What is IOSH and What Does it Do?

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What does IOSH stand for?

If you have anything to do with Health and Safety, you probably know a little about IOSH. But you may still wonder what it stands for.

The acronym IOSH stands for Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

Their lofty vision statement gives a better flavour of what they really ‘stand for’; IOSH aims to be “…the voice of the occupational health and safety profession…supporting its members in delivering their simple vision of a safe and healthy world of work”.

Since its formation in 1945, the organisation has provided guidance, support, and education to organisations across the globe. This commitment to best practices and high standards earned the Institute a Royal Charter in 2002.

Chartered in 2002

Recognised worldwide, IOSH is now the world’s leading Chartered body for health and safety.

Chartered Membership with IOSH is now seen as the gold standard for professional excellence in workplace safety. In addition, around 179,000 people take an IOSH course every year.

As well as being the largest membership organisation for health and safety professionals, IOSH champions safe practices, consulting with governments and National Governing Bodies in 130 countries.

A yellow hard hat, safety glasses and gloves on a table.

What does IOSH do?

IOSH is pivotal in shaping the health and safety landscape and is committed to creating safer working environments globally.

This section delves into their four key areas of focus, including:

  1. A resource for health and safety management expertise, resources and support
  2. A key player in influencing and setting health and safety standards
  3. An Awarding Body offering IOSH safety qualifications
  4. A globally recognised professional membership organisation for occupational health and safety

Occupational Health and Safety Management

They lead the way in health and safety management by providing expertise, resources, and support to organisations across various sectors.

They focus on helping businesses understand and implement effective health and safety practices. This involves guiding strategies that integrate health and safety into the core operations of organisations, ensuring a comprehensive approach to employee well-being and risk management.

Occupational Safety and Health Standards

Setting robust health and safety standards is another critical area of the institution’s work.

They actively develop and promote best practices and standards in workplace health and safety. This includes conducting research, collaborating with policymakers, and working with industry leaders to elevate the importance of health and safety on a global scale.

IOSH’s standards are frequently recognised as benchmarks for quality and efficacy in the occupational health and safety field.

IOSH Safety Qualifications

At the heart of IOSH’s mission is providing high-quality safety qualifications. These qualifications cater to various professionals, from entry-level workers to senior executives.

IOSH’s health and safety training courses are designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage health and safety issues effectively.

These qualifications are especially valuable for organisational buyers seeking the best education and training for their staff, tailored to specific roles and industry requirements. They are a go-to for businesses that want to develop a safety culture and a solid corporate reputation.

IOSH Membership

Beyond its training remit, IOSH is a leading membership organisation. It offers a number of globally recognised membership opportunities, from Affiliate Member to Chartered Member, catering to professionals at various stages of their health and safety careers.

Membership comes with many benefits, including access to a wealth of resources, the latest industry insights, networking opportunities, online forums, and professional recognition.

Become a member, and you can stay up-to-date with the latest developments in health and safety, share best practices, and continue your professional development.

IOSH membership is recognised as a hallmark of commitment and expertise in the field of occupational safety and health. Find out more about your options for becoming an IOSH member here.

What Is IOSH Training?

IOSH Training is a cornerstone of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s mission to improve workplace safety and health. To this end, IOSH operates as an awarding body, which means it sets standards for health and safety qualification and accreditation.

If you want to become qualified for a health and safety career or improve your safety knowledge, you may well attend a training course. IOSH and others, like NEBOSH, are responsible for developing many of these programmes and working with Training providers, like TSW Training, to deliver them.

Below, we explore some of IOSH’s health and safety courses.

Health and Safety Courses

IOSH offers a range of courses tailored to meet the needs of different workplace requirements, roles and responsibilities. From basic understanding to more complex subjects

They are designed to be practical, engaging, and accessible, ensuring coverage for whole-organisation learning needs. Because of that, IOSH provides a holistic portfolio for workforce development and influencing health and safety culture.

You can see this bottom-up approach in the naming of their most popular courses, i.e.

  • IOSH Working Safely
  • IOSH Managing Safely
  • IOSH Leading Safely

There is an IOSH course for everything, with essential topics covered, such as:

  • Safety Policies
  • Workplace hazards
  • Safety Risks
  • Risk assessment
  • Workplace accidents
  • Legal responsibilities
  • Management and supervisory responsibilities

Practical Training

IOSH training is not just about knowledge dissemination; it also focuses on real-world applications and practical tools, which are core to our mission here at TSW Training.

Our IOSH training courses empower individuals to manage risks and create safer working environments. This aspect is vital for organisational buyers looking to equip their teams with the skills to effectively handle real-world health and safety challenges.

One of the key advantages of IOSH’s courses is their flexibility. We deliver them in various formats, including in-person workshops, online modules, and blended learning options.

This flexibility ensures that training can be tailored to suit different learning styles and schedules, making it more accessible and effective.

What is an IOSH qualification?

You can gain an IOSH qualification (aka IOSH Certification) if you complete one of their courses and successfully finish the required assessment.

For example, by attending the IOSH Managing Safely course and completing the associated exam and risk assessment project assessments, you will be issued with an IOSH certificate and, thus, an IOSH qualification.

Getting an IOSH qualification on your CV is a great way to recognise and enhance your knowledge and operational expertise, regardless of the sectors you work in.

IOSH Courses

IOSH offers a range of courses designed to cater to various levels of professional responsibility in health and safety.

Two of the most prominent courses are ‘IOSH Working Safely’ and ‘IOSH Managing Safely’.

As the names suggest, these courses are made for different organisational roles. The array of titles offered ensures that everyone, from front-line workers to team leaders and managers, has the necessary knowledge and skills to contribute to a safer workplace.

IOSH Working safely

The one-day ‘IOSH Working Safely’ course is for workers at any level in any sector.

As a level one equivalent qualification, Working Safely provides essential knowledge and understanding of working safely, emphasising why health and safety are important and how individuals can make a real difference in the workplace.

The course covers the basics of occupational safety and health, including identifying common hazards, understanding safe working practices, and recognising the importance of safety performance within the workplace. This course is ideal for introducing staff to why health and safety are integral to their job.

For more information or to book the course, visit our IOSH Working Safely Course page.

IOSH Managing Safely

On the other hand, the ‘IOSH Managing Safely’, a three-day course, is tailor-made for managers and supervisors in any sector.

The course dives into health and safety management practice, focusing on assessing and controlling risks, understanding responsibilities, and investigating accidents. It equips managers with the skills necessary to manage health and safety effectively.

As with all IOSH courses, they back up these skills with practical advice, steps and tools to ensure workplace safety, health, and well-being.

This course is essential for those responsible for managing risk and resources.

For more information or to book the course, visit our IOSH Managing Safely Course Page.

Choosing between IOSH and NEBOSH

When it comes to health and safety qualifications, two of the most recognised bodies are IOSH and NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health). Both offer valuable qualifications but cater to different needs and career paths.

Understanding the distinctions between IOSH and NEBOSH can help individuals and organisations make an informed choice based on their specific requirements.

See our dedicated article to explore the differences.

For practical advice on the best awarding body and course for you, speak with one of our experienced learning advisors.

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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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