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10 ways the NEBOSH General Certificate improves business performance

Luke Pitt - Last Update: 14 Feb 2020


#1 You'll compete in an international market

#2 Your USP sells itself

#3 You'll keep a quick, efficient pace

#4 You attract and retain skilled talent

#5 You'll build a trustworthy reputation 

#6 Control your budgets

#7 Your strategy saves lives

#8 You'll see a greater return on investment

#9 Complying with the letter of the law

#10 Drive success for every employee

If the NEBOSH General Certificate is at the heart of your business values and principles, you'll see improved performance organisation-wide.

Key points:

  1. Show your whole organisation how to safeguard against hazards and you'll save money. The annual cost of work-related injury and illness to employers in 2018/19 was £3bn according to the Health and Safety Executive.
  2. With NEBOSH at the core of your values and principles, your standards and approach are best practice.
  3. If you want training that delivers a significant return on investment, the NEBOSH General Certificate is designed to improve efficiency across the business for every member of staff, from entry-level roles to senior management.

#1 You'll compete in an international market

A globe levitates above an outstretched hand

With NEBOSH General Certificate training at the heart of your compliance procedure, driving your health and safety process, your business is using an internationally accepted best practice.

It won't be excluded from new business ventures and relationships because you're evidencing that health and safety compliance is in hand and that you're efficiently observing legislation.

For example, if you advertise that your staff are NEBOSH Level 3 qualified, it shows that you have exacting standards of quality control. It implies that a health and safety management system is integral to your process, that's regularly reviewed and audited.



#2 Your USP sells itself

A worker holds a hard hat in a workshop

The impact of the NEBOSH General Certificate training isn't just felt internally by those who take the course. It also says a lot about the type of company you have and who works for you.

With NEBOSH at the core of your operation, the business becomes characterised by its principles. Your sales team only have to mention the word 'NEBOSH' to concisely and clearly sell your brand's values, approach, commitment and standards to new business opportunities.

NEBOSH represents an irrefutably high standard and when applied correctly, it makes the entire working environment more productive. Everyone on staff works together safely and enthusiastically towards shared objectives.

Being associated with your brand means being associated with world-class standards, so setting up new business relationships should be an easier ask.

Use NEBSOH to measure your business against its goals and targets, to protect it from financial jeopardy.


#3 You'll maintain a quick, efficient pace

Two builders survey a building covered in scaffolding

The syllabus is split into two. the first four elements are referred to as NG1, and it's the nuts and bolts of lawful health and safety in the UK. In a nutshell, your staff will learn:

  1. Why they should manage workplace health and safety
  2. How health and safety management system work and what they look like
  3. Manage risk, people and processes
  4. Monitoring and measuring

There's an exam that specifically reviews these topics - once they've passed, they're qualified to put these principles into action.

You'll see a mobilised workforce, that works quickly, efficiently and clearly together. But, you must have buy-in from management to give staff the autonomy to apply the training.

#4 You attract and retain skilled talent

A worker uses an angle grinder in a workshop

If you apply NEBOSH General Certificate principles across your business, you can shout about it in your job adverts and specify that applicants have NEBOSH training or relevant experience.

You can rely on NEBOSH-qualified candidates to have great attention to detail and a desire to manage and measure health and safety to a high standard.

With more skilled employees on staff, they'll strengthen your processes, contribute and elevate an already productive culture. They should also add value by bringing their experience of applying NEBOSH in other sectors and workplaces to your organisation.

The NEBOSH Jobs Barometer found that 90% of the job adverts for safety, health and environmental roles (SHE) wanted one or more NEBOSH qualifications.

But, you could be looking for a small pool of candidates - only 200,000 professionals hold a NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.

#5 You build a trustworthy reputation

If you let your commitment to health and safety slide, it would damage the trust you've built between your staff and clients, and affect how your business is perceived in your sector.

If you regularly refresh your health and safety training and stick to NEBOSH best practice, your clients don't have to worry what happens behind the scenes. They trust you because you comply with an internationally recognised standard.

Having a robust health and safety procedure in place is the right thing to do. You protect your people, safeguarding them from financial distress if the business suffers as the result of negligence, and physical danger.

Your existing and new clients will respect you for taking a kind and caring approach to your people and trust to you take the same consideration with them.

Everything you need to know about the NEBOSH General Certificate


#6 Control your budgets

Two post it notes note new ways of working

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reported that there are around 2m workers with work-related injuries and illnesses, costing businesses £3bn every year. [1]

Self-reported, non-fatal injuries tipped 581,000 cases last year - 498,000 workers reported musculoskeletal disorders (lower limbs, upper limbs and neck, or back problems) and 246,000 workers said they felt stressed, depressed or anxious.

Employers lost 4.5m working days to workplace accidents in 2018/19.

With NEBOSH guiding your health and safety practices, your team are working together to fix hazards and reduce accidents, meaning fewer sick days.

It'll make a difference to your bottom line in numerous ways - at one end of the scale, it'll reduce how much you spend on cover and contractor's fees, and at the other, you'll avoid costly litigation and escalating employer's liability insurance costs.

#7 Your strategy saves lives

A silhouette of a man holds up some tumbling dominos

According to the HSE, 147 people were killed at work last year, and it predicts there will be 2,500 worker deaths relating to cancer (mesothelioma) every year until the end of the decade.

Getting NEBOSH training will minimise the likelihood of small accidents and life-threatening situations, like falling from a height, being struck by a moving object or machinery, or being trapped under heavy objects or machines.

NEBOSH qualified staff can complete thorough risk assessments that identify and control the hazards which cause accidents.

As part of NEBOSH's practical risk assessment unit (NG2), your staff will learn about:

  • Physical and psychological health
  • Musculoskeletal health 
  • Chemical and biological agents
  • General workplace issues
  • Work equipment
  • Fire
  • Electricity

They'll be able to complete a general risk assessment to profile and prioritise risks. They'll inspect your workplace and make life-saving recommendations to control hazards to a 'suitable and sufficient' standard.

#8 You'll see a greater return on investment (ROI)

A processional man smiles in a boardroom

The NEBOSH General Certificate is an investment (typically, it costs £1,295 plus VAT), but it's worthwhile.

In 10 days, your staff learn how to:

  1. Reduce the chance of accidents and work-related sick leave and injury
  2. Make autonomous health and safety improvements
  3. Maintain business compliance with UK health and safety legislation
  4. Safely and efficiently manage contractors
  5. Apply, monitor, audit and review the health and safety management system across the whole business
  6. Keep the health and safety culture active and engaged
  7. Complete a general risk assessment (using the NEBOSH five-step approach)
  8. Manage workplace changes and control the negative implications of change
  9. Handle emergency protocol and apply a permit-to-work system
  10. Investigate and report back about minor and serious incidents

These are high-value skills they'll gain, alongside contextual nous and practical knowledge. Anyone with a NEBOSH qualification has a balance of practical and management skills so they can respond to risks quickly and effectively, encouraging buy-in from senior and subordinate members of staff.

It's a worthwhile investment for your teams and business.

#9  You'll follow the letter of the law

A courtroom

Once you've applied the principle found in the NEBOSH course, you're committed to maintaining its standards, not only to assure your reputation and the newly established pace of your workforce but also to comply with the law.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regs 1999 requires employers to keep health and safety training up to date.

One of the clearest ways to show that you're making the right investment is with accredited training from a well-respected awarding body, like NEBOSH or IOSH.

The NEBOSH General Certificate is designed for managers and supervisors, but it's open to anyone, at any level, in any sector.

The course is suitable for new and experienced health and safety staff and there are no entry requirements, so you can put your team through the training at any point in their career.

Once they have the qualification, it doesn't expire but legislation prescribes a periodic skills update. It's an investment you shouldn't shy away from because NEBOSH keeps your business safe and running at its best so long as you maintain the training.

There isn't a NEBOSH General Certificate refresher course, but you can go to other trustworthy and independent awarding bodies, like IOSH, to get top-up training.

#10 Drive success for every employee

Two workers survey windows in a building

Leadership success at every level

You don't have to be in a management role to be a health and safety leader.

With the NEBOSH General Certificate, your team (whether they're in the senior exec team, or working in the warehouse), reflect the HSE's model of good health and safety leadership:

  • View their work from a different perspective
  • Have an awareness of your organisation's vision
  • Can reach their full potential by challenging themselves
  • They work to benefit their wider team, not just themselves

Your top performers will create a vision for the future and encourage the people around them to commit to it too. They have an adaptable, motivational, inspirational and innovative attitude.

Moral success

A NEBOSH qualification empowers your staff to do the right thing - they're poised to spot hazards, put controls in place and engage relevant members of staff so the same accidents and injuries won't plague your workplace.

They have a moral point of view about how your business should be managed and they carry it with them for the rest of their career.

Everything you need to know about the NEBOSH General Certificate

[1]According to HSE's 2018/19 health and safety at work summary statistics and the Costs to Great Britain of workplace injuries and new cases of work-related Ill Health 2017/18 report. 2 million workers with a work-related injury or illness = 581000 workers sustaining a non-fatal injury + 69208 Employee non-fatal injuries reported by employers under RIDDOR +1400000 workers suffering from work-related ill-health (new or long-standing)=2050208