The NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is relevant for supervisors and managers working in a risky environment.
But the qualification is open for anyone with health and safety responsibilities. It's valuable if you're trying to reduce absence and sickness, and the associated costs. It proves your experience, giving you oomph in your current role and influence at interviews.
- The NEBOSH General Certificate is accessible for everyone. Why you want the qualification is a personal choice, but career advancement is one we hear most regularly.
- Employers want NEBOSH in their ranks to reduce the work-related injury and illness costs, plus to prove they're abiding by the Health and Safety at Work 1999 regulations.
- There's no organisation without risk and the NEBOSH General Certificate is broad and versatile enough that it can be applied sector-wide.
A NEBOSH qualification enriches your career in more ways than one - it's not just about working safely.
Firstly, NEBOSH is the 'gold standard' in health and safety training you. If you want to be a world-class health and safety expert, this is the course for you.
That sterling reputation isn't limited to just the UK. It's a globally respected qualification - if you want to stretch your wings, you're employable world over.
How's that possible? The syllabus is flexible and applicable in nearly all working situations. It's proven to pull up standards in retail, engineering, construction, aerospace and beyond - it's relevant to every workplace, in any industry.
So, if you have a change of heart about your career, you can just pack up your desk and start somewhere else.
Whatever your role, if you're given health and safety responsibilities, or you're thrust into a risky environment, you've got the training to do your job with autonomy, and manage the situation and team within it.
Finally, if you're angling for a promotion, you can use the qualification to place extra value on your skills and use it (along with examples and evidence) for leverage. We've dug into the salary and career progression opportunities here.
But, you don't need a reason for self-improvement - developing your skills and feeling like you've progressed is good for your wellbeing and mental health.
Case study - Matt Huws-Davies, NEBOSH General Certificate
We spoke to one of our learners, Matt Huws-Davies, in March 2020, about why he wanted to take the NEBOSH General Certificate:
"Having worked for six years in construction and now just over two years in the steel industry as a production and operations supervisor, health and safety has become a huge part of my everyday working life.
"I already had the IOSH Managing Safely to help me do my job. But it only touched on what I really wanted and needed to know to do my job more effectively and efficiently.
"I wanted to progress and advance my career to the next level and move up to management. I felt the only logical option was to study for the NEBOSH General Certificate.
"I made the decision to pay for the course myself. Considering the huge personal investment of money and time, I wanted to study with a company with an excellent reputation, pass rate and that offered optimum surroundings study in.
"After a lot of research and speaking to others it became clear that TSW were the company I could place my trust and investment in, to secure a better future for myself and my family."
If you're researching health and safety training for your employees, your motives are likely to be clearer cut - namely, reducing accidents and saving money:
- NEBOSH is proven to reduce injuries and illness, cutting your spend on cover, sick leave, litigation and fines
- Qualified employees contribute to improved levels of employee wellbeing
- It demonstrates your commitment to quality processes and health and safety
- It develops and strengthens your health and safety culture
There are numerous return on investment benefits too - don't miss our blog, 10 ways the NEBOSH General Certificate improves your business performance.
The good news is that you don't need any entry requirements to join a NEBOSH General Certificate course. A good understanding of English is all you need to see you through.
Although it's a level 3 - the most demanding of the entry-level courses - the course is paced so no one is left behind.
All experience levels are welcome - you could be at the very start of your career, or have a number of years under your belt. The health and safety landscape is in a constant state of evolution, so even if you have 20 years of experience on the job, chances are there's still a lot to learn.
If you're new to health and safety, don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. Listen closely to your course mates' experiences. If you can recall how the syllabus is relevant to industry, it'll be easier to answer exam questions and you won't have to rely on reciting facts without context.
The syllabus guides you through the factual must-knows about workplace health and safety, like UK legislation, to what you must do to keep your workplace safe. The syllabus might challenge old habits and tired health and safety routines.
NEBOSH is relevant to all and every industry because there's no organisation that exists in a risk vacuum.
It's desirable in the public and private sector, at paper mills and packaging companies, software developers, truck and bus manufacturers, storage firms, pharmaceuticals and project management consultancies - NEBOSH really is that versatile.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. A NEBOSH General Certificate will bring vibrancy and dimension to any role you take on:
- Safety, health and environment managers SHE/HSE
- Safety health, environment and quality advisers and managers (SHEQ)
- Managers, controllers, assessors and co-ordinators in health and safety, or not
- Compliance roles
- Health and safety executive specialist (HSE)
- Environmental health and safety specialist (EHS)
You're by no means expected to have NEBOSH unless it's specifically asked for in the job description. It might be that the employer just needs evidence that your health and safety skills are up to date to comply with the Health and Safety at Work 1999 regs.