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March 1, 2016

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IOSH membership levels explained

IOSH is the biggest health and safety membership organisation in the world, and the only chartered body for health and safety professionals.

IOSH training

IOSH is the voice of the profession, campaigning on issues that affect millions of working people. It was founded in 1945 and has over 47,000 members in around 130 countries. As a world leader in health and safety training, over 179,000 people take IOSH’s courses every year.

Through its new five-year strategy, ‘WORK 2022 – shaping the future of safety and health’, IOSH believes that by working together we can achieve a safer and healthier world of work.

IOSH sets the standard for the profession and supports its members’ development with resources, guidance, events and training.

IOSH membership

The seven membership categories are:

  • Student Member
  • Affiliate Member
  • Associate Member (AIOSH)
  • Technical Member (Tech IOSH)
  • Graduate Member (Grad IOSH)
  • Chartered Member (CMIOSH)
  • Chartered Fellow (CFIOSH)
IOSH membership levels

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With over 70 accredited qualifications on offer, members can choose from a broad range at various institutions to help them progress through our membership categories.

IOSH Managing Safely

An example of one qualification offered by IOSH is:

  • The NCFE IOSH Level 3 General Certificate in Safety and Health for Business
    This qualification provides an understanding of safety and health in a business context. Building on the IOSH Managing Safely course, this qualification is the ideal next step to become eligible for IOSH membership, opening a world of professional opportunities and resources that will support progress at work and contribute tangibly to business success.

Have a look at IOSH’s list of qualifications and institutions that meet the academic requirements for Associate (AIOSH) / Technical (Tech IOSH) and Graduate (Grad IOSH) membership, and where these are available.

  • If you are studying for your first OSH qualification, you may be eligible for Student Membership. To find out more please go to On Graduation, Student Members will be offered to upgrade to full IOSH Membership.

If you have already completed an IOSH accredited qualification you will need to join as an Affiliate Member and apply for a higher level of IOSH membership. To apply for a membership category transfer Affiliates and Student Members will need to provide IOSH with their qualification certificate.

Educational routes into membership

For those looking for a career in health and safety a good starting point would be a qualification that is awarded through a recognised educational regulating body such as Ofqual and is at a recognised level on a National Qualifications Framework.

Some points to consider when considering a qualification in health and safety:

  • What is your preferred method of study – exams, assignments or work-based assessments?
  • How much time can you dedicate to study – can you balance work, study and home commitments?
  • How will your study be financed – self, employer?
  • If your goal is to join a Professional Body, then consider the kinds of qualifications that are acceptable for their categories of membership.

The different types of qualification range from a Level 3 (RQF) equivalent to an ‘A’ level, to postgraduate degrees (FHEQ). The difference between the range of diverse types of health and safety is the modes of study and how they are assessed.

IOSH certificate

To become an Associate/Technical member you will need to have completed a qualification in Occupational, Safety and Health (OSH) in one of the areas below:

To become a Graduate member, you will need to have completed a qualification in OSH in one of the areas below:

  • Level 6 qualification in accordance to EQF.
  • Degrees at level 6. (Bachelors degrees with honours, Bachelors degree, Professional Graduate Certificate, Graduate Certificate/ Diploma)
  • Degrees at level 7. Master’s degrees, Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma
  • Cognate degree (A degree in a safety or health related discipline which covers a minimum of 50% Health and Safety content)
  • NVQ level 5 Diploma (Must include additional Unit 611)
  • SCQF level 10 Diploma

Benefits of IOSH membership

IOSH membership is recognised worldwide as the benchmark for professional safety and health excellence. It is required by employers recruiting or promoting safety and health professionals.

Through continuing professional development (CPD), IOSH members build their skills, knowledge and expertise to help them become more rounded and valued safety and health professionals.

Being an IOSH member benefits you, your organisation and the wider world of work.

It develops you as a practitioner, enhances your career prospects, keeps you up to date and extends your network. Your organisation gains from employing a member of the Chartered body in occupational safety and health.

With IOSH’s advice and support, you will be helping your organisation improve its reputation, productivity and resilience by looking after the health and wellbeing of its workforce.

And by joining IOSH, you make your contribution to research, evidence-based solutions, collaborations with business and other professions and global campaigns on the important safety and health issues of the day.

IOSH course

Some of the benefits of becoming an IOSH member include:

  • being able to attend free and low-cost seminars, access free technical information, get discounts on professional courses and network with thousands of other members
  • the industry-specific groups and local networks IOSH offers, supported and driven by committees of member volunteers. Our network of branches strengthens the relationship between IOSH and the global health and safety community at a local level. The IOSH groups bring together members with a shared interest or specialist area, to network and exchange information
  • joining IOSH networks that promote health and safety by organising meetings, conferences, workshops, site visits and webinars, which provide valuable professional development and networking opportunities.
  • through IOSH membership, demonstrating your commitment to the profession, staying up to date and developing your skills, knowledge and behaviours, something highly valued among employers.

IOSH competency framework

In 2019 IOSH introduced a new competency framework, with the aim to enable health & safety professionals to be able to benchmark themselves against their peers. Speaking about the launch, IOSH’s Head of Practice Duncan Spencer, said: “The competency framework is required, because we need a map for professionals to be able to say, where is my skill set compared to other people in my profession? And what do I need to change about my skill set in order to be able to progress my career?”

The framework with enable health and safety professionals to do two things. “Firstly, to be able to benchmark where their skills currently are, and whether that operates for them well. It will also enable you to look at what’s next? If I want to go for the next job in the career structure, or maybe two jobs at once and go for a big leap, then I’ve got to make sure that I develop the skills for the job that I want in the future.”

IOSH President James Quinn

James QuinnJames Quinn, Senior Health and Safety Manager for international construction contractor Multiplex, was confirmed as the new IOSH President in October 2020, succeeeding Professor Dr Andrew Sharman.

James said he aims to focus on ensuring the profession supports businesses into the future, it is crucial that it continues to recruit a high calibre of people during his Presidential year. He said there are two ways to achieve this: Through people seeking a career change moving into safety and health and through those starting their working life.

James himself is an Army Veteran of two-and-a-half decades. After leaving the Armed Forces, he joined Babcock International PLC as a Health, Safety and Environment Trainer, then Advisor, before becoming Health and Safety Manager for a large Middle East transport group.

James then became Area Occupational Health and Safety Manager for Multiplex in Abu Dhabi and is now Senior Health and Safety Manager for Multiplex in the UK. He is currently overseeing health and safety at Multiplex’s prestigious Broadway construction project in Westminster, London.

A Chartered Fellow of IOSH, James is also a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and Vice-Chair of the IOSH Construction Group, the Institution’s largest specialist sector group.

At the time of the appointment, Louise Hosking was confirmed as President-Elect and is due to become President in Autumn 2021. Three new Vice-Presidents were also confirmed: Ciarán Delaney, Lawrence Webb and Neil Catton.

SHP spoke to outgoing President Andrew Sharman about his year in the role, for the Safety & Health Podcast. Click here to listen.

IOSH Presidential team

Louise Hosking, President

Lawrence Webb, President Elect

James Quinn, Immediate Past President

Angela Abbs, Vice President

Richard Bate, Vice President

Neil Catton, Vice President

Dr David Gold, Vice President

Stuart Hughes, Vice President

Joanne Price, Vice President

Presidential handover 2021-22

Click here for bios of the IOSH Presidential team.

Click here for more information on IOSH’s competency framework.

More information about the benefits of joining IOSH is available here.

Further information about IOSH membership is available here.

Visit IOSH’s official careers site for vacancies in health and safety, recruitment services and career advice.

Latest IOSH articles

Upskill and Thrive: SHEilds Black November Promotion – 40% Off All Courses

Empower your career with the SHEilds Black November Promotion. Enjoy an exclusive 40% discount on all courses and seize the opportunity to upskill and thrive in today’s competitive job market.

Mind the fire safety gap – complexity versus competence

Andrea White, Fire Engineer and Managing Director of AW Fire, told delegates that the gap between building complexity and competence in fire safety was increasing at IOSH’s Fire Risk Management Conference in September.

HSE fatality figures show year on year increase – construction again most vulnerable

One hundred and thirty-five workers were killed in work-related incidents in Great Britain in the last year, according to HSE annual report.

Healthy and safe working conditions “must not remain a privilege for the few”, warns IOSH

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has urged delegates at a major global conference to commit to “leave no one behind” in ensuring all workers are offered health and safety protection.

Expo preview: IOSH keynotes on the benefits of cross-team collaboration

OSH practitioners can, and should, cooperate effectively across their organisation in pursuit of complementary goals, argue IOSH luminaries…

IOSH President and Head of Policy on safe, healthy workplaces as a human right

IOSH’s President Lawrence Webb and Head of Policy Ruth Wilkinson preview their upcoming Safety & Health Expo 2023 keynote.

An OSH career – SHP Rising Star finalist Saravanakumar Natarajan discusses raising safety standards

One of IOSH’s youngest chartered members, Saravanakumar talks to SHP about raising safety standards in a fast moving and challenging construction environment in India.

Why is Behavioural Science important for today’s leaders?

Behavioural Science Theory is a combination of elements of psychology, sociology, and anthropology to provide a scientific basis for understanding employee behaviour.

Key HS stakeholders urge Government to reconsider Retained EU Law Bill

Key voices from the health and safety sector are calling on the Government to scrap arbitrary deadlines of the EU Retained Law Bill.

Making your mark – the IOSH Blueprint

Mark Glover speaks to Nicole Rinaldi, Director of Professional at IOSH, about the Institute’s enhanced Blueprint tool.

Astutis announces Black Friday, Cyber Monday sale of Health & Safety, and Environmental Training Courses

Black Friday sales are set to commence on 24 November 2022 and Astutis are set to join in with their only public discount of the year.

Prime Minister urged by IOSH to reverse decision that could create “race to the bottom”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been called on by IOSH to reverse a decision made by his predecessor Liz Truss to exempt around 40,000 businesses from reporting requirements and regulations.

Government urged to prevent ‘watering down’ of health and safety rights

The UK Government has been urged to ensure worker health and safety rights are not “watered down”.

NCRQ to stop delivering qualifications

The National Compliance and Risk Qualifications (NCRQ) says it will no longer operate its education programme. The National Compliance and

Report seeks to relieve British railway workers

SHP hears from Ed Hodson, Chair of the IOSH Railway Group who shares his guidance on improving and providing better staff toilet facilities on the railways…

Coronavirus advice for employers

Boris Johnson has announced that all legal requirements to self-isolate in England will come to an end on Thursday 24 February, as he set out plans for ‘living with COVID’.

“Automation is great, but don’t forget health and safety”, urges industry expert

SHP hears from Doug Russell, an experienced health and safety professional on the increasing use of automation in food and drink manufacturing and his caution for industry bosses to ensure they assess and manage any health and safety risks associated.

Workers urged to keep their cool during hot weather

Workers are being urged to take simple steps to ensure they stay cool and don’t suffer from heat stress while working during hot weather.

‘Catch the wave’ is just getting started, declares IOSH president

IOSH’s flagship “catch the wave” programme, which aims to harness the power of social sustainability will not finish at the end of the year, according to the organisation’s president.

Top tips for preventing loneliness at work

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place in the UK from 9-15 May, is loneliness. Here, IOSH’s Ryan Exley looks at how to prevent loneliness in the workplace.

Closing the communication gap in the workplace

Tiffany Argent, Head of Customer QSHE Services for SafetyCulture in the EMEA region, talks to SHP about the importance of communication in health & safety, especially when considering colleagues on the frontline.

Advance your career in health and safety

Browse hundreds of jobs in health and safety, brought to you by SHP4Jobs, and take your next steps as a consultant, health and safety officer, environmental advisor, health and wellbeing manager and more.

Or, if you’re a recruiter, post jobs and use our database to discover the most qualified candidates.

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Kevin Lyons
Kevin Lyons
7 years ago

I have the following qualifications.


4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Lyons

Yes, easily you can up to Grad. IOSH.

6 years ago

i have IOSH Mnaging Safely with 10 years experience in Safety. can i get TECH IOSH membership.

4 years ago
Reply to  khuram

NO, For Tech. IOSH at least you must have NEBSOH Level-3 Certificate.

thiwanka dahanayake
thiwanka dahanayake
4 years ago

I already finish my iosh managing safely in 2015. How to become a iosh member.

thiwanka dahanayake
thiwanka dahanayake
4 years ago

which level may i ask next.

Ben Kilham
Ben Kilham
4 years ago

Does the NCRQ L6 certificate qualify for tech IOSH?

4 years ago

Hi, our inspection company is working inside iraq and we need to assist us to get the membership certificate for our company Asan Saz Inspection service

Joseph Hill-Ocheori
Joseph Hill-Ocheori
4 years ago

I have four years graduation in Environmental Engineering Technology and also achieved NEBOSH IGC plus have over 9 years hand-on-practical experience in occupational health & safety. What category of membership How do i become one?

4 years ago

I need someone to guard me to finish my BSC unit 3 assessment.

Dale Jones
Dale Jones
3 years ago

I have help IOSH managing safely since 2007, QCF Level 4 and Foundation degree in Mineral Extractive Technology.
What level could i expect to join at? 18 years in the Quarrying industry, 10 previous years in plant hire.

2 years ago

Hi I joined IOSH Affiliate membership How can I transfer to GradIOSH. I have completed my Nebosh Diploma

Anser Mehmood
Anser Mehmood
2 years ago

I am certified in IOSH Managing Safely And get certification in 2012, What type of membership do I have?