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    IOSH vs NEBOSH: Which course is right for me?

    IOSH vs NEBOSH: Which course is right for me?

    Published on January 10th, 2023 | by Sophie West

    Have you just started your Health & Safety career? Are you looking to progress to the next stage or your carer or just not sure where to start? Is IOSH or NEBOSH the best course for you? Here we will answer some of the most common questions.

    Both NEBOSH and IOSH offer a vast selection of courses to suit different industries, whether your role is an executive, manager, supervisor or an ambitious health and safety professional looking to further their career a NEBOSH or IOSH qualification is suitable.

    The main difference between NEBOSH and IOSH is, whilst both are awarding bodies IOSH is also a member organisation.

    Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions we get asked.


    What is NEBOSH?

    NEBOSH (The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) was formed in 1979 as an awarding body with charitable status.

    Agility offers the NEBOSH National General Certificate as in-house, classroom or via online learning. These learning options allow candidates to complete the training how they feel more comfortable. It will involve a minimum of 68 taught hours and approximately 40 hours of private study and background reading.

    NEBOSH offer a comprehensive range of globally-recognised qualifications, designed to meet the health, safety and environmental management needs of all places of work these cover to name a few:

    • Health and Safety Management for Construction
    • Environmental Management Certificate
    • Certificate in Fire Safety


    What is IOSH?

    IOSH stands for The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. They are the leading body and largest membership organisation for safety and health professionals. Their training and approved courses provide valuable knowledge, skills and qualifications for people who deal with safety and health within the workplace.

    Agility offers multiple IOSH-accredited and IOSH-approved courses as in-house, classroom or via online learning covering:


    Exams – What to expect

    NEBOSH exams

    NG1 – The invigilated paper-based exam has been permanently replaced with a digital assessment. Learners will have 24 hours to access, complete and submit their paper starting from 11am (UK time) on the examination date.

    NG2 – The practical unit NG2

    IOSH MS exams

    On your last day there will be a final closed-book exam, previously two mock exams will be provided. You will also be asked to complete a risk assessment carried out in your workplace and highlighting hazards identified and control measure to reduce the risk.


    The difference between NEBOSH and IOSH qualifications

    Both IOSH and NEBOSH offer widely recognised qualifications in health and safety, however, NEBOSH offers courses for people who work within health and safety and want to make it a career. IOSH is aimed at people who have health and safety responsibilities within the workplace but don’t directly work within health and safety. They just need that basic knowledge in order to be compliant.


    What are the next steps?

    Neither IOSH nor NEBOSH has any entry requirements so you could choose either course as your entry point, all you will require is a suitable standard of English language in order to understand and articulate the concepts contained in the syllabus. However, NEBOSH is an intense 10-day course, and we recommend completing IOSH Managing Safely first, giving you general knowledge and an overall understanding of health and safety, although this is not essential.

    After completing IOSH Managing safely it is recommended to sit the IOSH MS refresher course every 3 years due to updates of legislation and processes, you then may want to continue with your health and safety career and complete NEBOSH NGC.

    Having completed NEBOSH NGC, the next step possibly may be to look at the NEBOSH Diploma.

    You can book your place on any of our IOSH courses or NEBOSH National General Certificate online here.

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    Contact Agility R&C

    Agility Risk & Compliance Ltd provide tailored solutions to mitigate risk and improve compliance in Health and Safety, HR, Training, and Occupational Health.

    If you have an enquiry please call us on 01527 571611 or email us on

    Existing clients call our 24-hour service and you will be directed to your expert consultant.

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