IOSH Membership: A Complete Guide

Your everything you need to know resource for IOSH membership, including signposting to IOSH resources

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Quick Article Summary

  • IOSH is a health and safety professional membership organisation
  • IOSH’s membership grade structure has six levels of membership
  • Membership carries a fee, but you may be eligible for financial support
  • Your attainable IOSH membership level is dependent on your experience and/or qualifications
  • New members can join through IOSH’s online portal
  • Existing members can upgrade to higher levels of membership
  • There are experiential (not qualification-based) routes to Certified and Chartered member statuses

What is IOSH Membership?

IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, offers a membership program designed for professionals in the health and safety sector.

Recognised worldwide, IOSH membership signifies your commitment to maintaining and upholding standards in health and safety. It tells people exactly where you are on the skills, knowledge and understanding spectrum.

For that reason, membership is a clear indicator that employers can and do use for recruitment into health and safety roles. 

That’s not all; your membership will get you various benefits!

Membership Levels and IOSH’s Competency Framework

IOSH membership varies in levels, catering to health and safety professionals at different career stages, from students to seasoned experts.

As a member of IOSH, I have found the close relationship between the membership grade structure and IOSH’s competency framework helpful.

It is clear that the membership levels are linked to a health and safety professional’s knowledge and experience. So, when dealing with someone who is Chartered, for example, you know they have a great deal of experience and knowledge,

The membership levels provide a clear learning journey for new and existing OSH practitioners, which is a great thing for our learners.

Benefits of an IOSH Membership

Being a member of IOSH comes with a host of impressive benefits, mostly geared around your career progression and ongoing development. They have managed to sneak in some impressive discounts and unexpected bonuses too.

Membership benefits include:

  • Professional recognition and status within the health and safety community.
  • You get to use the post-fix appropriate to your membership level i.e. CMIOSH
  • Access to a wealth of resources (noteworthy is the IOSH Magazine), including the latest industry research, news and legislative changes, best practices, and professional development materials.
  • Career Hub, which provides you with e-learning resources to help you gain employment and progress
  • Access to Blueprint, IOSH’s continuing professional development (CPD) programme 
  • Networking opportunities with other health and safety professionals.
  • Savings at selected high-street retailers plus discounted gym memberships and holidays.
  • Access to exclusive events and training sessions.
  • The potential for career advancement and increased earning potential.

Of course, IOSH membership is not just about holding a title and reaping the benefits; it’s about being part of a community committed to raising standards and promoting global excellence in health and safety.

But, like most things, that comes at a cost (albeit small).

How much does membership cost?

As a new applicant for IOSH membership, except if you are eligible for student membership (Free), you will join as an Affiliate Member and pay £208 for your first year (which includes a one-time admin fee).

IOSH will review your qualifications and experience to determine whether you are eligible for an upgrade to Technical or Certified membership. If you are, they will let you know, and you won’t have to pay anything extra to upgrade.

If you are eligible (and choose) to upgrade your membership through one of IOSH’s assessment routes, you must pay the appropriate fee.

To achieve Chartered membership, you will also pay with your time and effort; it’ll be worth it, but you’ll need to put in the hard yards.

You may be eligible for financial support.

Worth noting is that, in certain circumstances, IOSH can provide financial assistance towards new membership and assessment fees.

If you are an existing/former IOSH member, financial support may be offered through IOSH’s Benevolent Fund in certain situations.

IOSH has a helpful page on financial support and reasonable adjustments available; take a look.

How to become a member of IOSH

To become an IOSH member, you must meet specific criteria corresponding to the various membership levels. This typically involves a combination of academic qualifications, work experience, and commitment to professional development in the field of occupational health and safety.

The application process varies depending on the membership level you are applying for, with each level requiring different qualifications and experience.

The IOSH Membership Levels

Callout to explore IOSH's member levels

IOSH offers several levels of membership, each designed to reflect and support the professional journey of health and safety practitioners.

These membership categories range from Student Membership for those just starting out to Chartered Fellow for the most experienced and distinguished professionals in the field.

The levels include:

  • Student
  • Affiliate
  • Technical
  • Certified Membership
  • Chartered membership
  • Chartered Fellow membership

Note: IOSH membership levels have recently changed, resulting in replacing two membership types: the Associate membership and the graduate membership.

The Associate Member grade has been replaced with Affiliate Member, and the Graduate Member level is now the Certified Member.

Student Membership

As a student studying for a health and safety career, you are eligible to become an IOSH Student Member.

This membership level provides access to IOSH resources and networks, helping students build a foundation for their future careers in health and safety.

How to become a student member

Student Membership is open to individuals currently studying an IOSH-approved health and safety course.

To apply, students must provide proof of enrollment in a relevant course (Such as the IOSH Managing Safely). Not enrolled yet?

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For membership, you’ll pay a one-time fee of £15 that covers the duration of your studies.

Affiliate membership

IOSH Affiliate Membership is generally your starting point if you are or want to pursue a health and safety career or if your job role comes with health and safety responsibilities.

By joining as an affiliate, new members gain access to many IOSH resources and networking opportunities, all aimed at supporting you on your way to higher membership levels.

How to become an affiliate member

So, you want to become an affiliate member with IOSH…

To apply for Affiliate Membership, you must register through IOSH’s online portal and pay the initial £208 fee.

Technical Membership (Tech IOSH)

Technical Membership is for those with certain health and safety qualifications and experience in an ‘operational health and safety role’.

In short, if you have achieved an IOSH level 3 qualification (or an equivalent) coupled with a year’s relevant experience, you are eligible for Tech IOSH membership.

How to become a technical member

Technical membership requires you to provide evidence of the following:

  • A level 3 IOSH accredited qualification or equivalent (i.e. NEBOSH National General Certificate In Occupational Health And Safety)
  • At least two years of relevant work experience.

The process involves submitting evidence of qualifications and experience and, sometimes, undergoing a peer review interview.

Part of the deal is that you maintain your up-to-date (30 hours per year) continuing professional development record (CPD).

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Certified membership (Cert IOSH)

CertIOSH (formerly known as graduate membership or GradIOSH) is for those in a senior health and safety role with a relevant degree level qualification.

Do you have the experience but not the qualifications? The good news is that IOSH offers an experiential route, too. Provide evidence of significant health and safety experience; a certified membership could be yours.

IOSH knows its certified members’ goal will likely be to continue their career progression and achieve Chartered status. Thus, the Certified membership is seen as a stepping stone towards Chartered Membership. IOSH will actively engage with certified professionals to develop their expertise in a structured manner, supporting progress.

How to become a certified member

The requirements for upgrading to the CertIOSH grade are:

  • A recognised and relevant degree-level qualification plus two years of relevant experience OR
  • Progress through IOSH’s experiential route if you have significant health and safety leadership experience. 

Once you get your membership, IOSH will be at your side, offering the support you need to become a Chartered member. You will be required to maintain a record of continuing professional development.

Chartered membership (CMIOSH)

As the only chartered body for Health and Safety, IOSH is the sole route to Chartered membership for occupational safety and health practitioners.

Chartered Membership is one of the highest levels of IOSH membership, reserved for Health and Safety specialists. It signifies a high level of professional achievement and commitment to ongoing development in the field of health and safety.

Chartered Members are recognised for their expertise and are often sought after for their advice and leadership in health and safety matters.

How to become a chartered member

You can gain Chartered membership status in one of two ways.

  • You can take the Initial Professional Development route (IPD) OR
  • You can evidence ten years of health and safety leadership experience, allowing you to progress through IOSH’s experiential route.

Regardless of how you get there, you’ll need to log 30 hours of CPD per year and pass the IOSH Ethical Practice in OSH online course and accompanying assessment.

On renewal, you’ll pay a £185 membership fee if you have upgraded to a Chartered membership.

The Initial Professional Development (IPD) route to Chartered

IPD is a route that Certified Members can take to progress to Chartered status.

There are three main routes through IPD. The exact route depends on the qualification you submitted to gain your Certified status – to find out more and see a video breaking down the process, visit IOSH’s page on IPD.

You can register for IPD as soon as you become a Certified Member. The registration fee is £160.

You’ll get two years to complete the assessment stage. Once you have finished the initial assessment process, your CPD will be reviewed, and you’ll be asked to book your online PRI, which is £80.

The Experiential Route

The Experiential Route allows individuals to become Certified and Chartered members based on their industry experience in a safety leadership role. In other words, with sufficient experience, you are not required to take further qualifications

Most applicants will have at least 5-10 years’ experience when applying through the experiential route. All applications are reviewed by IOSH and include interviews for Chartered members.

Experiential membership costs £1080.

For more detailed information, visit IOSH’s Experiential page.

Chartered Fellow (CFIOSH)

Once you achieve chartered status, there is only one more step to the pinnacle of IOSH’s professional membership pyramid: the Chartered Fellow status.

CFIOSH is reserved for Chartered safety practitioners who can demonstrate outstanding dedication to their profession and are role models for their colleagues, organisations, and the health and safety community.

How to become a chartered fellow member

To become a Chartered Fellow, you will need to have a minimum of five years of relevant senior health and safety leadership experience and Chartered Membership.

As with other membership levels, a Chartered Fellow must continue to keep on top of their continuing professional development (CPD) and pass IOSH’s Ethical Practice in OSH course and assessment.

If you’re a Fellow and it’s renewal time, you’ll pay a membership fee of £203.

The process involves a rigorous application and assessment, including a peer review.

IOSH Membership Renewal

Renewing your IOSH membership is important to maintain your professional status and continue enjoying the benefits of being part of the IOSH community. Here’s a general guide on how to renew your membership:

  1. Notification: Don’t worry; you won’t need to keep an eye on your diary for fear of missing your renewal deadline. You will receive a reminder (including a breakdown of any costs associated with your membership grade) from IOSH as your renewal date approaches, so keep an eye on your email or post for this notification.

  2. Review Membership Details: Reviewing your current membership level and personal details is a good idea before renewing. Ensure your contact information, employment details, and professional development records are current.

  3. Online Renewal: Great news, the membership renewal process couldn’t be easier. When you get your initial membership, you will have been issued with an online IOSH account. When it comes to your renewal, follow these steps:

    1. Log in to your My IOSH Account

    2. Find and click the ‘renew now’ link in the ‘my details’ box.

    3. Enter your credit or debit card details to cover your membership fees (Check the current membership renewal fees for your level)

  4. Confirmation and Receipt: After payment, you should receive a confirmation of your renewal. Keep a copy of the receipt for your records.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD): Ensure that your CPD records are up to date if this is a requirement for your membership level. IOSH may require evidence of ongoing learning and development in the field.

Upgrading Your IOSH Membership

On your health and safety journey, you’ll want to upgrade your membership to reflect your qualifications and experience as they develop. A higher membership level will make you more attractive to prospective employers and more respected within the industry.

Don’t forget, each level comes with a fee.

If you’re eligible to progress your membership you may wish to check in on IOSH’s current prices of your required level.

Review the levels above to see what you require to meet the required standards. You will need to provide sufficient evidence to IOSH, on which they will base their decision.

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Matthew Channell
Matthew is TSW Training’s Commercial Director. He writes about performance focussed learning, leadership, and management approaches that have real-world, sustainable impact.
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