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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.

October 4, 2019

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NEBOSH Diplomas, General Certificate and Awards

NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) is a charitable organisation, which offers a comprehensive range of globally-recognised qualifications designed to meet the health, safety and environmental management needs of all places of work.

NEBOSH 40-year anniversary

NEBOSH kicked off its 40th anniversary roadshow with Lord Jordan hosting an event at the prestigious House of Lords in London. Since its inception in 1979, as an awarding body with charitable status, it has awarded nearly 400,000 qualifications, in over 130 countries through its network of more than 600 Learning Partners. The people and organisations behind these achievements have made a significant contribution to the development of health and safety across the world.

It offers a comprehensive range of globally-recognised qualifications designed to meet the health, safety and environmental management needs of all places of work.

Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications attract around 50,000 candidates annually and are offered by over 620 course providers, with exams taken in over 120 countries around the world.

NEBOSH Chief Executive, Ian Taylor, said: “To go home safely at the end of the working day is a right, not a privilege. Over the past 40 years, NEBOSH has helped to secure that right for people all over the world. We will continue to ensure this global progress continues for many more years to come.

“We’ve got a great team of people, learners and partners behind us, and with an exciting new three year strategy – spearheaded by the launch of our new-look General Certificates earlier in September 2019 – the future looks incredibly bright.”

View the NEBOSH 40th anniversary mosaic here.

What does NEBOSH stand for?

NEBOSH stands for ‘The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health’.

In 2014, it was awarded Britain’s highest accolade for trade success, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, for our “outstanding achievement” in International Trade.

NEBOSH qualifications are recognised by the relevant professional membership bodies including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM) and Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA).

In addition, NEBOSH examinations and assessments are set by its professionally qualified staff assisted by external examiners; most of whom are Chartered Safety and Health Practitioners or Chartered Environmentalists operating within industry, the public sector or in enforcement.

In addition, NEBOSH is also an ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 certified organisation.

To understand what is involved, this video is an example of a practice exam question:

NEBOSH qualifications

NEBOSH offers three categories of qualifications – Award, Certificate and Diploma – which are taken by more than 35,000 people every year.

In addition, it also now offers a range of Masters degrees, through a partnership with the University of Hull.


NEBOSH’s Award-level qualifications provide a basic understanding of health and safety and environmental principles and practice and provide a perfect introduction to other NEBOSH qualifications. Three awards are currently available:

As well as in English, the NEBOSH Health and Safety at Work Qualification can be taken in five other languages, French, Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Russian.

NEBOSH Certificate

In September 2019, NEBOSH unveiled its new-look General Certificate. National and International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety were updated, after input from 3,000 of the sector’s leading experts and organisations.

Taking on board the comments from businesses and managers, NEBOSH said that the refresh means the qualifications now better reflect the needs of today’s workplaces, with a greater emphasis on risk management. Around 300,000 people worldwide hold a NEBOSH General Certificate, which is recognised by many high-profile organisations including Maersk, The Football Association, Thames Water, Shell, Skanska, Nestle and the Dubai World Trade Centre.

At the time, NEBOSH Chief Executive, Ian Taylor, said: “To go home safely at the end of the working day is a right, not a privilege; our General Certificates help secure that right for people all over the world. Through an extensive consultation process we captured not just what companies want their people to know – but what they need to be able to do. We’ve made sure the refreshed qualification truly meets the needs of the hundreds of thousands of organisations and learners it’s designed to serve.”

The assessment has also been updated. Learners will undertake a single question paper to assess what they know whilst a practical risk assessment will assess what they can do. This holistic approach will ensure successful learners return to work and instantly add value to their employers and colleagues.

NEBOSH’s Certificate-level qualifications give a good foundation in health and safety for managers, supervisors and staff with health and safety among their day to day responsibilities.

These qualifications are widely taken as a first step towards a career in health and safety and are accepted by IOSH – the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health – in meeting the academic requirements for Technical Membership of IOSH (Tech IOSH).

For those seeking a long-term career in occupational health and safety, Certificate level qualifications offer a progression route towards NEBOSH professional level Diplomas.

11 NEBOSH Certificate-level qualifications are currently available:

In this video Roxanne Woodiwiss a graduate with distinction gives her tips for passing  the NEBOSH National General Certificate exam:.

NEBOSH Diploma

NEBOSH Diplomas are globally recognised qualifications aimed at professional health and safety advisors and environmental practitioners.
Previous experience of health and safety is strongly recommended and entry requirements may be set by course providers.

Completion of a NEBOSH Diploma provides an excellent foundation for further study. Diplomates are invited to the NEBOSH Graduation Ceremony, held at the University of Warwick. Family and friends are also able to attend to enjoy and celebrate your achievement.
Four diplomas are currently available:

NEBOSH Masters

NEBOSH exams

The University of Hull in partnership with NEBOSH are offering Masters Degrees by distance learning in Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management subjects.

Six different Masters are available:

  • MSc in Occupational Health and Safety Management;
  • MSc in Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management;
  • MSc in Environmental Management;
  • MRes in Occupational Health and Safety Management;
  • MRes in Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Management;
  • MRes in Environmental Management.

These qualifications are open to holders of a NEBOSH Diploma who wish to further their learning in Health and Safety and/or Environmental Management. They have been designed with an emphasis on flexibility for those people in full time work looking to complement their previous NEBOSH Diploma studies.

Delivered through distance learning, these qualifications are ideal for both national and international candidates wishing to gain a Masters level qualification focussed on workplace-based research.

Health and safety jobs

NEBOSH supports the health and safety jobs site, SHP4Jobs

For more information about NEBOSH and its qualifications, visit

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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This doesn’t explain how they sit on the regulated qualifications framework adequately, and the levels associated with each, perhaps this could be revised? How does NEBOSH Certificate compare to a Level 4 RQF qualifications,for example, what about recognising prior learning from previous qualifications. A bit advertorial!