NEBOSH Diploma or NVQ – Which Is the Best Career Path?

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NEBOSH Diploma or NVQ – Which Is the Best Career Path?

مُساهمة من طرف ahmad tomasz في الجمعة أغسطس 26, 2016 6:02 pm

Phillip Muston
HSE Managing Recruitment Consultant - Construction & Civil Engineering at Shirley Parsons Associates

Working as a Recruitment Consultant for the country’s largest HSEQ recruitment specialists; every day I speak to candidates who have completed their NVQ or NEBOSH Diploma. The question is; does it have a large impact on your career depending which route you decide to take? In your quest to become a Chartered Member of IOSH, both will help you to achieve Graduate IOSH level.

Speaking to a large number of candidates each day, most are looking to progress their qualifications within Health & Safety. This is a big decision and I am often asked which the best route to take, and what is seen as the better of the two amongst our clients and experienced senior candidates.

It’s a very good question; could choosing one over the other really impact your future within Health & Safety? At the end of the day, don’t they both get you to your goal of CMIOSH/CFIOSH?

Both options have pros and cons and this would be the first place to start, as everyone has different circumstances which will steer you more towards one or the other.



The key factors for people looking to further their qualification is cost, time and the support offered by family, friends and employer.

Which is more desired?

There is a real split across the Health and Safety sector with about 80% of jobs asking for Diploma or equivalent and the remaining 20% looking for the Diploma qualification. Should we read into this that 100% of positions want the Diploma? This could be a sign that the Diploma is more sort after; thus could taking the NVQ route rule out 20% of your options in the future?

In my 5 years’ experience in the industry I haven’t had a position where the client has asked for someone to have the NVQ qualification.

From the data within Shirley Parsons Associates, which has over 60,000 HSEQ professionals; those who have furthered their health & Safety qualifications the majority have taken the route of NVQ:

57% - NVQ level 4, 5 or 6
35% - NEBOSH Diploma
8% - MSc or BSc qualification

Ultimately all three qualifications will help you to achieve your goals. The advice I give to candidates who are looking to further their qualifications are that both routes will help you to achieve your ultimate goal. It really depends on your personal situation, as cost and time are a big factor.

I know a number of Director and Senior level candidates who took the NVQ and it hasn’t affected their career paths. They manage large teams with a mix of both NVQ and Diploma-qualified candidates. On the other side I have spoken to candidates that have completed an NVQ and further down the line have completed a Diploma to prevent them from missing out on opportunities.

Has choosing the NVQ or Diploma prevented you from reaching your goals within Health & Safety? Has the route you have taken effected the qualification you look for when hiring someone for your team?

I have some quotes from our clients and senior candidates within Health & Safety, its interesting the see the split between NVQ and Diploma but generally all can see how the extra work required for the Diploma can make it stand out that little bit over the NVQ.

Thoughts from those with the Diploma.

" My personal opinion as an employer is that the Diploma is much more valuable, the NEBOSH diploma is not easy. The exams are 3 hours each, you have to have a certain level of academic ability to pass them. I chose the NEBOSH Diploma because I was put into a safety role by my employer and it was a requirement of that role to have either the Diploma or the NVQ. I did not have the time to complete the NVQ and I needed to learn about H&S issues, so I chose the Diploma and studied it by e-learning. Without the NEBOSH Diploma I would not have been able to become a H&S Manager in the first place. With it, I have been able to build on my experience and knowledge and have achieved Chartered status. Without one of them you will find it much harder to progress within your career."

SHE Director - Civil Engineering - UK

" For me the NEBOSH Diploma is the better career choice and one that I am thoroughly glad I completed. Some say that it is just learning the NEBOSH way but I think the NEBOSH Diploma enhances your learning and provides a greater in-depth knowledge into health and safety law and the practical application of this in the workplace. I think I along with other employers would chose somebody with a NEBOSH Diploma over an NVQ as for me the diploma enhances a candidates knowledge whereas an NVQ just shows what you already know. I think NVQ's have a place for hands on jobs but safety is heavily based on knowledge and therefore to me the Diploma provides a better basis for this. I cant speak for the NVQ but I think the Diploma shows to employers that the candidate is dedicated and willing to sacrifice their own time to enhance themselves and achieve a challenging qualification"

Head of Safety - Civil Engineering - Middle East

Thoughts from those with the NVQ

" The reason I decided to go down the NVQ route was simply down to money and time, with a young family the NVQ suited me as learning on the job meant I didn’t have to complete work at home. Completing the NVQ hasn’t affected me from reaching my goals within Health & Safety, with further progression on the horizon. When hiring I appreciate how much more work is put into completing the Diploma and the course depth so this is away a positive tick in the box but I feel that once someone is at CMIOSH level it becomes more about their hands on experience and what they can bring to a role rather than how they got there."

Senior Health & Safety Manager - Construction - UK

Having completed the NVQ and stepping into a Managerial position I soon realised that not having the Diploma closed of a number of opportunities at the next level as I came “a close second” on a number of occasions to a candidate who had the Diploma. My argument was I have 10 years’ experience working in a safety position within construction. I decided to take the Diploma and managed to complete this in a short space of time, I then started to re-apply for Senior/Head of and Director positions, I managed to secure one soon after. Now I am in a Director role with the NVQ and Diploma I can see the benefits to both so will always look at both equally when hiring and not allow my experience to hold back strong candidates who took the NVQ over the Diploma."

Health & Safety Director - Construction - UK

ahmad tomasz
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المساهمات : 78
تاريخ التسجيل : 26/06/2013
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