IOSH Frequently Asked Questions

What is the IOSH qualification?

IOSH qualifications specialise in helping people at every level, in all sectors, stay healthy and safe at work. As IOSH training combines theory and practical training, the qualification allows holders to ensure health and safety best practice is upheld, effective and well managed within their organisation.


What is IOSH Managing Safely?

IOSH Managing Safely is a health and safety course designed for line managers, or those with responsibility for other people in the workplace. It’s a hands-on course that is applicable for any workplace regardless of sector or industry.

The course runs over 3 days and includes modules on assessing and controlling risks, understanding workplace hazards and responsibilities, investigating incidents, and measuring performance. Learners will then be asked to complete a short multiple-choice exam and practical risk assessment project before being awarded their certificate.


What next after IOSH Managing Safely?

After completing the IOSH Managing Safely course, the next step for many looking to build on their health and safety qualifications would be a NEBOSH certificate. NEBOSH qualifications offer more in-depth health and safety knowledge for managers and supervisors.

These certificates can also be specific for your working environment, such as the NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety. For a more general overview of work place health and safety, you could complete the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.


How long is IOSH Managing Safely valid for?

They don’t expire! Once you have successfully completed your Managing Safely course, you will be awarded a certificate with no expiry date. However, IOSH do recommend that managers complete training every three years in order to refresh their knowledge and keep up to date with any changes.


Is IOSH better than NEBOSH?

Whether IOSH or NEBOSH is better for you will depend on your workplace responsibilities, the environment you work in, and your previous level of expertise.

IOSH courses are generally aimed at those who work in ‘lower-risk’ industries, whereas NEBOSH courses are designed for those looking to pursue a career in health and safety management where there is higher risk and more specific knowledge is needed.


Do you need IOSH before NEBOSH?

You DO NOT need to have an IOSH certificate to enrol on a NEBOSH course. However, many workers find completing an IOSH course beforehand is an excellent introduction to health and safety qualifications, establishing a base of knowledge to build on with their NEBOSH qualification.


Is IOSH worth having?

Yes! IOSH qualifications are incredibly worthwhile for managers, supervisors, and anyone else who has the responsibility for health and safety in the workplace. These qualifications show current and future employers that you take health and safety seriously, and have undertaken the necessary training to protect yourself and others at work.

Completion of IOSH courses will help establish a culture of safety in any organisation. The Working Safely course in particular will help ensure that all members of staff have the necessary training to keeps themselves safe at work.


How long is an IOSH course?

The length of IOSH courses will vary depending on the specific course you are undertaking, and the amount of learning required by the individual.

For example, IOSH Leading Safely, Working Safely, and Managing Occupational Health and Wellbeing, are all one day courses. The IOSH Managing Safely course takes place over three days, due to the more in-depth knowledge and skills required to obtain the qualification.


Is the IOSH exam difficult?

IOSH courses normally culminate in some form of written exam (usually multiple-choice), and a practical assessment. Both of these assessments are short and shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone who has undertaken and understood the full training course.


Is the IOSH exam multiple choice?

While the assessments for IOSH certificates will differ depending on the specific course undertaken, most do involve some sort of multiple-choice exam, as well as a form of practical assessment.


What level is IOSH Managing Safely qualification?

IOSH Managing Safely is broadly equivalent to a Level 2 qualification.


How do I get IOSH accreditation?

At the time of writing, the IOSH accreditation process has been paused for review. Please visit the IOSH website for any updates.


What is the best health and safety qualification?

The best health and safety qualification for you will depend on what responsibilities you have in the workplace. If you work in specific environments which present high risks to employees, then you may need a more dedicated qualification for your role.

We would recommend the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety as an advanced training course in general workplace health and safety.


Can you do IOSH online?

At ESS, we can deliver both the IOSH Working Safely and IOSH Managing Safely course entirely online using remote video conferencing. This new way of delivering means you can continue getting your training from home during the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.


What is the use of an IOSH certificate?

IOSH certificates are a fantastic way to showcase your knowledge of health and safety practice. It proves your competency to employers and external clients, potentially increasing your chance of progressing within your organisation and improving future employability prospects. But most importantly, completing an IOSH course will provide you with the knowledge which may prevent serious accidents and injuries occurring in your place of work.


How do I verify my IOSH certificate online?

You can verify your IOSH certificate quickly and easily by visiting their online training certificate checker. All you need to do is enter your name, certificate number, and course name. This will allow the tracker will be able to verify your certificate.


What is the difference between OSHA & IOSH?

IOSH and OSHA are very different organisations.

OSHA are a regulatory body for health and safety in the USA. They assess workplaces to ensure they are corresponding with health and safety regulations, and are protecting the welfare of their staff.

There is also EU-OSHA, which perform a similar role for countries within the European Union. The closest equivalent of OSHA we have in the UK would be the HSE.


Is IOSH recognised in USA?

Yes. IOSH is an internationally recognised awarding body, meaning their qualifications are valid when working in the USA and beyond.


What are the qualifications of a safety officer?

The qualifications needed for the role of safety officer will vary depending on the specifics of the workplace and the demands of the employers. Completing the IOSH Managing Safely would be a great place to start, as it provides all the fundamental knowledge required for the role.

Some employers may require a more in-depth qualification such as the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. This course offers a thorough grounding in health and safety principles that can be applied to any workplace. After completing this qualification, workers may want to pursue further study in the area, such as a level 3 NVQ. This will boost your chances of finding employment as a safety officer.


Is IOSH internationally recognised?

IOSH certificates are internationally recognised qualifications which will prove your health and safety credentials across almost every country in the world.


How do I register with IOSH?

If you want to register as a member of IOSH, you need to visit their website and complete their application process. You will need to pay a fee to join IOSH as a member.


What does NIOSH stand for?

NIOSH stands for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. They are a US federal agency that makes recommendations to the government for preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace.

They operate only in the United States and are not related to IOSH, despite having a similar name.


Why is a risk assessment carried out?

Risk assessments are a key means of establishing good health and safety practice in the workplace. Through conducting these reviews, you can identify the potential risks and hazards to workers’ health in the workplace.

Once you have assessed the risks and hazards present, organisations can take action to reduce the threat they pose to employees’ health. Simply put, risk assessments allow you to spot the dangers before they have caused accidents or injuries.


How much does it cost to join IOSH?

At the time of writing, it costs £191 to become an affiliate member of IOSH. However, if you are a full-time student you can become a member for free, with part-time students able to pay a reduced fee of £50.


What is IOSH IPD?

IPD stands for Initial Professional Development. IPD is a pathway to achieving chartered membership with IOSH. It is an assessment procedure that reviews your existing knowledge, experience, and qualifications, to judge whether you meet the criteria for membership. You can find more about this pathway to membership by vising the IOSH website.


How do you become an associate in IOSH?

Associate membership in IOSH (AIOSH) is aimed at those who are either not currently operating as a health and safety practitioner, or do not yet have the experience required to become a technical member.

To become an associate member of IOSH, you need to have completed an IOSH-accredited qualification, and then you can contact IOSH directly to apply.


What qualifications do I need to be a HSE inspector?

To be a HSE inspector you need to be able to prove you have a high level of knowledge and experience in health and safety. This will normally involve a degree or an equivalent qualification.

For example, the Level 6 NVQ in Occupational Health and Safety Practice may be accepted as proof of your extensive knowledge and experience of health and safety management on site.


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