IOSH or NEBOSH – Which is Better Suited to Me?

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Capital offers a range of IOSH and NEBOSH accredited courses and are committed to finding the best courses to suit unique and individual needs. In this article Mark Littlejohns and Chloe Peachey of Capital’s Safety, Health, Environment & Fire team outline the similarities and differences between IOSH and NEBOSH courses.

Who are IOSH and NEBOSH?

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is a not-for-profit organisation who strive for a simple vision of health and safety at work. IOSH also act as a global Chartered body for professionals who work towards improving occupational health and safety through education, and collaboration with bodies such as the United Nations Global Impact and the International Labour Organisation.

The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) is a globally recognised awarding body who help set the high standard for health and safety professionalism. Their vision is to enable and inspire a safer and healthier occupational environment which they achieve through training.


  • IOSH and NEBOSH are amongst the most popular and well-recognised health and safety educational bodies in the UK, therefore qualifications accredited by either body are desired by employers.
  • IOSH and NEBOSH are recognised for their high standard internationally.
  • IOSH and NEBOSH offer comprehensive training to people with occupational health and safety responsibilities, applicable to those at all levels including facilities management, directors and even CEOs to ensure that best practice is being followed across all businesses.
  • Completing a course accredited by either body opens avenues for networking within the realm of health and safety. NEBOSH has an alumni scheme and IOSH offers membership and fellowship.


  • Although IOSH and NEBOSH offer courses suited to anyone with health and safety responsibilities in the workplace, the NEBOSH Level 3 National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, and more so the Level 6 National Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety for Management Professionals, are appropriate for those who want to progress further into health and safety specific careers such health and safety officers or advisors.
  • The IOSH Leading Safely course is run over one day, and the Managing Safely course is run over three consecutive days. Whereas NEBOSH courses range from four to thirty days of teaching, each followed by an additional day for examinations.
  • IOSH and NEBOSH vary in style of delivery. IOSH courses offer a more practical and holistic approach to safety culture and leadership, using scenarios appropriate for the businesses and companies of the learners. NEBOSH however, follows a traditional structure of a taught syllabus and written examination, with a technical focus on legal responsibilities.
  • NEBOSH offer more specific courses for comprehensive training on hazards associated with fire or construction, and other specific courses such as accident investigation. NEBOSH have also collaborated with The International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) to enhance the expertise of their Certificate in Managing Risk qualification.

Due to these differences, you may find that a range of IOSH and NEBOSH courses would be beneficial to your career development. It’s very common to possess a combination of these qualifications as their varying frameworks offer learners both a practical and technical insight into occupational health and safety.

If your company requires guidance or assistance on health & safety within the workplace, please get in touch with our team of expert consultants.