In this guide, we are going to reveal everything you need to know about the 'National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Heath' otherwise known as NEBOSH. If you're wondering 'What is NEBOSH?' and 'Why do I need to know about it?',' everything you need to know should be covered and more.
NEBOSH is an awarding body that provides syllabuses, assignments, and exams to accredited course providers, who use them to deliver NEBOSH training courses so that their candidates can attain NEBOSH qualifications. The organisation itself does not deliver the health and safety courses.
Appropriate NEBOSH qualifications are often required for anyone that is working in a health and safety role. Career progression will typically be closely related to the NEBOSH qualifications an individual has attained. Below, we will take a look at the different types of NEBOSH qualifications you can attain, and the benefits of doing so.
There are a number of different NEBOSH courses available, including:
- NEBOSH General Certificate
This is the most popular safety qualification in the United Kingdom. It is ideal for supervisors and managers, as well as those looking to start their career in health and safety.
- NEBOSH Diploma
This is the first step towards becoming a chartered health and safety professional. It is a highly respected and very prestigious diploma.
- NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work Qualification
This is a three-day course that provides a based understanding regarding practices and principles for health and safety in the workplace.
- NEBOSH Fire Safety Certificate
This is a course that deals with fire safety specifically, and is designed for those who already have the NEBOSH General Certificate.
- NEBOSH Construction Certificate
This is an eight-day course, which will provide anyone that passes with a recognised safety qualification in the construction industry.
- NEBOSH International Certificate
Finally, this is an alternative to the standard NEBOSH Certificate. Rather than focusing on health and safety within the UK, this qualification is a mark of international excellence that centres on international standards of health and safety and management systems.
The benefits of NEBOSH courses
There are many different reasons why employers should ensure that their staff members are NEBOSH trained. This includes:
- Successful risk management You can develop an effective safety culture by making sure that all supervisors and managers have a good grasp of key issues, including risk management. By having a structured health and safety management plan in place that includes a framework such as NEBOSH that is recognised all over the world, you can ensure your business is successful, guaranteeing its future. In fact, a lot of businesses today incorporate NEBOSH qualifications as a critical component of their management development agendas.
- Boost productivity and efficiency Not only is it important to create a safe workplace for moral and legal reasons, but it can help to increase productivity and efficiency levels as well.
- Reduce expenditure Businesses with NEBOSH qualified employees are able to make significant cost-savings by lowering absenteeism, litigations, and employee accidents.
- Boost your organisation's reputation You are guaranteed to enhance your organisation's reputation by having an impressive performance rate and a good track record of few to no incidents and accidents. Your industry peers will also recognise and respect your business. By ensuring that all of your workers are NEBOSH qualified, you show that you are an employer that is committed to health and safety.
- Safer work environment Of course, the main reason to ensure that all staff members are NEBOSH qualified is that it will lead to a much safer work environment. There is no denying that health and safety training is seen as one of the most valuable skills an individual can have in a work environment. You will be able to fulfil your moral obligation to protect lives and ensure the well-being of your workers.
More than 150,000 people in the UK hold the NEBOSH National General Certificate, which makes it the most popular health and safety qualification in the country. It is suitable for those who are looking to start their health and safety career, as well as supervisors and managers. Essentially, if a broad understanding of health and safety issues is required for a role, this is the qualification to attain.
NEBOSH conducted a survey in 2016, which revealed that more than 97 per cent of respondents would recommend this NEBOSH qualification to others. The NEBOSH National General Certificate covers the UK's main legal requirements for health and safety. Participants will learn how to identify and control hazards in the workplace, as well as how to apply this knowledge practically.
Candidates are not required to have any prior health and safety knowledge in order to take this course. However, it should be noted that they will need to write a short report as part of the assessment. This qualification is separated into three key areas, which are separately assessed:
- NCG1: Management of Health and Safety
- GC2: Controlling Workplace Hazards
- GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application
So, let's take a look at how each unit is taught and assessed:
The Management of Health and Safety unit (NCG1)
The Management of Health and Safety unit is a taught unit, and participants will need to sit a written examination at the end of the course. This is a two-hour exam, which consists of one long-answer question, which is worth 20 marks, as well as ten short-answer questions, which are worth eight marks each. All questions are compulsory, and external examiners that are appointed by NEBOSH will mark the long written script. This unit consists of five different elements, which are as follows:
- Foundations in health and safety
The purpose of this part of the course is to ensure that all candidates understand the nature and scope of occupational health and safety. They will learn the legal framework for relevant regulations, as well as the financial and moral reasons for promoting good workplace health and safety standards. They will also understand the duties, offences, and scope of workers under the Management of Health and Safety Work Regulations, as well as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Finally, they will know the principles when it comes to managing and assessing contractors, as well as the responsibilities and roles of their contractors and clients.
- Healthy and safety management systems Plan
By the end of part two, candidates will be able to outline the main elements of a health and safety management system. They will also be able to confidently explain why a health and safety policy should be put in place, and what the purpose of such a policy is, as well as the appropriate content and key features of it.
- Healthy and safety management systems Do
This part of the course has many different subject areas. Firstly, candidates will learn how to outline the responsibilities and roles of supervisors, managers, directors, and employers in regards to organisational health and safety. They will also explain the concept and significance of a health and safety culture, as well as being able to determine human factors that impact work behaviour and, therefore, affect workplace health and safety. Aside from this, they should be able to explain general prevention principles, risk assessment practice and principles, and how to improve health and safety behaviour in the workplace. Candidates will learn to identify important health and safety information sources, explain the permit-to-work system the role and function of it, as well as describing what to take into account when putting together and enforcing a safe work system for day-to-day activities. Emergency procedures and first aid are also covered in this section.
- Healthy and safety management systems Check
The purpose of this module is to ensure that all candidates are able to outline the role, purpose, and principles of reactive and active monitoring. They should also be able to describe the organisational and legal requirements for reporting and recording incidents, as well as the procedures for investigating incidents and the purpose of them.
- Healthy and safety management systems Act
Finally, be the end of the final part of unit one, candidates will know the reasons for health and safety auditing, as well as the procedures used. They will also be able to explain why regular health and safety reviews are required and what processes are used. All candidates are recommended to conduct at least 23 hours of private study time, while the minimum tuition time for this unit is 36 hours.
The Controlling Workplace Hazards unit (GC2)
The Controlling Workplace Hazards unit is another taught unit, and again there is an examination at the end of it. This unit is carried out in the same manner as the former, i.e. a two-hour exam with a long-answer question and ten short-answer questions of the same weighting in terms of grading. This unit consists of eight different elements, which are as follows:
- Workplace hazards and risk control
By the end of this element, candidates will know how to outline the common work environment requirements and welfare and health requirements. They will also be able to explain the hazards and control measures associated with temporary work, working at height, and moving people safely. The impact of substance misuse and violence in the workplace are also covered.
- Transport hazards and risk control
This element focuses on the hazards and control measures for safe vehicle movement, as well as what factors can increase the risk of an accident with regards to driving at work and how these risks can be reduced.
- Musculoskeletal hazards and risk control
For this part of the module, candidates will learn about the hazards involved with moving equipment, with particular focus on both powered load handling equipment and manually operated load moving equipment. They will discover various ways to minimise risk and the different types of practices and processes in the workplace that can cause work-related upper limb disorders.
- Work equipment hazards and risk control
This element covers control measures for reducing machinery hazard risks, the main non-mechanical and mechanical machinery hazards, hand-held tools, and the general work equipment requirements.
- Electrical safety
By the end of this study period, candidates will know more about the use of electricity in the workplace the risks, hazards, and principles associated with it. They will also be aware of different control measures that need to be put in place when utilising electrical equipment or systems.
- Fire safety
Fire safety is something all employees need to be educated on. This element will cover fire risk assessments, as well as fire initiation, classification and spread. They will know the important principles for preventing a fire from occurring, and preventing a fire from spreading. They will also learn about the factors to take into account when it comes to evacuating the workplace, as well as being able to outline suitable fire-fighting arrangements and appropriate fire alarm systems.
- Chemical and biological health hazards and risk control
Now we have unit 7, which covers a number of different areas regarding biological and chemical risks. Candidates will be able to outline the risks of hazardous substances, as well as factors to consider during such a risk assessment. They should also be able to outline standard requirements for the storage and safe handling of waste, and control measures to lower ill-health risk from hazardous substance exposure. Finally, they should be able to outline the risks, hazards and controls linked with certain agents.
- Physical and psychological health hazards and risk control
Finally, this element enables candidates to outline health effects linked with ionising and non-ionising radiation, vibration exposure, and exposure to noise. Candidates will know methods for control to put in place for each. They will also discover how stress in the workplace impacts safety and the various causes of it. All candidates are recommended to conduct at least 26 hours of private study time, while the minimum tuition time for this unit is 42 hours.
The Health and Safety Practical Application unit (GC3)
Finally, there is the Health and Safety Practical Application unit, which is a little bit different. This unit involves a practical assessment that is carried out in the participant's own workplace. The accredited course provider will set a due date for this, and you can expect it to be within ten working days of the written examination. The accredited course provider will internally assess the practical examination, and it will be moderated externally by NEBOSH.
There is only one element of this course: Health and safety practical application. The purpose of this element is to ensure that all applicants have the ability to apply the knowledge they learned in the previous two syllabuses. All candidates are recommended to conduct at least 4 hours of private study time, while the minimum tuition time for this unit is 2 hours.
NEBOSH International Certificate
This is the equivalent of the NEBOSH certificate mentioned above. It is also divided into three units and features to exams. The difference between this and the main NEBOSH Certificate is that the NEBOSH international general certificate focuses on international health and safety standards and management systems instead of UK health and safety law. It is a great mark of international health and safety excellence.
NEBOSH diploma courses are recognised all over the world. They are aimed at environmental practitioners, as well as professional health and safety advisors. It is strongly advisable to have prior health and safety experience if you are thinking about taking such a diploma. Therefore, the NEBOSH certificate is a good start point, after which you can move onto a diploma. They are perfectly designed to equip holders for a career in this rewarding but very demanding field. There are three diplomas to choose from:
- NEBOSH Specialist Diploma in Environmental Management
- NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety
- NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety
NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work Qualification
The NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work qualification is designed for individuals that need to understand health and safety principles as part of their job. This includes the likes of facilities managers,HR professionals, team supervisors and leaders, and individuals that work with young people in a training environment. It covers the following:
- Understanding risk assessments
- Understanding control strategies
- Applying control strategies to hazards that are common in the workplace, including manual handling, transport, electrical, and fire hazards
This qualification will benefit organisations with the United Kingdom and internationally who want to enhance their workplace culture by implementing a basic health and safety training programme. It will make certain that all members of staff understand how to reduce the number of incidents and accidents through risk control, which in turn will lead to cost savings for the company.
If you are contributing to your organisation's risk assessment, you will find the risk element of this qualification particularly beneficial. To achieve this qualification, candidates need to pass a practical risk assessment and a multiple choice examination. The practical part of the assessment ensures that candidates know how to apply the theory they have learnt to real-life situations.
NEBOSH Fire Safety Certificate
Next, we have the NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management, which is designed for anyone that has fire safety responsibilities in their work environment. It is an extremely popular qualification, with more than 7,500 candidates having already achieved it, as well as roughly 110 course providers in the UK and worldwide. This course is for supervisory and management staff that must make sure their business complies with fire safety legislation.
By taking this course, you will have the knowledge and experience required to conduct fire risk assessments in the majority of low-risk work environments. You will also have the ability to identify a number of preventative and protective measures in regards to fire safety. If you are planning to move into a fire safety adviser role, this is definitely a must-have qualification.
Aside from the regulations that you need to adhere to, this certificate also covers the basic principles of explosions and fires, as will as how to protect people in the event of a fire, fire protection in buildings, the causes of fires, and how to prevent them. You do not need any previous experience in health and safety or fire safety in order to take this course. However, it is worth pointing out that a short report is required as part of the assessment. Similarly to the standard NEBOSH certificate mentioned above, the NEBOSH fire certificate is split into three different units. Each unit has a different assessment. The units are as follows:
- NGC1 Management of Health and Safety
- FC1 Fire Safety and Risk Management
- FC2 Practical Fire Risk Assessment
You may have noticed that NCG1 is the same unit required for the NEBOSH National Certificate. If you have already passed this module as part of a different NEBOSH qualification, you will not need to sit it again, so long as you achieved it within the past five years. If you passed the course more than five years ago, you won't need to attend a course, but you will need to re-sit the NEBOSH exam. So what do FC1 and FC2 include? Let's begin by taking a look at FC1, which is split into the following elements:
- Managing fire safety
The learning outcomes of this element include knowing the legal requirements for fire safety, as well as the financial, legal, and moral consequences for poor management of fire safety. Candidates also learn about the powers and roles of external agencies with regards to fire safety, including enforcement agencies. You also need to know how to outline a fire safety policy's key features, as well as being able to explain the organisational and legal reporting and recording requirements and how to investigate fires in the workplace.
- Principles of fire and explosion
As part of this section, individuals will learn to explain the principles and conditions for the ignition of gases, liquids, and solids, as well as the principles for the combustion process in regards to fire safety. You will also learn about fire classification, fire growth and spread, and the principles of explosive combustion and explosion.
- Causes and prevention of fires and explosions
Element three involves being able to explain the causes of explosions and fires in regards to typical work activities. You must also be able to outline suitable control measures to minimise the risk of a fire or explosion.
- Fire protection in buildings
Candidates will learn how to prevent fire and smoke spread within a building while taking the design and construction of the building into account. You also need to know how to explain escape requirements, outline how to choose a fire extinguishing methods, and outline the systems and methods that are available in order to give early warning of a fire. Aside from this, you will be able to outline the steps needed to reduce the environmental impact of a fire and fire fighting operations, and how to make sure the fire service has access for the fire.
- Safety of people in the event of a fire
For the fifth element, you need to explain why a fire emergency plan is required and what it should include. You also need to be able to describe how to develop and maintain a procedure for fire evacuation, as well as outline the behaviour and perception of people in a fire and appropriate training requirements.
- Fire risk assessment
The final element of this unit enables candidates to understand the objectives and aims of risk assessments for fire safety. You will also be able to outline measures for controlling the risk of dangerous substances. FC2 simply includes one element, which is fire safety practical application. This is designed to ensure that you know how to apply the knowledge gained in the FC1 syllabus and NGC1 syllabus to real-life situations.
NEBOSH Construction Certificate
Finally, we have the NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety, which is a health and safety award for the construction sector specifically. Since 1989, there have been more than 12,000 successful candidates. The qualification is designed for managers and supervisors, as well as those that have a role that is defined within the Construction Design and Management regulations 2015.
If you are required to make sure that activities are carried out in a safe manner, this is definitely a NEBOSH training course you should consider. If you are in charge of contractors and must ensure they safely carry out work and you manage buildings, this qualification will come in useful. It is also suitable for anyone in a managerial or supervisory role that works in other sectors where temporary workplaces are the norm, including broadcasting and utilities. The course for the NEBOSH construction certificate is divided into three units, which are as follows:
- Management of health and safety (NGC1)
- Managing and controlling hazards in construction activities (NCC1)
- Construction health and safety practical application (NCC2)
Of course, the NGC1 unit has already been covered above in the NEBOSH Certificate section. The NCC1 unit covers 12 elements, which are as follows:
- Construction law and management
Candidates will learn how to identify the definition, scope, and certain problems regarding activities in the construction sector. They will also learn about the Construction Regulations 2015, as well as the financial, moral and legal consequences of not managing health and safety adequately in this industry.
- Construction site hazards and controls
The learning objectives of this element are to be able to explain what factors should be considered during risk assessments, general site control measures needed, as well as hazards and control measures for the movement of people, violence at work, and substance misuse. Candidates will also learn about the welfare, health and work environment requirements on construction sites.
- Vehicle and plant movement hazards and controls
This element takes a look at reducing the risk of accidents caused by driving at work and how to ensure the safe movement of vehicles in a construction environment, with a specific look at using public highways as a work environment.
- Musculoskeletal hazards and control
You will learn to explain the hazards and control measures to reduce the risks associated with lifting and manual handling activities, as well as knowing the work practices and processes that can cause work-related upper limb disorders and musculoskeletal disorders.
- Work equipment hazards and risk control
Candidates will be able to outline general work equipment requirements, and the hazards and control measures for hand-held tools and machinery.
- Electrical safety
This involves learning the risks associated with electricity use, and determining what control measures should be taken when working underneath or near overhead power lines or working with electrical equipment or systems.
- Fire safety
This element covers fire initiation, classification, and spread, and additional construction specific fire risks. Candidates will also learn about prevention, protection, risk assessments, fire detection, escape, and evacuation.
- Chemical and biological health hazards and risk control
This element covers hazardous substances and the risks they pose in construction workplace. Candidates will know Workplace Exposure Limits, including short and long-term exposure limits and their purpose. Control measures will be discussed, as will basic requirements for storing and handling waste.
- Physical and psychological health hazards and risk control
This element takes a look at radiation, vibration, and noise in construction, as well as stress.
- Working at height hazards and risk control
Working at height is a pivotal area of health and safety for construction firms. Candidates will learn about control measures to reduce risk when working near or over water. You will also learn about safe roof work, access equipment, precautions for working from a height, and how to protect others involved in the work but not from a height.
- Excavation work and confined spaces hazards and risk control
By the end of this element, candidates will be able to explain the hazards, risks and control measures for confined space working and excavation working.
- Demolition and deconstruction hazards and risk control
Finally, this element teaches candidates about the main hazards and control measures for deconstruction and demolition work. They will also learn about refurbishment and demolition surveys and method statements. The NCC2 unit has one element, which is construction health and safety practical application. This is designed to ensure that you know how to apply the knowledge gained in the NCC1 syllabus and NGC1 syllabus to real-life situations.
All in all, NEBOSH is a well-respect and recognised awarding body, offering a wide range of certificates and diplomas in health and safety. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding the different types of courses and subjects they specialise in.
Most people find that starting off with the NEBOSH National or International Certificate is the best way to go, after which they can specialise in a more specific area or take the NEBOSH Diploma. No matter what route you take, you can be sure that having a NEBOSH qualification and/or ensuring your employees do, can only be a good thing for your career prospective, your business and, of course, the health and safety of the workplace.