Looking to start a health and safety course?
Getting a health and safety qualification is not only a chance for you to develop your knowledge and expertise, but strong health and safety skills are also highly sought after in the UK’s most dangerous industries, such as construction and manufacturing, helping to set you apart from the competition.
The problem is knowing where to start. Thankfully, there are an abundance of health and safety courses available from a variety of training providers, so choosing the right one for your needs is the first (and most important) step towards gaining your qualification.
In this blog we will dive into everything you need to know before choosing the perfect health and safety course for you.
Understand what is required for your job role
Firstly, you will need to establish the level of qualification you need.
Most entry-level jobs within the health and safety industry require you to have a level 3 certificate in general health and safety as a bare minimum. These certificates usually require around 130 hours of study and will include an exam or assessment before completion. The NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is a great place to start and offers a comprehensive introduction to the world of health and safety.
From there, you have some more specialist health and safety certificates, such as the level 3 NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety, which provides knowledge for specific industries. These certificates usually require no previous qualifications and are also good entry-level health and safety courses for those looking to work within a particular sector.
If you’re looking to progress your career further, diplomas are usually required to secure a role at manager level or above. Diplomas are normally level 6 qualifications, the equivalent level to the final year of a typical Bachelor’s Degree. This means they require a significant amount of work to complete and often need between 400-500 hours of study to successfully pass. Proqual’s NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice is a popular option for those looking for a higher level qualification without the need for formal exams and requires students to already be working in a role with health and safety responsibilities.
Choose an awarding body right for you
There are several reputable awarding bodies within the UK to choose from. This choice is great as it allows you to select the exact type of training you want, but can be a little confusing.
The first thing you must consider is: what type of training are you looking for?
Whilst lots of training providers offer a variety of general health and safety courses, not all will offer sector-specific courses, so spend some time researching what type of training you will need before you start.
It’s also worth noting that some employers have preferences on the awarding body of your qualification, so if you’re applying for a specific new role or are undertaking further training at your existing company, double check whether they require qualifications from a specific awarding body.
As a general rule of thumb, NEBOSH tends to carry the most prestige and will often be cited as the preferred choice by employers. However, there are other, equally reputable, awarding bodies you should consider, including IOSH, Proqual, and IEMA, to name a few.
Choose a delivery style that suits you
The way the course is delivered is often overlooked, but is another important consideration. Not all training providers will offer the same service, so it’s important that you choose a learning format that best suits you. So, for example, if you’re looking for a classroom-based health and safety course, have a look into whether your training provider offers face-to-face teaching sessions for the course you’re looking to study. The same goes if you’re looking for an exclusively online qualification, which is a lot more common following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some courses, including our own, offer a virtual live online option, allowing you to attend lessons online, without the need to travel to a dedicated site. This allows students to benefit from the accessibility of online courses, whilst getting the motivation and support from a tutor and other learners, you are able to directly interact with.
It’s important to note when choosing your course that most will require internet access as a baseline requirement to access websites, online content and additional learning materials. If this presents an issue to you, contact your course provider to see if there’s anything they can do to assist. The choice in learning delivery will also vary in cost, so be sure to choose a delivery style that suits your budget.
Don’t buy the 100% pass rate
A question we often get asked is why our courses don’t offer 100% pass rates.
This seems obvious, but many training providers will boast high pass rates to attract new students. The sad truth is that qualifications can be, well, hard. Not everyone can pass a qualification first time, which is why health and safety qualifications are sought-after by employers. While, of course, we strive to ensure all our learners pass with flying colours, all our courses are conducted with the student’s competency first, which is why they’re so prestigious. Not only this, but career changes and unexpected personal commitments can greatly impact an individual’s ability to complete their course, meaning we’d never guarantee 100% pass rates to any of our students.
Figure out your funding
The last consideration is how you will fund your course. In many cases, your employer will assist with funding your course, as it’s in their best interest to level up your health and safety skills.
There is, of course, the option to self-fund your health and safety course if your employer is unable to contribute. Courses will vary by cost considerably, so it’s definitely worth investigating the cost of the course you’re looking to take before making the full commitment. If the course you’d like to take seems out of your budget, it’s always worth contacting the course provider to see if there are any payment plans available to help spread the cost of the course. At RRC, we have payment plan options available for both our UK based and International learners.
At RRC, we offer a range of courses to fit every need, from short courses and certificates to diplomas. Check out our full list of health and safety courses and enrol yourself today!