Among the student guilds of the world, as well as among young professionals, the difference between NEBOSH and IOSH can be quite confusing. Both are often required by jobs in the field of Occupational Health and Safety, but there is an order by which you must go about receiving these accreditations and a logical order by which to approach this article. First it is necessary to take a look at NEBOSH.
NEBOSH stands for the “National Examination Board in Occupational Health and Safety” – an independent examination board that runs in the UK and offers vocational qualifications in health, safety and environmental best practice and management. NEBOSH itself does not deliver the health and safety training courses; but rather it provides the relevant syllabuses, examinations and assignments to Accredited Course Providers, such as RoSPA and QHSE International. Students must go to them to receive the training courses that will help them to meet the requirements for NEBOSH qualifications. These qualifications are recognized on a global scale as an important qualification in Health Safety and the Environment. The idea behind the qualifications is to give those who require an overview of risk management and a strong foundation in health and safety theory and practice the tools that they need.
Many who wish to work in health and safety are actually required to have the relevant NEBOSH qualification for their role and often NEBOSH can be seen as a ladder that runs parallel to the career progression ladder of an individual. Climb one rung on the NEBOSH ladder and you will soon be climbing a rung on your career ladder. The qualifications are recognised by a whole host of professional membership bodies, one of which is the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), which leads us nicely onto our understanding of what this body actually is and means to delegates.
IOSH is technically the biggest professional health and safety membership group the world over and is also unique in being the only chartered body for health and safety professionals. It is therefore a world leader when it comes to health and safety training and is responsible for well over 150,000 candidates who enrol in their courses every year. When you join IOSH you start as an affiliate member. As you progress via certain qualifications and experience then you move along the ladder (six membership categories) as follows.
- Affiliate Member
- Associate Member
- Technical Member
- Graduate Member
- Chartered Member
- Chartered Fellow
There is a relationship between IOSH membership and NEBOSH qualifications, but it is not a simple one. A NEBOSH qualification, while recognised by IOSH does not automatically entitle a successful delegate to a given IOSH level. To gain an IOSH level (for instance TechIOSH, GradIOSH CMIOSH) a successful candidate must submit both their NEBOSH certificate and their CV to IOSH so that the board can make sure that they have the qualifications and the experience necessary for the particular IOSH level that is being applied for. The NEBOSH certificate must be dated post-2002 for it to be considered valid for this purpose. This link highlights the qualifications required for achieving TechIOSH and GradIOSH status. There are over 35 accredited qualifications on offer, meaning that those that wish to progress through the membership categories have a great deal of options open to them in order to fulfil their goals and progress through the ranks. In addition to looking great on the CV, IOSH membership comes with a range of perks that include discounts on insurance and health clubs and gyms, among others.