Although IOSH and NEBOSH are both individual awarding organisations of occupational safety, there is some confusion as to what exactly the differences between IOSH and NEBOSH are.
Both organisations provide syllabuses and criteria for highly respected and recognised health and safety qualifications, yet there are some differences in the courses offered by each.
So, is IOSH better than NEBOSH, or just different? What are the different courses that each organisation offers? Do particular industries have a preference for IOSH over other organisations such as NEBOSH, COSHH, CSCS and IIRSM?
In this article, we will take a deeper look at and compare IOSH with other health and safety training providers.
The utility of IOSH courses in comparison to those of other awarding organisations
As the largest health and safety membership organisation around, IOSH sets industry standards when it comes to providing health and safety awards and qualifications.
IOSH provides members with news, guidance and access to exclusive networking opportunities in the health and safety industry. All of this makes IOSH the most esteemed name in the sector, yet other bodies such as NEBOSH, COSHH, CSCS and IIRSM also provide excellent courses across a range of fields. In fact, it could be the case that your particular niche is not covered by an IOSH course, in which case it is likely that another body will provide your syllabus and criteria for qualification.
Whilst a qualification from IOSH is extremely useful and undoubtedly well respected, this does not mean that awards from NEBOSH as well as COSHH, CSCS and IIRSM are not also extremely valuable. As well will see in the next section, it really does depend on the specifics of your particular qualification.
The content of IOSH courses in comparison to those of NEBOSH, COSHH, CSCS and IIRSM
The main difference between the content of IOSH health and safety courses in comparison to those provided by other awarding organisations is that IOSH awards tend to be more generalised. This mean that other bodies, particularly NEBOSH, take a highly specific approach to their awards with many industries having unique criteria. The same can be said of qualifications from COSHH, CSCS and IIRSM.
In general, IOSH can be said to provide a more general qualification that covers multiple industries. The most common courses that achieve this are the IOSH Working and IOSH Managing Safely awards. With that said, NEBOSH also offers the NEBOSH National General Certificate in addition to a high number of industry-specific awards.
A good rule of thumb to distinguish between the content of an IOSH award and a NEBOSH award is that IOSH are targeted at a general workforce whilst NEBOSH is more geared toward health and safety professionals or more advanced employees in other fields.
The cost of IOSH courses in comparison to those of NEBOSH, COSHH CSCS and IIRSM
Now that we have covered what the primary differences are between IOSH and NEBOSH, as well as the other awarding bodies in the health and safety qualifications sector, let’s take a look at how much a course will set you back.
Let’s take the most common course with IOSH, their IOSH Managing Safely qualification. Lasting for three days, this is one of their most common courses and provides those who complete it with a Level 2 health and safety award. This internationally accredited course has a set cost of £449+VAT per participant.
In contrast, the NEBOSH National General Certificate comes in at a much higher cost due to the fact that it is a much more specific, in depth qualification aimed at more advanced professionals. Whilst £1345+VAT may seem steep at first, this Level three award includes IOSH membership (and all of those great perks) as well as international recognition.
In conclusion, the cost of NEBOSH in comparison to IOSH is much greater because these courses are aimed at a more advanced professional, often those working in the health and safety sector itself. IOSH provides more of an all-purpose health and safety award that nonetheless includes all necessary information.
Both IOSH and NEBOSH, as well as CSCS, COSHH and IIRSM, all provide quality courses on health and safety. Which one you decide to choose depends on your needs regarding specificity, your knowledge level, career goals and budget.