Health & Safety Career Advice

Taking the next step in your Health & Safety Career

17th October 2023

After studying the NEBOSH General Certificate and building up their industry experience, many health and safety professionals wonder where to go next in their careers. In this blog we’ll go through why many people choose to study a level 6 health and safety qualification next, why some choose to specialise with another NEBOSH Certificate, and the benefits of each option.

What do I study after the NEBOSH General Certificate?

Many health and safety professionals, having finished the NEBOSH General Certificate, wonder how they can next progress in their health and safety career. For these professionals there are two main options available- studying a level 6, degree equivalent qualification such as the NEBOSH Diploma, or studying another NEBOSH Certificate, specialising in a specific area such as with the NEBOSH Construction Certificate.

Studying a Level 6 Qualification

There are a range of reasons a health and safety professional would consider studying a level 6 qualification, not least because they provide more detailed knowledge on occupational safety when compared with the NEBOSH General Certificate. The two main level 6 health and safety qualifications professionals choose from are the NEBOSH Diploma and the NVQ Level 6. A level 6 qualification is required for many senior roles in the industry, making it popular for professionals interested in roles such as health and safety officer or consultant. After completing either of these qualifications, you’d be eligible for IOSH Certified Membership (previously Graduate Membership) provided you have at least 2 years of industry experience. A Diploma also qualifies you for senior health and safety industry positions such as head of safety, as most employers request a level 6 safety qualification when recruiting for these roles.

NEBOSH Diploma

The degree equivalent, gold standard in health and safety qualifications, the NEBOSH Diploma provides a traditional learning experience across 6 weeks, assessed over three exams. It covers everything a safety professional needs to know about occupational health and safety, from health and safety monitoring systems to risk assessments and developing safety policy.

NVQ Level 6

Perfect for people with industry experience who already hold a professional position, the NVQ level 6 provides is a vocational qualification studied in the workplace. Working alongside their NVQ assessor, candidates will build up a body of evidence that showcases their safety knowledge and skills. This will ultimately be assessed and, upon success lead to the individual being awarded the NVQ qualification. As such, the NVQ Level 6 has no exams, making it suited for those who want a more practical learning experience.

IOSH Membership

Studying a level 6 health and safety qualification makes you eligible for IOSH Certified Membership, provided you have at least two years of relevant experience in the health and safety industry. Membership comes with access to networking events, newsletters, and post nominal letters after your name, giving you industry wide recognition.

Specialising with a NEBOSH Certificate

Other professionals choose to study another NEBOSH Certificate instead of a level 6 qualification. This provides the opportunity to work in other industries or cover new responsibilities in your role based on the certificate you study. It’s also common for professionals in new job roles to study a new certificate if their new position requires a specific focus on a particular type of hazard or aspect of safety, such as fires or environmental management.

NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety

Providing a thorough break down of all things fire safety, the NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety covers areas such as fire risk assessments, fire extinguishers and emergency procedures. The course can be studied in just 4 days and gives professionals the tools to reduce fire risk and help their organisation abide by fire safety legislation.

NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management

For safety professionals working in the environmental industry or in organisations with environmental responsibilities, there is the NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management. The course covers key aspects of environmental management and safety such as emissions, assessing environmental aspects and dealing with environmental emergencies across 5 days, providing the skills needed to manage the environmental practices of an organisation.

NEBOSH Construction Certificate

Professionals pursuing jobs such as building site inspector or other positions in the construction industry can specialise with the NEBOSH Construction Certificate. As well as foundational safety knowledge the certificate addresses areas such as excavation and demolition, covering everything a safety professional needs to know when working in the industry.

Furthering your health and safety career

Whether you’ve decided on a level 6 qualification or specialising with a NEBOSH Certificate, studying additional qualifications is a great way to further your career and expand your possibilities to new fields and industries.

If you have any questions about which qualifications are best for you, speak to one of our advisors today.

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