Health & Safety Career Advice

How to achieve IOSH membership and why it is so valuable

Written by Phoenix Health & Safety
10th March 2021
iosh membership2

If you work in a health and safety role or wish to move your career in that direction, IOSH membership can be advantageous in a number of ways. 

It puts some impressive post-nominal letters after your name, connects you with the worldwide community of Occupational Safety and Health professionals, and provides an array of tools and resources that will prove invaluable. Many employers insist on membership when applying for more senior positions, and all will see it as a big plus on your CV.

In this article, we explain the process of becoming an IOSH member, what the different levels of membership mean and what the benefits are in detail. 

What is IOSH?

IOSH is the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, a UK based, non-profit organisation that is the world's largest health and safety membership body, with members throughout Europe. IOSH is the chartered body for health and safety professionals, responsible for the industry's code of conduct, so it could not be more highly regarded.

Every year around 180,000 people from a range of different industries attend IOSH training courses, which are designed for candidates at every professional level across all industries. 

There are entry-level IOSH courses, conveying the basics of workplace health and safety for all employees, and also strategic courses specifically for directors and senior managers. However, it is important to note two things:

  • Passing an IOSH course does not lead to automatic membership, you have to apply.
  • Membership is not limited to people who have passed IOSH courses. For example, passing a relevant NEBOSH or NVQ qualification can also make you eligible.

IOSH membership levels

There are six IOSH membership levels plus an initial level for students, so membership is a career-long process rather than a once-and-for-all achievement. Moving up the membership ladder takes planning and involves a great deal of hard work and commitment, but offers significant rewards.

Student Membership

If you are a full-time student, pursuing your first IOSH qualification, membership at this level is free. For part-time students, there is a one-off fee of £50. This will give you access to valuable support, helping to maximise the employability benefits of the course.

Affiliate Membership

All new members join at this level. It is open to everyone who pays the membership fee (currently £191 per year) regardless of their qualifications or experience. Once you've joined as an Affiliate Member, IOSH will support you in transferring to the membership category which reflects your knowledge, qualifications and experience. You will gain access to all the benefits of membership, including training and materials to help you further your career and gain additional qualifications.

Associate Membership (AIOSH) 

Associate level membership is achieved by completing an accredited Level 3 qualification (such as an IOSH or NEBOSH certificate). IOSH will often consider NEBOSH and NVQ Level 6 training courses in their selection of approved qualifications. If you already hold some qualifications, always check with IOSH to see if you qualify for Associate Membership. 

Technical Membership (Tech IOSH) 

Technical membership requires an accredited qualification, two years of full-time experience or five years of part-time experience, and includes an obligatory CPD (continuous professional development) programme.

Graduate Membership (Grad IOSH) 

Graduate membership can be achieved if you have degree-level qualification, such as the NEBOSH Diploma, and have enrolled in an Initial Professional Development (IPD) programme.

Chartered Membership (CMIOSH)

In order to achieve chartered status, you must pass an assessment and compile a portfolio, as well as a professional peer interview and completion of an IPD programme.

Chartered Fellow (CFIOSH) 

The final, highest level of IOSH membership – the Chartered Fellow level demands a minimum of five years as a chartered member, supported by a portfolio and interview. Chartered Fellows are considered the leading experts in the health and safety industry.

The benefits of IOSH membership

Recognition - IOSH membership is recognised worldwide as the benchmark for professional safety and health excellence. Having the proud post-nominal letters after your name showcases your expertise in and commitment to occupational health and safety. 

Career prospects - The level of membership achieved shows the level of accreditation and competence a health and safety professional has reached. Each time you achieve a higher level, you can apply for more senior positions and take on more responsible roles. 

Plan for your future - Part of the support provided to members is helping them to make the most of the new career opportunities that open up at each new level, and to plan their professional future, choosing the courses and qualifications that will bring the greatest benefit to themselves and their employers.

Network - As a member, you can network with your fellow health and safety professionals and keep updated with best practice, changing policies, new regulations and industry developments.

Become a trainer - IOSH membership can also open the way to becoming a health and safety trainer or consultant with a leading provider such as Phoenix.

For advice on how to pursue IOSH membership most effectively, contact the Phoenix team at any time on 0345 500 8811.