11th May, 2020 Read time 5 minutes

What are the options when it comes to online health and safety training?

There has been a surge in demand for online training courses recently as a means of upskilling and making use of the time many are currently spending in lockdown.

Despite its somewhat ‘old-fashioned’ image, the field of health and safety has a lot of different courses and providers to choose from. In this article we take a look at a couple of questions; ‘what are the differences between IOSH and NEBOSH courses?’ and, which online health and safety course should I complete?’.


There are a lot of different providers of health and safety training out there if you are looking for some more knowledge in the basics some of the more practical knowledge-based courses will be best.

Alternatively, if you are looking for a better understanding of some of the wider practices in health and safety, IOSH training provides a good general scope of the field for both HSE and non-HSE workers. NEBOSH qualifications are good if you are experienced health and safety professional and are looking to develop some new skills online.



What are the differences between NEBOSH and IOSH courses?

There are two big providers of health and safety training in the industry, for many they are the stepping stones required to gain the knowledge to become more qualified in the safety sphere. The two providers are the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

NEBOSH courses tend to be more ‘academic’ in that they require longer periods of study with more rigorous examinations, whilst IOSH courses focus on delivering valuable information in more modular content blocks. In addition to the differences between the two bodies, there are also differences between the different levels of NEBOSH qualifications.

In addition to both NEBOSH and IOSH, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers similar NEBOSH level qualifications in the USA. All bodies are well respected and those looking for better education in health and safety, whether they work specifically in the field or not could benefit from the training provided.

IOSH and NEBOSH qualifications are both respected in the field of health and safety and many would benefit from ongoing completion of them. Whilst neither IOSH nor NEBOSH courses expire, IOSH recommends that the Managing Safely courses and others are completed every three years to act as a refresher. For the NEBOSH General Certificate, you need to complete both of the assessments within 5 years to achieve full completion.

What kind of training platforms are available online?

Online training no longer has to be isolating, new platforms have helped to develop more of a community feel. Some of the top health and safety training providers have taken note from the likes of Skillshare and Udemy and opened up their platforms with more of a community feel. The likes of Astutis give you the ability to discuss questions with a course tutor that can help you develop that extra level of understanding.

Providers like Astutis and the British Safety Council are able to offer different certified courses depending on the industry and depth of training you are looking for. This makes your job easier as you can choose the right course for the health and safety role that you are looking to train and upskill for.

Getting certified in the field of health and safety is important, and along with the right experience could be a great way to land your ideal EHS role. Here are some of the NEBOSH and IOSH courses available from the above and other providers:

  • NEBOSH National General Certificate
  • NEBOSH General Certificate OnlinePlus+
  • NEBOSH International General Certificate
  • NEBOSH International Technical Certificate in Oil and Gas
  • IOSH Managing Occupational Health & Wellbeing Online Course
  • IOSH Managing Safely
  • IOSH Managing Safely in Aviation

As shown not only do the training courses available online differ in terms of depth of learning, they can also be tailored towards specific industries and fields. This gives health and safety practitioners further opportunity to specialise in a field of interest.

The CPD provider outlined in the video is slightly different in that they offer courses that are good for specific entry-level information. These could be the perfect type of courses if you are looking for an introduction to, for example, the COSHH symbols, or RIDDOR. These shorter learning modules give you the chance to get more specific information without a long period of study if you are not looking to get certified. Some of the courses available include:

  • Fire Safety Awareness
  • Working at height
  • Manual handling
  • COSHH awareness
  • Asbestos awareness

The above are just some of the courses you can find online. You will have probably noticed they are a bit more specific, and a good way of getting those with no prior health and safety training an understanding of some of the different hazards that may be present in their workplace.

What are the benefits of online health and safety training?

Training with E-learning providers certainly has its benefits; you are not limited by time constraints in the classroom, you can perform the work at your own pace, and they are a great way of upskilling yourself and demonstrating your ability as a self-starter.

In addition to the above benefits, E-learning platforms are also a good way to give yourself a refresher of the basics if you are seasoned health and safety professional. All the benefits listed help make you into a better practitioner, and potential employers in health and safety will notice this. With home working now becoming the norm for many, taking the extra time to learn, develop, and upskill yourself and your organisation with the right health and safety training could be a very productive venture.

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