a charitable awarding body that has been implementing health and safety policies worldwide since its establishment in 1979. NEBOSH provides course content, exams and assignments to accredited course providers.

NEBOSH have many different courses including NEBOSH General and more industry specific courses such as NEBOSH Health and Safety Management for Construction. NEBOSH certificates are internationally recognised and courses can be taken in a classroom, or online.

  • NEBOSH is designed for professionals who want to work in health and safety.
  • If you want to study for a comprehensive qualification in Health and Safety, this is the course for you.
  • NEBOSH training courses take a longer time than IOSH and result in a higher level qualification being achieved at the end.
  • NEBOSH diplomas are degree-level and Level 6 qualification. They are more advanced than IOSH courses and NEBOSH Certificates require longer study.
  • NEBOSH does not offer membership, but a NEBOSH certification can be used to support an IOSH membership application.

Choosing Between IOSH and NEBOSH

It's important to remember the difference between NEBOSH accredited courses and IOSH accredited courses when choosing a health and safety course for yourself or your employees.

Ultimately you need to choose the one that matches your requirements the best. If you are pursuing a career in health and safety then you will need NEBOSH with IOSH membership. If you are not pursuing a career in health and safety then it is likely that IOSH is the training you require.

We can help you get the qualification that you need, whether it is the IOSH or NEBOSH. If you are unsure which you need we can talk you through the options.

Please give our team a call to speak with someone if you would like to discuss or seek advice on which is most suitable for your needs.

About the Author Sally

Sally is the lead writer at Training Course 4 U and works there as a Health & Safety training consultant. Sally has over 15 years of experience in the construction industry and health and safety training sector.

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