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NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) is a UK-based independent examination board delivering vocational qualifications in health, safety & environmental practice and management.

It was founded in 1979 and has charitable status. NEBOSH offers a range of qualifications from introductory to professional level. Around 180,000 people worldwide hold a NEBOSH qualification.

NEBOSH does not deliver courses. It develops syllabuses for its qualifications and sets methods of assessment, such as examinations and practical coursework. Courses are delivered by NEBOSH Accredited Course Providers.

Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications attract over 50,000 candidates annually and are offered by over 600 Course Providers based in 40 countries around the world. In 2014/15 nearly 180,000 NEBOSH Assessments were taken in 132 countries. NEBOSH qualifications are recognised by relevant professional membership bodies including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA).

NEBOSH maintains Investors in People (IIP) status and is also ISO 9001 certified.

In 2014 NEBOSH achieved a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Outstanding Achievement in International Trade

NEBOSH Background Information

In 1974, the Health and Safety at Work Act laid down general principles for the management of health and safety at work in Britain. This legislation, together with the establishment of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Health and Safety Commission (HSC) (now merged), led to more emphasis being placed on occupational safety and health by UK employers from the mid-1970s onwards. As a result, the role of health and safety officer and health and safety manager became more widespread in British workplaces.

To meet a need for the provision of vocational qualifications in the area of occupational safety and health, NEBOSH was established in September 1979, operating from the offices of IOSH in Leicester.

At the time, the NEBOSH Board, led by founding Chairman, Professor Richard Booth, set out its primary objective: “To improve the quality & quantity of people with vocational qualifications in Occupational Safety and Health

NEBOSH is based in Leicestershire in the borough of Blaby, south-west of Leicester, off the A563 Leicester ring road.

NEBOSH History

The first NEBOSH Associate level and Member level examinations took place in June 1980. Candidates sat five papers; Law; Behavioural Science; Techniques of Safety Management; Occupational Health & Hygiene and General Science. By October 1981 membership of the NEBOSH Board had grown and included representatives from IOSH UK government departments, various teaching establishments and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). Recognition of NEBOSH qualifications also began to grow around this time. In June 1982, 140 people registered for their NEBOSH Ordinary level certificate and 84 for the Higher level certificate. By 1986, NEBOSH had increased the number of annual examination sessions from two to three. In February 1987 NEBOSH introduced a new qualification structure, which included a Certificate and a Diploma. In 1988 the Diploma level qualification was changed to feature four 3 hour exams and completion of a case study. Candidates scoring over 75% achieved a distinction.

In the early 1990s, NEBOSH began to formally separate itself from IOSH. In March 1992, NEBOSH incorporated as a limited company with Companies House. In April 1992, NEBOSH registered as a charity with the Charity Commission and then appointed its first Chief Executive, Martin Shuttleworth, two months later. In December 1992 the NEBOSH Specialist Environmental Diploma was launched, followed shortly by the NEBOSH Construction Certificate. In June 1997 NEBOSH introduced a “credit mark” to demonstrate a high score in an exam – sitting just below a “distinction.” The two part Diploma was introduced in June 1998. NEBOSH moved offices to Meridian Business Park, Leicester in 1999.

Stephen Vickers took up the position of NEBOSH Chief Executive in April 2000. Six months later the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) – now The Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) accredited NEBOSH as an awarding body. In March 2001, designatory letters were introduced for holders of NEBOSH higher level awards. In September 2001, almost 22 years after the formation of NEBOSH, Dolores Lavander of West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) became the 50,000th NEBOSH examination candidate. A presentation to mark the occasion was held at WMFS headquarters. Two new qualifications, the NEBOSH Fire Certificate and NEBOSH International General Certificate were launched in March 2005. Current NEBOSH Chief Executive, Teresa Budworth, took up her role in March 2006. Two months later the first ever NEBOSH Graduation Ceremony took place at the University of Warwick. A further landmark was achieved in June 2006 when the 100,000th NEBOSH General Certificate was awarded to David Marsh. In October 2006, NEBOSH moved offices to its current location of 5 Dominus Way, Meridian Business Park, Leicester. The new building was formally opened by the then Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt). The NEBOSH Specialist Environmental Diploma was revised and renamed the NEBOSH Diploma in Environmental Management in September 2008. Those holding this qualification could now apply for membership of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA). In 2009, NEBOSH introduced two new qualifications – the NEBOSH International Diploma and the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate. In 2010, four more qualifications were launched – the NEBOSH Award in Health and Safety at Work, the NEBOSH Health and Well-being Certificate, the NEBOSH International Construction Certificate and the NEBOSH International Technical Certificate in Oil and Gas Operational Safety.

In 2011 NEBOSH as well as other UK and international professional bodies developed the scheme for the Occupational Safety & Health Consultants Register (OSHCR), a scheme which provides a centrally held register of qualified health and safety consultants for businesses and employers to easily find and hire for their own places of work.

In 2014, NEBOSH a research based master’s degree jointly with the University of Hull, with the first degrees awarded in 2015. In 2015 a taught master’s degree was developed with options to focus on one or more of the disciplines of occupational health, safety and environmental management.

In 2014, NEBOSH began working with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to offer a postgraduate level qualification to new HSE Inspectors responsible for enforcement of safety law in the UK.

NEBOSH Endorsed Curriculum/Textbooks

  • For the National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety – Introduction to Health and Safety at Work ISBN 9780415723084
  • For the National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety – Introduction to Health and Safety in Construction ISBN 9780415824361
  • For the NEBOSH International Technical Certificate in Oil and Gas Operational Safety – A Guide to the International Technical Certificate in Oil and Gas Operational Safety
  • For the International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety – International Health and Safety at Work ISBN 9781138831308
  • For the International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety – A Guide to International Health and Safety at Work ISBN 978-1-906674-47-2
  • For the Health and Safety at Work Qualification – NEBOSH Award in Health and Safety at Work in Arabic
  • For the Certificate in Environmental Management – Introduction to Environmental Management ISBN 9780415534413

About the Author:

HSE Professional with more than 14 years experience in the Upstream Oil & Gas industry. Created this website to help the HSE Professionals from around the globe to form a sharing and learning community. My inspiration in HSE is a verse from Quran: whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely [Quran, al Maida 5:32]