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Which health and safety qualification should I get?

Choose a course or qualification that suits your needs

Whether you’re just starting out in health and safety or looking to progress your career, you’ll likely need a relevant qualification.

Health and safety qualifications are designed to give you the industry-specific knowledge and skills required to work in the field. There are options at all levels – from introductory courses to university degrees and management education.

But there’s more to developing yourself and enhancing your career than picking the right course or qualification. And here’s why.

Employers are looking for candidates who can showcase their desire and dedication to being the best occupational safety and health (OSH) professional they can. And nothing better demonstrates your commitment than joining a professional body.

We are the world’s leading chartered professional body for people responsible for workplace health and safety. Being an IOSH member gives you credibility – and employers are assured you’re on a life-long journey of learning through our continuing professional development (CPD) programme.

We can also help you find the best qualification to suit your needs.

We accredit qualifications and programmes around the world. Our database can help you find your match – you can filter by country, study type and IOSH membership level.

Courses versus qualifications

For those doing occupational safety and health tasks as part of a wider role, we recommend an awareness course such as IOSH Working Safely® to teach you the basics of health and safety.

If you want to become an occupational safety and health professional, you should look at either a level 3 qualification or a degree.

Level 3 qualifications are suitable for people wishing to move into a first operational role, while degree-level qualifications and relevant experience are usually required for more senior roles.

Qualifications and IOSH member grades

We encourage our members to progress through the grades to deepen their knowledge and skills and enhance their employability. The qualifications you need depend on the individual member grade.

If you’re studying an IOSH qualification, an IOSH-accredited qualification or are a safety, health and environment (SHE) technician apprentice, you can apply for Student membership. On successful completion of your studies, you may be eligible for Technical or Certified membership.

You need an IOSH-accredited level 3 (or equivalent) qualification and one year’s practical experience.

You need an IOSH-accredited level 6 qualification (or equivalent), such as a degree, plus two years’ practical experience. 

IOSH Managing Safely® is the market-leading health and safety course for line managers in any sector worldwide. Although it isn’t a qualification as such, it’s an internationally recognised and respected certification that’s designed to help anyone and everyone in a working role who wants to learn the basics of safety and health.

Managing Safely® is just one of our awareness courses across four categories – core skills, management education, executive education and professional development – to help you develop whatever stage you’re at in your career.