The world’s leading Health and Safety accreditation body, IOSH, offers a range of courses and exams suitable for all industries at a number of levels of management. IOSH is also the only professional chartered body for Health and Safety professionals, including those working in HR roles. The organisation provides a range of qualifications which are recognised as the leading standard in health and safety qualifications. Each IOSH exam is designed to reflect the specific needs and challenges of individual roles within any organisation and there is a strong mix of both examination and practical assessment. The practical assessments are a key element of the qualification and are designed to assess candidates in the most appropriate setting – their own workplace.

Types of Qualification

There are five levels of qualification in the general workplace safety courses. Courses are provided by a range of accredited training organisations, most of which offer options to study at dedicated training centres (suitable for small firms with possibly only one or two employees requiring training) or courses that can be delivered in-house. Options on some courses also involve e-learning opportunities which, again, are often the most suitable for small firms. The basic level of qualification, suitable for a broad range of employees is the IOSH Working Safely; next comes IOSH Managing Safely or IOSH Managing Safely in Construction. Two courses are dedicated to senior level management; IOSH Safety for Senior Executives and Directors and IOSH Directing Safely. These latter two are aimed at broader strategic safety management and cover relevant legislation in more depth.

The IOSH Exams and Practical Assessments

The type of IOSH exam involved in the course depends on the level taken. All courses include short examinations, taken during the course. In the case of the executive and director courses, the examination is taken in the form of a short test paper only – with no practical workplace assessment. For the management level courses (both general and construction) the IOSH exam reflects the practical application of Health and Safety in specific roles with a workplace based assessment. This is completed by each candidate in their own workplace and is then returned for assessment. It’s possibly this aspect of IOSH exam assessment that gives the qualifications their real value. The focussed IOSH training provides an excellent grounding in the subjects and by placing the practical assessment in the candidates own, real-life work place is an ideal way to turn the theory into truly practical skill.

The Need for Adequate Training

Although Health and Safety regulations have been altered in recent years to cut the level of ‘red-tape’ – especially for small firms – other legislation has been introduced. New laws relating to corporate manslaughter and homicide have seen increasing levels of prosecutions being brought to court and fine levels for Health and Safety breaches are on an upward trend. In this environment, for small firms in particular, the need for IOSH training and qualifications remains imperative.

The IOSH exam and assessment process is considered one of the best, most robust form of health and safety training available.