Health & Safety Career Advice

How to achieve IOSH membership and why it is so valuable

Written by Phoenix Health & Safety
10th March 2021

If you work in a health and safety role or wish to pursue a career in the Health and Safety industry, an IOSH membership, recognised worldwide, can provide major benefits.

It provides post-nominal letters after your name, connects you with the worldwide community of Occupational Health and Safety 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.

Changes to IOSH Membership

As of late 2023, IOSH's membership will be going through some structural changes. This will impact the titles of some membership levels, as well as how you can progress between different membership levels. To see all the changes and what they mean for you, check out our new blog covering the changes.

What is IOSH?

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world's largest Chartered body for health and safety professionals. Based in the UK, IOSH is a non-profit organisation and recognised worldwide, being responsible for the safety industry's code of conduct.

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, as well as 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 need 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.

How to Become a Member of IOSH

Joining IOSH as an affiliate member is simple, requiring a fee of £198 for one year. Following this you will be placed into the appropriate membership category based on your qualifications and experience, as detailed below.

Alternatively, if you are studying your first IOSH Accredited Qualification, whether that be full or part time, or if you are a Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE) Technician Apprentice, you can join for the duration of your studies at the cost of a £15, one-time fee.

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, though offers significant rewards. 

Student Membership

If you are pursuing your first IOSH qualification, whether that be full or part time, you can join for the duration of your studies through a one-time fee of £15. Safety, Health, and Environment (SHE) Technician Apprentices can also join through this method. This will give you access to a mentor who can provide you with advice and support, as well as access to their network of Health and Safety specialists and associated events.

Affiliate Membership

All new members join at this level. It is open to everyone who pays the membership fee (currently £198 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, as well as their global network of Health and Safety Specialists.

Associate Membership (AIOSH)

Associate level membership is achieved by completing a recognised IOSH-Accredited qualification, such as IOSH or NEBOSH certificates. IOSH will often consider NEBOSH and NVQ Level 6 training courses in their selection of approved qualifications as well. 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 level 3 qualification, equivalent to our NEBOSH National General Certificate, plus two years of full-time experience, or five years of part-time experience and includes an obligatory CPD (continuous professional development) programme. A CPD record must be maintained alongside this as evidence. This membership level entitles you to use the post-nominal TechIOSH after your name to demonstrate your experience as an aspiring Health and Safety professional.

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. This membership also requires you to maintain a CPD record and entitles you to the use of the Post nominal GradIOSH after you name.

Chartered Membership (CMIOSH)

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. If successful, you will be entitled to use the title Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner, alongside the post-nominal letters CMIOSH. Obtaining Chartered Membership demonstrates to fellow members and potential employers that you are a Health and Safety professional who has met the high standards of internationally recognised Health and Safety bodies.

When renewing an IOSH membership as a Chartered Member you’ll pay a yearly membership fee of £176.

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. It is offered to those professionals who go above and beyond in their professional development and practices. Chartered Fellows are considered the leading experts in the health and safety industry, entitled to use of the title Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner and the post-nominal letters CFIOSH.

When renewing an IOSH membership as a Chartered fellow you’ll pay a yearly membership fee of £193.

Membership Renewal and Progression

Following on from the initial membership fee of £198, members will be charged yearly with fees varying depending on the level of your membership.

Progressing to more prestigious IOSH memberships is a serious commitment, though IOSH will support you through the process in acquiring the needed qualifications and portfolio to advance up the ladder to Chartered Status.

Here at Phoenix, we provide various IOSH and NEBOSH qualifications that can be a fantastic start to your IOSH membership journey, allowing you to join and begin working your way towards Health and Safety Professionalism.

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 48,000 fellow health and safety professionals from across the globe, keeping updated with best practice, changing policies, new regulations, and industry developments. Plus, gain discounted access to over 300 IOSH events that take place each year.

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.

Taking the First Step

Phoenix offers a range of IOSH accredited courses that can assist you in acquiring IOSH membership and developing your qualifications for a career in the Health and Safety industry.

  • IOSH Working Safely- Provides the necessary health & Safety training for workers at all levels, across all industries.

  • IOSH Managing Safely- Suitable for managers and supervisors, this course provides the skills to ensure the Health & Safety of employees in the workplace.

  • IOSH Leading Safely- Equips business leaders with the tools to keep their employees and business safe and in line with UK legislation.

For advice on how to pursue IOSH membership effectively and information on IOSH accredited courses, contact the Phoenix team.