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Which occupational safety and health qualification should I get?

What is a health and safety qualification?

Whether you’re just starting out in occupational safety and health (OSH) 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 OSH 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. And here’s why.

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

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is the world’s leading chartered professional body for people responsible for safety and health in the workplace. Being a member gives you credibility – and employers are assured you’re on life-long journey of learning through our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

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

Which health and safety qualification should I get?

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

If you want to become an OSH 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.

IOSH accredits numerous qualifications/programmes around the world. Check out our database to find your perfect match – you can filter by country, study type and IOSH membership level.

Qualifications and IOSH member grades

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

What qualifications do I need to be a Student Member?

To be eligible for Student Membership, you need to fall into one of the three groups below.

  • Full- or part-time student on an IOSH-accredited OSH qualification (and your first OSH qualification).
  • Level 3 Safety and Health for Business Safety e-learning student (and your first OSH qualification).
  • Safety, Health and Environment Technician Apprentice.

Student Members are then eligible for one of three membership categories on successful completion of their studies.

What qualifications do I need for AIOSH?

You usually need to hold a European Qualifications Framework Level 4 or equivalent.

What qualifications do I need for TechIOSH?

You usually need to hold a European Qualifications Framework Level 4 or other approved qualification such as the IOSH Level 3 certificate and have practical experience.

What qualifications do I need for GradIOSH?

You need to hold an IOSH-accredited Level 6 qualification, such as a degree, or equivalent.

What level is IOSH’s Managing Safely ® course?

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.

It’s just one of IOSH’s suite of 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.


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