Choosing a health and safety course

National versus International NEBOSH Courses: Which is right for you?

21st September 2023

When pursuing a career in health and safety, many consider studying NEBOSH qualifications due to their global recognition. Two of the most popular NEBOSH qualifications for those working or aspiring to work in health and safety are the NEBOSH Diploma and NEBOSH General Certificate. Both of these courses have national and international versions, which often leave people wondering which version of the course is more suitable for them and their career goals. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the key differences between national and international NEBOSH courses, so you know which courses are right for you.

What is NEBOSH?

NEBOSH, or the National Exam Board in Occupational Safety and Health, is an internationally recognised organisation which designs health and safety courses based on best practice and global legislative standards. 93% of employers request a NEBOSH qualification when recruiting for a health and safety role, making them essential for pursuing a career in the industry.

Their qualifications cover a range of fields from construction to process management, and a range of employee levels, such as organisation leaders and health and safety officers. The most popular NEBOSH courses for health and safety professionals are the NEBOSH General Certificate and the NEBOSH Diploma, however, both these courses have National and International versions, each possessing unique content compared to the other.

National Courses

NEBOSH is a UK based organisation, and as such, the national versions of their courses are written to the standards of UK legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. National courses such as the NEBOSH National Diploma are therefore recommended to UK based students, or those who will be working in the UK, as health and safety officers in UK organisations will need to be familiar with national law and regulations.

This national content includes discussing UK based organisations such as the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and their safety standards, as well as UK Sentencing and Prosecution guidelines.

International Courses

As the name of these courses implies, they focus on international health and safety law and standards. Countries have different laws regarding health and safety standards, so the course focuses on international safety organisations and their regulations, including the ILO (International Labour Organisation) and the ISO (International Standards Organisation). Consequently, delegates can expect to learn about global health and safety standards which can be applied in a range of countries, ideal if you don’t know where in the world your work will take you, or if you’re based outside the UK.

Universal NEBOSH Courses

Not all NEBOSH courses have different versions though. Qualifications such as the NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety are universal, having only one version and being globally applicable. The same is true for the:

If these courses offer what you need for your career, they’ll provide you with everything you need, regardless of where you’re based in the world.

National vs International, which course is right for me?

The main difference between NEBOSH national and international courses is the safety standards they teach to. These standards are both informed by industry best practice and leading safety knowledge, however the national courses teach to UK legislative standards, whereas the international courses teach to global standards set out by organisations such as ISO and ILO. It’s therefore recommended that individuals based in the UK or looking to move their for work study NEBOSH national qualifications, whereas individuals working outside the UK would benefit most from international NEBOSH qualifications.

Regardless of which NEBOSH course you study, whether it be the National Diploma or International Construction Certificate, your qualification will be globally recognised as a sign of health and safety expertise.

If you’re looking to book a NEBOSH health and safety course, national or international, you can do so with Phoenix, a gold standard provider of NEBOSH courses. Or, if you’re uncertain which NEBOSH course is best suited to your career goals, contact a member of our team today.