Opportunities, Development and Life Changing Results
What does Health and Safety mean to you?
No doubt, wherever you work or have worked, you’ll have heard those words thrown about for one reason or another. However, when talking about the realities of a career in SHE Management (Safety, Health and Environmental) it’s important to cut through hearsay and workplace mythology to look at the hard facts of the profession.
Those who are quick to judge and resistant to change may be quick to brand Health and Safety as “unnecessary red tape” or a “nuisance” because to those unwilling to observe the benefits that’s all they will take note of. This is only half of the picture though.
In reality, well managed Safety, Health and Environmental impact within a company is to the benefit of everyone.
For those with the drive and focus to become a Qualified SHE Professional fantastic careers await, rich with opportunities, development and life changing results.
What are NEBOSH Qualifications?
What are NEBOSH Qualifications? Put simply, they stand as one of the world’s most recognised signifiers of professional expertise in SHE, being among the most common study choices for those looking to enter a Safety, Health or Environmental management career.
NEBOSH itself – The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health – has a forty-year history as an awarding body in the field, creating qualifications ranging from Certificate to Diploma level.
These qualifications are designed to meet management standards across a variety of global industries, while in turn being recognised by other high-profile membership bodies including IOSH (the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health), IIRSM (the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management) and IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment).
In the case of the latter, studying online has the substantial benefit of being accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, cutting down on travel and accommodation costs while allowing students to be in complete control of their learning schedule.
Once students are confident in their knowledge and approach, exams can be undertaken at an accredited NEBOSH centre which are available in hundreds of locations around the world.
Why a NEBOSH Qualification?
As you may ask; why a NEBOSH qualification? What specific benefits are there to becoming NEBOSH Qualified?
According to NEBOSH’s own annual report*1 over 280,000 people around the world hold a NEBOSH General Certificate with 25,000 holding higher-level NEBOSH Diplomas. Of these a whopping 97% would recommend the qualifications to others.
To illustrate the recognition NEBOSH qualifications hold with employers, NEBOSH’s latest Jobs Barometer research*2 offers a glimpse of the bigger picture through their UK statistics:
- 90% of jobs advertised for Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) roles requested at least one NEBOSH qualification, a rise of 83% on the previous year.
- Approximately half (50%) of all advertised SHE positions specified a NEBOSH Diploma equivalent to a degree.
- In cases where job applicants were required to hold a NEBOSH Diploma qualification, the typical high-end salary was listed as £49,000, an increase of over 16% on the top-end average of £42,000 where a Diploma was not specified.
- The rising demand for NEBOSH Qualifications can be traced back to 2015; where 38% of SHE vacancies requested a NEBOSH Certificate-level qualification, rising to 45% in 2016, and 51% in 2017.
In summary, employers who are seeking to reliably manage Health and Safety within their workplaces are increasingly looking for NEBOSH Qualified candidates, largely thanks to the high standards of expertise the qualifications indicate.
What about IOSH Courses?
Alongside NEBOSH, anyone with even a passing interest in the field of SHE has likely heard mention of IOSH. So, what about IOSH courses? Where do they fit in?
IOSH courses such as Working Safely and Managing Safely can be undertaken by anyone in any sector, at any experience level, and are typically recommended as a basis for those who wish to progress on to NEBOSH studies. They provide a broad, but fairly basic awareness of commonplace risks, hazards and control measures within the workplace.
Unlike NEBOSH qualifications the final exam here is taken online, meaning an entire IOSH course can be completed online, potentially within an 8 to 36-hour timeframe. For anyone who wishes to sample SHE e-Learning without jumping into a sizeable time and financial commitment, these courses are good way to become adjusted to Health and Safety studies.
Where do NVQs fit in?
Considering another type of SHE qualification you may have heard of; where do NVQs fit in you may ask?
NVQs (or National Vocational Qualifications) in Health and Safety are available at Certificate and Diploma level similar to NEBOSH courses, however they differ from the latter in how they are studied and assessed.
NVQs do not include traditional exams, being managed essentially online. Instead of sitting examinations following studies, relevant supporting evidence is gathered during day-to-day working activities in an existing role, which is in turn submitted to an online portfolio. This portfolio is then assessed by an assigned assessor who ultimately will deem when you are competent as specified by the qualification.
Of particular note is that this course cannot technically be failed, rather prolonged dependent on further evidence being required. In most cases it is preferable over NEBOSH alternatives for people who have a busy working schedule they wish to balance with their SHE studies.
Want to know more? You can find a details comparison between NEBOSH and NVQ Diplomas HERE.
Demand for professional Health, Safety and Environmental Management
In the last few decades our workplaces and industries have experienced something of a wakeup call to Health and Safety.
We have become more concerned about the safety of our workforces and their long-term well-being, so the pressure has increased on companies to be Health and Safety compliant or face legal action, penalties, bad PR, reduced productivity and poor morale.
Never before has there been such a strong demand for professional Health, Safety and Environmental Management and this applies across ALL workplaces; offices, construction, oil & gas, factories and emergency services all need staff with suitable expertise.
For those trained to recognised SHE standards there are a great number of opportunities available around the globe, with the breadth increasing alongside their qualification level. Besides, new employment managers in the field can look forward to superb benefits including:
- Skills and experience which can be transferred between a diverse range of industries.
- Increased job security.
- Higher salaries.
- Greater promotion opportunities within the workplace.
Above all though, is the pride successful Health and Safety management offers in the knowledge that workplaces have been made safer, accidents have been prevented and lives have been saved.
Everyone deserves to go home safely at the end of the day and SHE professionals are there to make sure that happens.
Does this sound like a career you would be interested in? Do you want to hear more from qualified, working SHE professionals? Read accounts of careers in Health and Safety management – Becoming Chartered and Starting a carrer in H&S and more about Job oppotunities with NEBOSH.