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Smarter Faster and More Affordable way to Grad IOSH and CMIOSH

A smarter, faster and more affordable route to CMIOSH

I would like to start that I despise having designations and acronyms behind our names. I used to feel that knowledge and growth matters more. But in this world were they only look at you because you have some special characters behind your name- it makes sense to get some.

It should be on every health and safety practioner and professionals agenda to be accredited in some way or form. You cannot beat the system. So join it to help your career. Because being Chartered does give you a heads up over others. Even if you believe that they aren’t as smart as you. If you want to grow your career and travel, then definitely need some international accreditation and membership status.

Like in UK you can be on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register or in US be a Certified Safety Professional. To be on OSHCR you need to be chartered to get yourself on this register. To be on the BCSP you need a degree and take some exams with them. For IIRSM you must have degree level qualifications.


I hate to admit it, I always felt these organisations were making money by coming up with titles, accreditations and continual improvement programs. But like I said if you want to be in the industry, you got to play by the rules.

So how does one get to be a Chartered member? CMIOSH?

IOSH has quite a number of membership levels now. From Affliate to Technical to Graduate to CMIOSH and Fellow. Lets focus on what you need.

NEBOSH IGC or NVQ Level 3 will get you started with a Tech IOSH membership (you have to apply for it of course). To get Grad IOSH you need the NEBOSH Diploma, NVQ Level 5, Level 6 BSC or degree level programs that have been approved by IOSH (can’t believe this but yes)

Once you are a Grad IOSH member or Graduate member you then start your IPD Initial Professional Development that will get you to your CMIOSH status. Members still must join the Continuing Professional Development scheme. On this CPD scheme, you create a Development plan and start working towards achieving what you stated in your plan.


Here’s a problem with IOSH or any other membership organisations.

Be ahead of the curve. Get your status before they start changing the rules. Make sure that you continue your renewals. Once you falter, you probably have to start from square one.


Back to getting a Grad IOSH Status- How?

Like I mentioned- a few ways. A degree program that is approved, NEBOSH Diploma, NVQ Level 5 or BSC Level 6.

Whats the time line and costs like- lets break it down

Degree programs.

The typical UK degrees in Health and Safety are recgonised by IOSH as a way to register as Grad IOSH status. There are other university programs from different countries as well. Like the Singapore Newcastle University, Hong Kong as well as Australia

Athlone Institute of Technology

Cardiff Metropolitan University

School of Health Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Public Health

Cardiff Metropolitan University (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff)

City University of Hong Kong

College of Safety and Fire Technology COSFT

Curtin University

Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences

Dublin Institute of Technology

Glasgow Caledonian University

Goce Delcev University

Heriot Watt University

Hong Kong Baptist University

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Institute of Technology Sligo

International College of Engineering and Management

Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University – Hong Kong

Hong Kong College of Technology

Leeds Beckett University – Malaysia

Imperia Institute of Technology

Leeds Beckett University – Singapore

Leeds Metropolitan University

Limerick Institute of Technology

Loughborough University

Manchester Metropolitan University

Massey University

Middlesex University

Middlesex University – Hong Kong

National University of Ireland, Galway

Industrial safety & Env. Management, NITIE

Northumbria University

Occupational Awards Limited

ProQual Awarding Body, ProQual House

Riam Institute of Technology (RiamTec)

Robert Gordon University

Singapore University of Social Sciences

SRDI and Macau University of Science & Technology, School of Further Education

The Open University of Hong Kong

The Open University of Hong Kong LiPACE

Trinity College

Ulster University

National University of Malaysia

University College Cork

University College Dublin

University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham

University of Greenwich

University of Hong Kong HKU SPACE

University of Hull

University of Malta

University of Newcastle – Australia

University of Newcastle – Singapore

University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

University of Portsmouth

University of Salford

 University of Strathclyde

University of Sunderland

University of Technology,Mauritius

University of the West of Scotland

University of Wollongong

Vidya Prasarak Mandals Polytechnic


On average a degree program would cost about $20,000 and takes 2 years or so. A degree program is good. It gives you proper grounding and of course its delivered by Universities and thus employers can review your qualifications. And typically university programs also teach you to how to do research.



Other than Degree or Masters programs, you can get your Grad IOSH through other methods like

NCRQ National Compliance & Risk Qualifications


ProQual Awarding Body, ProQual House

City and Guilds

British Safety Council


So lets talk about the other ways

NEBOSH Diploma and NEBOSH International Diploma

The NEBOSH diploma is relatively cheaper less than $5000GBP. You can attend classes or do it online or by distance learning.

NEBOSH diploma typically takes 12 to 24 months to complete with 3 examinations and a report. Its known to be difficult. And people who are not native English speakers may have a hard time.  I have my views on NEBOSH diploma but that’s for private conversations.

NEBOSH Diploma is very common and NEBOSH has done an excellent job promoting NEBOSH and its qualifications. So much so some people think that NEBOSH is a certificate. They want to do “NEBOSH”. The NEBOSH International General Certificate is done over 10 days of lectures and hope some information sticks to the brain. Again its difficult for those that are not native English speakers.

NEBOSH diploma is far more difficult than the NEBOSH IGC. Exams take place over 3 days. Seems harder than a Degree program! Seems to be very theoretical as well. Then there is the issue of the exam dates. The exam dates are only twice a year. You need to book in advance with the training provider. Once booked, you still have to take the exams at the British Council. You take the Units A, Unit B and/or Unit C on 3 separate days.

Report is another big issue. With 8000 words or more on the report – some compare it to writing a thesis. Unit D, the report, is word review of the health and safety performance of an organisation.

At the end you can get a GradIOSH status (Graduate Membership of the Institution of Safety and Health). This meets the academic requirements of Chartered status (CMIOSH) but are undergoing professional development.  In order to achieve CMIOSH status holders of the NEBOSH Diploma must submit a mini-portfolio of evidence from their current job role.

British Safety Council International Diploma as well as the British Safety Council Diploma

This costs slightly cheaper than the NEBOSH Diploma or NEBOSH International Diploma. This can be done full time or distance learning.

The BSC Level 6 is slightly faster. You could do it in 8 months or so. 2 Exams and 1 report. Much easier to digest. Its more practical. If you have some experience and you have been able to pass the NEBOSH IGC level qualifications, you should be able to pass the British Safety Council Diploma exams. While its much faster than the Diploma, it still takes some time to book the exams. Then to get the results. After which to submit your report. Getting the results is one thing, getting the diploma parchment is another.



The NVQ is a vocational qualification. NVQ is National Vocational Qualification. It costs about 2000GBP or less.  Knowing that its vocational means that it recognises competency at work and not exams. For those that are more technical/practical- this may be the way forward. However you need to have a job in Health and Safety to be able to do this. So you have to work and produce evidence.

It’s a work based program, therefore easier to combine with daily tasks. There are no exams so candidates who know that they do not perform well under pressure may find this advantageous. Flexible pace, ranging from 4 months to 2 years. But it would take around at least a year to get all your evidence in order. This also gets you to GradIOSH status (Graduate Membership of the Institution of Safety and Health); meaning holders meet the academic requirements of Chartered status (CMIOSH) but are undergoing professional development. And to get your CMIOSH status NVQ holders must take an open book exam over a period of two weeks.

If you are experienced and currently working you may be tempted to take this route. It is simple as you may have 70-80% of the evidence required. It may be simple, but its not easy. You would is to write a method statement explaining how you do a particular task in your daily role, then upload your evidence to show what you have done. The NVQ team will then assess your evidence and they will either ask more information, want to discuss and clarify some areas or simply mark it as complete. It’s not an exam. You will not fail as long as you keep proving your evidence.



NCRQ qualifications include the same knowledge outcomes as NEBOSH. But NCRQ feels that knowledge alone is not adequate. As such they also assess soft skills like decision making, safety culture and managing organisational culture. Students are taught how to teach and problem-solve themselves, encouraging independence, rather than being given a textbook and powerpoint slides to digest and memorise.

Assessments are done through assignments. With the focus of the assessment on application of knowledge and analysis that was undertaken to apply that knowledge. NCRQ qualifications are most suitable for those who prefer realistic assignments than exams or academic-style essays, those who also want to learn skills in addition to knowledge, and those who prefer learning by doing rather than memorisation of lists of facts. There is no need to be working in a safety-related environment, in contrast to NVQs. It costs slightly less than 2000GBP. You will need to do about 9 assignments. And takes about 2 years to do this.


Previously none of our trainers wanted to upgrade themselves but recently they learnt that to be a NEBOSH tutor or GC3 marker, they needed to get better qualifications like the Grad IOSH status. Then they all started scrambling.


That’s when we found the “new kid on the block”

The International Diploma in Safety Engineering.

Its more practical but there are 2 exams. Only 2 exams. You could do this in 2 months. The International Diploma in Safety Engineering is accepted as a Grad IOSH membership status.

It gives you a faster, more affordable way to get into the Grad IOSH status. The exams are done 6 times a year. The results within 1 month. It provides you a level 6 qualification. Currently our team is on this and we also deliver this program.


Of course the choices are all yours.

Degree, NEBOSH, NVQ, BSC Level 6 or the International Diploma in Safety Engineering Level 6.

But what ever the choice, you should not wait. Rules will change. It almost feels like governments or awarding bodies always shift the goalpost. But think of it this way- you should be ahead of the curve rather than be one of the masses at the back of everything.

I took my NEBOSH IGC a long time ago. Probably when nobody wanted to. Now they have 50,000 people doing NEBOSH IGC in a year! So you really need to be ahead of the game.


You can do a degree program. I say that you will learn a lot. I did when doing my Masters. It really gave me a lot of knowledge and ability to think further. If you want to rise up to the ranks of management, you need to think like management. But you will have to spend that money and time doing the work.

I have another solution for you. First get your Grad IOSH by the smartest, fastest and most affordable route. Once you get your Grad IOSH, get your CMIOSH. Once you have Grad IOSH you will have more job opportunities and doors open to you. Then work on your CMIOSH. When you have done all this, start working on your Masters.


Remember drop us an email to find out how you can get the International Diploma in Safety Engineering Level 6

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