Choosing a health and safety course

General vs Construction: Which NEBOSH Certificate is right for you?

19th September 2023

The first choice for many looking to study a health and safety qualification is a NEBOSH Certificate. These are internationally recognised, A-level equivalent health and safety qualifications designed by NEBOSH, and are one of the most effective ways to acquire globally relevant health and safety knowledge and skills. A range of NEBOSH Certificates are available, with the two most popular choices being the NEBOSH General Certificate and the NEBOSH Construction Certificate. In this blog post we’ll look at both of these courses in detail and compare them, giving you all the information needed to select the Certificate that’s best for you.

What is NEBOSH?

NEBOSH, or the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health, is a globally recognised health and safety organisation which designs health and safety qualifications such as the NEBOSH Certificates and NEBOSH Diploma. Since the organisation was founded in 1979, over 400,000 people have studied NEBOSH qualifications. Their courses are internationally recognised and based on the highest of international safety standards, making them an excellent choice for any individuals looking to further their skills or career with a health and safety qualification. Additionally, due to their quality and recognition, many employers require NEBOSH qualifications from individuals applying to health and safety positions, making them crucial for pursuing a career in the health and safety industry.

NEBOSH Training with Phoenix

Phoenix is a gold standard provider of NEBOSH courses; we offer a range of their qualifications and training from the NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Health and Safety Leadership Excellence to the NEBOSH National Diploma. This includes a range of NEBOSH Certificates which each offer specialised content for a particular area, or a more generalised foundation for health and safety with the General Certificate. The two most popular certificates are the NEBOSH Construction and NEBOSH General Certificate, both of which provide a perfect stepping stone on the path to studying the NEBOSH Diploma.

NEBOSH General Certificate

As the name implies, the NEBOSH General Certificate is NEBOSH’s generalised health and safety certificate. It covers everything a person in a position with health and safety responsibilities needs to know. This includes how to conduct risk assessments, develop basic safe systems of work and how to positively influence health and safety culture in an organisation. The course is taught over 9 days in the classroom or virtual classroom, split over two weeks, in addition to independent study time outside of the classroom, which translates to approximately 110 hours of E-learning. Assessment consists of two exams. The first is an open book exam, sat at home, where students must complete scenario-based exam questions, emulating real situations which could occur within the workplace. The second exam is a practical assessment, requiring students to conduct a practical risk assessment in their workplace and create an action plan in order to immediately improve safety practices.

Being the ‘general’ Certificate, the content of the course is widely applicable to most industries. This makes it most suited for individuals in or aiming to acquire a generalised health and safety role in an industry not covered directly by other certificates. Even if you have a specific industry in mind however, the General Certificate is often a great choice in case you change jobs or industry in the future.

NEBOSH Construction Certificate

Designed specifically for health and safety professionals in the construction industry, the NEBOSH Construction Certificate is also a 9-day course with additional independent study time, which translates to approximately 110 hours of E-learning. It is assessed through a single, open-book exam which students have 48 hours to complete online. Like the General Certificate, the course covers standard health and safety areas such as fire, electricity, and risk assessments. However, it also teaches health and safety content specific to the construction industry, which includes elements on excavation, demolition, and mobile plant and vehicles. Because of this, the Certificate is most suitable for those currently in or looking to achieve a health and safety position within the construction industry.

Which NEBOSH Certificate is most suited to my needs?

When deciding between the two courses you should consider which industry you aim to achieve a position in, as this will largely dictate which of the NEBOSH Certificates is most suitable for your career. Individuals looking to or currently working in the construction industry should study the NEBOSH Construction Certificate, whereas those in other industries would find the NEBOSH General Certificate more beneficial.

Additionally, both courses prepare students effectively for the NEBOSH National Diploma and give you the necessary level of qualification to apply for Associate IOSH Membership, providing benefits such as networking opportunities, initials at the end of your name (AIOSH), industry news and best practice updates.

Regardless of your preference, with Phoenix you can choose to study your NEBOSH Certificate through a range of different learning methods.

  • Classroom- where you’ll study alongside peers in tutor-led sessions, at one of our specially selected venues.

  • Virtual classroom- enjoy a classroom experience over Zoom with peers and an expert tutor, from the comfort of your own home.

  • E-learning- Study your course online, working independently and fitting your learning around your schedule.

  • In-house- Eliminate the need for travel by having our trainers come to you, delivering a classroom experience in your workplace.

Our range of NEBOSH Certificates also includes:

The NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety. This course specialises in fire safety content and is another option of initial step for those who wish to progress to the NEBOSH National Diploma. The course is shorter than both the NEBOSH General and Construction Certificates, so it does not cover as much generic health and safety content. If your workplace has a high risk of fires, it may be the most suitable Certificate for you.

We also offer the NEBOSH Environmental Management Certificate, which offers practical skills and knowledge to delegates on how to deal with environmental hazards. This certificate is a major asset to those in organisations whose practices place aspects of the environment at risk, and can be studied in just 5 days in the classroom.

For those working in the Oil and Gas industries we offer the NEBOSH Certificate in Oil and Gas Operational Safety. The certificate is ideal for those working in these industries, giving delegates all the knowledge they need to oversee oil and gas operations, including how to manage hydrocarbon processes and emergency responses.

Last but not least is the NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Process Management. As the name suggests, the 4-day certificate covers all elements of safety needed for process management, including safe startup and shut down processes, storing dangerous substances and managing the risks of processes. The course is therefore best suited to individuals working in organisations which utilise large scale processes as part of their operations.

If you’re now sure of which NEBOSH Certificate is best for you and your career, book your NEBOSH General Certificate or NEBOSH Construction Certificate with Phoenix today. If you’re still unsure about which is more suitable, or have any questions about studying with Phoenix, contact us today. Our advisors will be happy to help.

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