Anyone who gets involved in health and safety qualifications is going to hear the NEBOSH diploma mentioned a lot, so what exactly is it and what type of qualification are we talking about? The short answer is that the NEBOSH diploma is an academic degree level qualification, but to really understand why it’s so widely respected and coveted you need the full facts.
What is NEBOSH?
The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health began life in 1979. It describes itself as an ‘awarding body’. This means it offers a range of qualifications designed to meet the health, safety and environmental management needs of different types of workplace, but does not run the courses that lead to the qualifications. The courses are available from a number of carefully vetted authorised providers, including Phoenix.
NEBOSH examinations and assessments are set and supervised to exceptionally high standards by its own professionally qualified staff. They are assisted by external examiners, who are mostly Chartered Safety and Health Practitioners or Chartered Environmentalists working in industry, the public sector or enforcement agencies.
Who is the NEBOSH diploma for?
NEBOSH runs a variety of qualifications for candidates at different levels, and the diploma is the pinnacle of its portfolio. It is suitable mainly for people who are already health and safety practitioners, have previous knowledge and experience and wish to develop a career in health and safety as a manager, consultant or advisor.
What level of qualification is the NEBOSH diploma?
It’s an academic degree-level qualification that is recognised globally and across all industries. Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications attract around 50,000 candidates annually and are offered by over 600 course providers, with exams taken in over 120 countries around the world.
What does the diploma course cover and how is it assessed?
The diploma consists of four units, spread over 500 teaching hours. The units can be taken in any order over a 5-year period. The four units cover:
- Managing health and safety
- Hazardous substances and agents
- Workplace and work equipment safety
- An 8-12,000 word written project reviewing the health and safety performance of an organisation
The first three are assessed by a 3-hour written examination. The written project component is assessed and marked separately.
What are the advantages of having the NEBOSH diploma?
The NEBOSH diploma opens doors. Many UK universities accept the NEBOSH diploma as qualifying candidates for access to advanced MSc level courses.
Furthermore, like all NEBOSH qualifications, the diploma is recognised by many professional membership bodies including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM), the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA).
Letters after your name
Passing the NEBOSH National Diploma means you’re entitled to use DipNEBOSH after your name. It also enables you to apply for Graduate Membership with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (GradIOSH) and full membership of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM). Membership of both bodies increases your employability with organisations looking for skilled and knowledgeable health and safety professionals. Also, with the addition of some workplace experience, the NEBOSH National Diploma makes you eligible to take the exams leading to Chartered Membership of IOSH (CMIOSH).
Is there an alternative?
If you wish to qualify for Chartered Membership, but prefer a qualification based on developing a work-based portfolio for assessment, the NVQ Level 5 Diploma is the answer. Talk to the expert advisers at Phoenix for authoritative guidance on which course and qualification is most suitable for your needs and ambitions.