How competent should your competent health and safety person be? | EEF

How competent should your competent health and safety person be?

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Health-and-safety_2-290X217As well as training staff in what they need to do and more importantly why they need to do it, companies also need to ensure they are getting the best advice, but how qualified should your Health and Safety person be?

Competency rather than just training is the key target here and that is dependent on training and experience (plus a few other factors), so, how do you measure health and safety competence?

The good news is, you don’t have to because the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH) do it for you.


The institute have the following grades of membership:

  • Associate Member – Gained by completing a certificate course
  • Technical Member – A certificate course + two years evidence of application
  • Graduate Member – Gained by completing a Diploma course
  • Chartered Member - Gained by completing a Diploma course, two years evidence of application & a professional interview

Everything from Technical upwards requires a rigorous programme of CPD which is robustly audited by IOSH. This provides ongoing experiential learning to go along with the qualification.

EEF advise their members that anyone providing Health & Safety advice to a medium or high risk business should either be chartered or working towards their chartership.

If you are a Health & Safety Professional or are seeking to become one then you need to consider what level of risk you will work in & therefore what level of qualification you need. 

If you are starting from scratch academically & want to work in medium to high risk industry, EEF would strongly recommend the following route:

  1. Successfully complete the NEBOSH / University of Portsmouth Certificate (can be done in three weeks)
  2. Successfully complete the NEBOSH / University of Portsmouth Diploma (can be done in 6 months)
  3. Apply for Graduate Membership & start gathering CPD
  4. Apply for Chartered Membership, gather your evidence & sit the panel interview

This can seem like a minefield & everyone is different, so if you want to discuss your options or just get some advice please email our Professional Interview Panel Chair, Chris Newson at


Health, Safety and Sustainability Delivery Lead

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