Both IOSH and NEBOSH are internationally recognised qualifications that are necessary for occupational health and safety roles in the OHS industry.

If you’re not sure whether to get IOSH or NEBOSH, you’ve come to the right place.

In essence, you should be aiming for an IOSH if you:

  • Don’t have a background or prior training in general health and safety
  • Will be working at a lower-risk facility
  • Only need to have the basic training

You should be aiming for a NEBOSH if you:

  • Already have a considerable background or prior health and safety career
  • Will be working in a high-risk safety industry
  • Need to have a higher level of health and safety qualification

Still undecided? This article will help you gain a better understanding of IOSH and NEBOSH what their differences are and which one is the best option for you.

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What Is IOSH?

IOSH stands for the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, and it is the biggest known health and safety body in the world.

It is a UK-based chartered membership body that offers health and safety awareness training courses. This means that the IOSH is acknowledged as a top-level training provider for safety and non-health professionals alike!

If you are considering a health and safety role and want a comprehensive understanding of workplace safety and workplace health, IOSH might just be the one for you.

There are two principal IOSH courses offered which are:

  • IOSH Managing Safely
  • IOSH Working Safely

With these IOSH courses, there is one thing you can be assured of: HIGH-QUALITY TRAINING.

IOSH strives to always have the highest standards in health and safety management. So expect comprehensive training on health and safety fundamentals when you start your IOSH safety courses.


  • Biggest health and safety body in the world
  • Offers top-level training
  • For non-health and safety personnel
  • Training is provided


  • Insufficient to qualify for a higher level of work
  • Does not cover training on high-risk assessments


NEBOSH stands for the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health and is an internationally acknowledged UK-based awarding body.

Unlike IOSH, NEBOSH is an awarding body that doesn’t essentially provide training courses. Rather, NEBOSH offers examinations necessary for health and safety professionals to qualify in the industry.

NEBOSH training courses are provided and offered by other institutions, not by NEBOSH itself.

Are you considering working abroad?

If so, a NEBOSH qualification is all you need since it is internationally acknowledged in the health and safety field.

There are several NEBOSH qualifications, and the courses vary as well. NEBOSH courses tend to focus on general health and safety principles, fire safety, and safety risks in the oil and gas industry.

If you’re unsure which one to take, try to verify the health and safety qualifications of the position you’re applying for.

You can either get a NEBOSH General Certificate or NEBOSH National Diploma:

  • If the position you’re applying for mainly focuses on health and safety management, the NEBOSH general certificate may be sufficient.
  • For higher safety professional roles, getting the NEBOSH diploma is a must.


  • Suitable to qualify for higher levels of work
  • Internationally acknowledged
  • Offers both certificate and diploma
  • Extensive range of courses


  • Outsourced training providers
  • For people with prior background in the health and safety industry

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What Is the Difference Between IOSH and NEBOSH?

There are two main differences between IOSH and NEBOSH that you should keep in mind:

Difference 1: Training and Certificates


IOSH training courses are provided by the IOSH itself. There are two IOSH courses to take: Managing Safely and Working Safely.

What is IOSH Managing Safely?

IOSH managing safely is suitable for people with supervisory roles in the workplace. This is to properly equip managers and supervisors with in-depth knowledge of their safety responsibilities for overall workplace safety.

Managing Safely is also considered a level 2 qualification. This is similar to acquiring a GCSE or a General Certificate of Secondary Education. What does this mean?

Well, it simply means you will be qualified for more roles and positions in the industry! With a Managing Safely certificate, you can widen your career choices.

Safety training providers carrying out managing safely courses will equip you with adequate knowledge on:

  • Risk management and
  • Proper risk assessment for overall workplace safety

IOSH managing safely training can be completed in 3 days and can be taken in person or online.

What is IOSH Working Safely?

IOSH Working Safely is suitable for non-health and safety personnel who want to acquire basic health and safety knowledge and practical skills.

The basic health and safety training for Working Safely can be completed in 1 day and in-person or online.


The NEBOSH itself does not provide training since it is exclusively an examination body. Nonetheless, NEBOSH courses are provided by several established institutions.

There are two NEBOSH qualifications to take note of: The NEBOSH National General Certificate and the NEBOSH Diploma.

What is the NEBOSH National General Certificate?

The NEBOSH general certificate is a requirement for anyone seeking a profession in the health and safety industry in the UK. This certificate, just like the IOSH Working Safely, is considered a level 2 qualification.

NEBOSH courses specifically for this certificate will equip you with extensive knowledge of environmental management standards and risk assessment for fire safety and the like.

Is it applicable to qualify for work outside the UK? If you’re considering working outside the UK, it is better to get the NEBOSH international general certificate.

Training for this will specifically focus on international health and safety principles and practices.

What is the National Diploma?

If you’re seeking to pursue your postgraduate career in health and safety, it is best to get the national diploma for a degree-level qualification.

This diploma is the GOLD STANDARD.

Having this diploma will guarantee you qualify for higher-paying careers in the health and safety field.

Difference 2: Purpose

The purpose of IOSH courses is generally to provide basic training on health and safety.

Managers, supervisors, and regular personnel are trained to properly manage risk to ensure safety in the workplace.

NEBOSH courses, on the other hand, qualify people to work in the health and safety profession.

People are equipped with extensive training on health and safety and knowledge of possible hazards in high-risk workplaces.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need IOSH if I Have NEBOSH?

It depends. IOSH is a chartered body offering not only training and granting of certificates, but also membership.

Most companies in health and safety prefer having both a NEBOSH qualification AND an IOSH membership.

So if you want to increase your chances of getting hired in the industry, we recommend applying for an IOSH membership too.

There are several types of membership in IOSH you can apply for, depending on your situation. People pursuing a Continuous Professional Development program or CPD may instantly qualify for a technical membership.

Other types of membership you can look into are:

  • Affiliate membership
  • Associate membership
  • Graduate membership and
  • Chartered membership

Is NEBOSH Equivalent to a Degree?

The NEBOSH diploma is comparable to a degree, but it is NOT a degree in itself.

It is considered a degree-level qualification suitable for people seeking to pursue postgraduate studies and advising careers in health and safety.

Why is it considered a degree-level qualification?

The training for the NEBOSH diploma is undoubtedly more intensive and in-depth compared to the training for IOSH and NEBOSH general certificates. It is also the most preferred among the qualifications.

With a NEBOSH diploma, you are guaranteed to have more high-paying job offers in the industry.

Is IOSH a Recognised Qualification?

Yes! The IOSH qualification is globally recognised.

It is the largest chartered body for health and safety, with over 44,000 members all around the globe. Over 100,000 people are granted health and safety qualifications every year.

If you’re outside the UK and thinking of getting a qualification and IOSH membership, you don’t even have to worry about anything!

IOSH courses and training are also accessible in over 130 countries through IOSH Services Ltd.

Is IOSH Mandatory?

Having IOSH is not necessarily mandatory. It is a plus, though, especially when you’re aiming for managerial positions in the workplace.

You will definitely be increasing your chances of getting hired for the position you’re aiming for, so we recommend getting one nonetheless.

It is also not mandatory for regular personnel, specifically those not working in health and safety. But knowing more about the basics of health and safety and how to minimise hazards is definitely an advantage to anyone.

If you’re seeking a career in the field of health and safety, NEBOSH is the way to go. But as mentioned earlier, most companies would still require you to be a member of IOSH even with a NEBOSH certificate. Fortunately, NEBOSH can surely earn you a membership in IOSH.

Is NEBOSH Recognised by IOSH?

Yes! NEBOSH is recognised by IOSH. As mentioned before, qualifying for NEBOSH can surely earn you a membership in IOSH.

People with NEBOSH can instantly apply for either an associate membership or technical membership.

Is IOSH Worth Having?

Definitely. IOSH is worth having, most especially for people in managerial positions. It is important for managers and supervisors to ensure the best working environment for their employees.

With IOSH, managers and supervisors will be equipped with intensive knowledge on:

  • Health and safety and
  • Risks and hazards in the workplace

Overall, accidents and sickness will be prevented, and productivity will be increased!

Which Is Better NEBOSH or IOSH?

Both NEBOSH and IOSH courses are esteemed qualifications for health and safety professionals and non-professionals alike.

Which is better between IOSH and NEBOSH?

The IOSH is for you if you are:

  • Aiming to work as a manager or a supervisor
  • A regular personnel in any industry
  • Working at a low-risk facility
  • Interested in gaining basic knowledge on health and safety

The NEBOSH is for you if you are:

  • Aiming to have a career in health and safety
  • Already experienced and have prior training in the field
  • Working at a high-risk facility
  • Interested in pursuing postgraduate studies on health and safety


IOSH and NEBOSH are internationally acknowledged qualifications for health and safety.

Training for both equip people with a substantial understanding of the importance of ensuring health and safety in the workplace.

In summary:

  • Take the IOSH if you’re a manager or regular personnel
  • Take the NEBOSH if you’re seeking a career and postgraduate studies in health and safety.

If you’re looking to undertake an IOSH Managing Safely Course Skills Training Group can help with one of their classroom or online courses.

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