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The Ultimate Guide to IOSH Courses

Elevate your workplace safety standards and prioritise employee well-being by enrolling on one of our IOSH courses—an essential step for any forward-thinking business.

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving work environments, ensuring the well-being of employees is not just a legal obligation but a vital importance. As there is an increase in the complexity of workplace hazards and regulations, organisations must equip their workforce with the necessary knowledge and skills.

There are a variety of IOSH courses available and it may be overwhelming to determine which one is right for you or your employees. In this ultimate guide, we break down the different IOSH courses and help you choose the best one for your specific needs.


What is IOSH?

IOSH stands for Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. They are a globally recognised chartered body and one of the leading membership organisations in the UK.

IOSH is dedicated to promoting workplace health and safety and offers training and certification for individuals in various professional industries. The goal of IOSH is to promote and ensure the health, safety and well-being of workers in all industries.

With more than 50,000 members in over 130 countries (as of 2024), IOSH is a trusted source when it comes to workplace safety training.

What is IOSH training?

IOSH training refers to a series of courses and certifications designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote health and safety in the workplace.

Which course the learner takes depends solely on their level of responsibility within the workplace. Each of the courses has the goal of ensuring safety but with different levels of responsibilities as their prime focus.

IOSH training typically involves understanding legislation surrounding health and safety and being able to identify hazards and mitigate risks. We deliver three different IOSH courses, so delegates who successfully complete the course meet the standards set by IOSH’s. There are various options for the delivery of this course to help suit the individual’s preferences.

Additionally, IOSH training has great benefits for individuals with responsibilities surrounding health and safety in the workplace.

Why Choose an IOSH Course?

The IOSH courses have great benefits for both employees and employers. There are many reasons why you should choose an IOSH course.

Applicable Knowledge

The courses are practical and relevant to real-life workplace situations. Having the course relevant to real-life practices helps individuals to feel more confident and prepared to carry out their role.

Mitigates Risks

IOSH courses offer something for anyone with health and safety responsibilities. This is because it covers a variety of topics, from basic health and safety principles to more specialised areas. Some of these are risk assessments, incident investigation, and occupational health management depending on the course you choose.


The IOSH accreditation is widely recognised by employers and regulatory bodies, making it a valuable addition to any resume. Completing this course demonstrates dedication to prioritising health and safety and makes anyone who holds the accreditation more appealing to hire.

Complying with Legal Requirements and Regulations

Participating in an IOSH course also helps organisations comply with legal requirements and industry regulations. Therefore, reducing the risk of accidents, injuries, and costly legal action.

Career Advancement

For individuals, completing an IOSH course can enhance their credentials and career prospects. Employers often value employees who possess relevant safety qualifications, making IOSH certification a valuable asset in various industries.

Overall, choosing an IOSH course can lead to improved safety outcomes, legal compliance, career advancement, and enhanced organisational reputation, making it a worthwhile investment for individuals and businesses alike.

Types of IOSH Courses

There are a few different IOSH courses, your selection depends on your position in the organisation. Let’s discuss the different IOSH courses we offer and who they are suitable for.

IOSH Managing Safely

The IOSH Managing Safely course is for managers and supervisors who play a crucial role in ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of their teams and workplace. The IOSH Managing Safely course content covers the fundamentals of health and safety management, including risk assessment, accident investigation, and legal responsibilities.

This three-day course is ideal for those looking to take on a leadership role in implementing safety measures and improving their understanding of workplace safety. Taking this course will ensure managers are confident in their responsibilities to effectively manage safety risks and promote a positive safety culture within the organisation.

Gaining an IOSH Managing Safely certificate shows that individuals are competent in their role and it gains them credibility in the health and safety field.

We offer IOSH Managing Safely online training as a public online and classroom course. We can also deliver the course in-house for a group of employees from the same business. Alternatively, we have an eLearning option for the online IOSH Managing Safely. Having a variety of delivery methods helps managers to choose a course that fits in with their busy lifestyles.


IOSH Leading Safely

Business leaders who have health and safety responsibilities within the organisation will benefit from the IOSH Leading Safely course. The course focuses on the strategic aspects of health and safety within an organisation, equipping leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to integrate health and safety considerations into their overall business strategy.

IOSH Leading Safely is a valuable course for senior executives and business leaders seeking to drive a continuous improvement in health and safety performance, mitigate risks, and create a culture of safety excellence throughout their organisation. It provides delegates with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to lead by example and prioritise health and safety as a core value within their organisation’s culture.

We deliver the IOSH Leading Safely as a public online course over Zoom with a live trainer, or as an in-house course for a group of employees. The in-house option allows the course to be delivered at a suitable venue of your choice or online specifically for your employees. Visit our IOSH Leading Safely course page where you can book public courses online or enquire about our in-house option.


IOSH Working Safely

The IOSH Working Safely course is designed for employees at any level in an organisation. It covers overall workplace safety, including identifying hazards, understanding risk assessments, and following safety procedures. This one-day course is ideal for those looking to improve their own safety practices and contribute to a safer work environment.

This course is available as a public IOSH Working Safely online course and can also be delivered in-house for a group of employees at a location of your choice or online. We also offer an eLearning version of the IOSH Working Safely course online, so there are a number of options available.

All of these courses are accredited by IOSH and demonstrate your dedication to health and safety. The knowledge learned from IOSH courses will allow you to excel in your role and open doors for career advancement.


Choosing the Right IOSH Course

When choosing an IOSH course, it is important to reflect on your role and responsibilities in the workplace. This will guide you on which IOSH course to choose from.

Each IOSH course is tailored to your position in the business. For managers in the workplace who play a key role in shaping health and safety policies, procedures, and practices, there is IOSH Managing Safely which has all the necessary course content that managers need to know.

Industry leaders who hold responsibilities in health and safety are best opting for the IOSH Leading Safely course. This helps industry leaders to integrate and improve safety processes and generally lead a safe working environment.

There is even a course for employees looking to improve their own safety practices, which is the IOSH Working Safely course.

As well as selecting the level of IOSH course you should choose, there are some other things to consider:

Review IOSH course content

Reviewing the course content helps individuals decide whether the course is the best for them as it highlights what the course entails and whether it lines up with their role and would benefit them.

Consider delivery methods of the IOSH course

Each IOSH course has different delivery methods as mentioned earlier in this article. Therefore, it is important to consider your learning style and your flexibility. For example, you might find eLearning more convenient to your lifestyle as opposed to a classroom course.

Choose a reliable training provider

3B Training is a proud IOSH-accredited training provider with a team of trainers who are experts in their fields.

Not only do we offer a variety of IOSH courses, but we also have a mixture of delivery methods to choose from and a wide range of availability.

The journey of completing an IOSH course

IOSH Graphic certification journey

How long does an IOSH course last?

IOSH courses have a duration that varies depending on the specific course or level you choose to undertake. Generally, the duration of IOSH courses can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the intensity and scope of the content covered.

Let’s take a look at the duration of the IOSH courses we offer at 3B Training.

IOSH Managing Safely

The online and classroom IOSH Managing Safely training we deliver is completed over a period of three days. This allows participants to develop a solid foundation in occupational safety and health management.


IOSH Leading Safely

The IOSH Leading Safely course is delivered in a shorter timeframe of four hours. This shorter duration is perfect for those who have a busy work life and need to fit a course easily into their busy schedule.


IOSH Working Safely

As for the IOSH Working Safely, this course is just one day. This is because delegates completing this course usually have minimal experience in the field and don’t manage or lead other individuals. So one day is a sufficient amount of time to cover the necessary information.


Therefore, the duration required for an IOSH certification ultimately depends on the specific course you choose to pursue, ensuring that you acquire the required expertise to enhance workplace safety and implement effective risk management strategies.

How long is an IOSH certificate valid for?

Once you have completed the full duration of the course and passed you will receive a highly recognised lifetime qualification accredited by IOSH to show your competence.

Although this course certification does not expire it is important to keep educated on the most recent health and safety policies and procedures. Even IOSH recommends renewing your certificate.

But you can also keep up to date with health and safety by attending events or eventually further training and by networking with other health and safety professionals.

These assessments aim to evaluate the delegate’s comprehension of the course and their ability to apply it in real-world situations. Having an assessment at the end of the course ensures delegates acquire the necessary knowledge to use safety and health practices in the workplace effectively.

What can I do with an IOSH qualification?

An IOSH qualification can open up an array of opportunities within the health and safety field as it demonstrates individual commitment and competency.

There are a range of roles that require a skilled health and safety professional. Let’s discuss some of these careers:

Health and Safety Practitioner

IOSH supports health and safety practitioners as their role is to implement and manage health and safety policies and procedures. It involves having the ability to conduct risk assessments, offer a solution to risks and comply with relevant regulations. All of which are covered in our IOSH training courses.

Safety Officer or Coordinator

Safety officers and coordinators ensure that the workplace complies with health and safety regulations. They conduct safety inspections, investigate accidents and implement safety measures. An IOSH qualification equips individuals to fulfil these responsibilities.


Consultants offer guidance through their expertise, advising organisations who want to improve health and safety practices. IOSH is highly respected therefore obtaining a qualification in IOSH shows competence and credibility.

Manager Roles

IOSH qualifications can pave the way for managerial positions in health and safety departments. As a health and safety manager, you’ll oversee the development and implementation of health and safety policies, manage a team of professionals, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. These roles require strong leadership, communication, and organisational skills, all of which are fostered through IOSH training.

Specialist Roles

There are various specialist roles in health and safety that requires specific knowledge. Taking an IOSH course provides a solid foundation as a base for developing specialist skills. Some of the specific health and safety careers are:

  • Construction Safety
  • Ergonomics
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Process Safety Manager
  • Environmental Health
  • Occupational Health Nurse or Physician

So, if you are interested in having any of these health and safety careers, then completing an IOSH course is a great place to start.

IOSH certificates can broaden your knowledge by granting you access to more advanced training courses.

Read our previous blog: What are the benefits of IOSH courses?

How are the IOSH training courses assessed?

IOSH courses require you to take an assessment after learning the course content. Depending on the IOSH course determines which assessment you’ll take.

The IOSH Managing Safely course assessment has two evaluation methods, including a series of multiple-choice questions and a written answer section.

The assessment for the IOSH Leading Safely course involves creating an action plan and a short written paper exam. The action plan outlines specific steps and goals to demonstrate safe leadership.

At the end of the IOSH Working Safely course, delegates have to complete a final written exam at the end of the course to pass.

Is the IOSH exam difficult?

The IOSH exam isn’t considered difficult as such, but preparation and understanding the course materials can benefit you when taking the exam.

Throughout the duration of the course, delegates will be provided with all the information they need for the exam so although a lot of previous experience in the field might help, it is not required to pass an IOSH course.

Our IOSH courses are conducted by our team of expert trainers who are there to support you throughout the course.

To prepare for the IOSH exam, go over the course materials and what you have learnt in the course. You could even test yourself by practising sample questions or going over past exam papers.

Finally, stay calm and confident in your abilities, and read questions carefully.

With adequate study and preparation, the majority of individuals successfully pass the IOSH exam and obtain certification. However, if the required mark isn’t achieved there is a chance to resit the exam.

What are some common challenges delegates face in the IOSH exam?

Exams are not favoured by some delegates so it is good to be prepared and learn what challenges other individuals have.

Applying knowledge to practical scenarios

When taking the exam it is important to remember the information you have learnt is to be applied to real-life situations, therefore questions might be worded in a way to prompt these answers.

Time limitations

Some delegates might get caught up on the amount of time they have in the exam. This is not a reason to rush through the exam, look at the questions and allow a reasonable amount of time for questions that will require a longer explanation and most importantly, stay calm.

Various topics

This is where preparation comes in handy. The exam will cover a range of topics, and going over the course materials will give you a refresher on what will come up.

Pressure to pass

With a willingness to understand the course content, the majority of delegates pass the course first time. For those who don’t pass the first time around, there is a resit option.

Lack of preparation

Preparing for the exam helps delegates to feel more confident with the exam and helps to tackle exam stress.

Being aware of common challenges can also help individuals to take proactive steps to address them. Delegates can then better prepare themselves for success.

Benefits of being a chartered member of IOSH?

Becoming a chartered member of IOSH has several benefits ranging from:

  • Recognition of expertise and professional credibility
  • Career opportunities for employees who look for a chartered status when hiring for senior roles
  • Networking and collaborating with professionals in the industry
  • Continuous personal development opportunities
  • Contribute to the advancement of occupational safety and health on a broader scale

How do I become a chartered member of IOSH?

So how does someone obtain their chartered status? Take a look at our steps to become a chartered member of IOSH below:

Step one: Firstly, ensure you’re eligible by seeing if you meet the criteria IOSH requires. This includes being qualified in the relevant areas such as occupational health and safety.

Step two: Then, join as an IOSH member. You can start at either a student or affiliate level and then as you progress move to higher levels.

Step three: Continue personal development in the occupational safety and health industry. Attend workshops, seminars and take relevant courses to keep knowledge recent.

Step four: Complete a competency assessment to support your application to IOSH. This covers various topics of occupational safety and health where you have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledge.

Step five: Apply for a chartered membership by completing the online form here. Include supporting documentation and your assessment, (IOSH will review the application and decide whether you meet the criteria.

Step five: IOSH might request an interview to further assess your abilities and experience.

Step six: Finally, if IOSH is satisfied with the application, you will be granted a Chartered Membership of IOSH.

Each application might vary due to circumstances and policies during the time of your application. It is important to read up and find out what the most up-to-date information is for applying.

How to verify an IOSH certificate online?

The IOSH certificate can be verified online and it is really simple to do this using the IOSH online certificate checker.

When you are on this page it will ask you for details of the individual and the certificate number.

After submitting the details the checker will search IOSH’s database to retrieve a result. It will then display the details on the certificate:

  • Result
  • Validity
  • Additional information e.g. certificate status and expiry date

This feature is great to quickly get this information and if you require assistance IOSH has a customer service team you can contact.

Overall, IOSH courses are a valuable investment for both individuals and organisations. With a variety of courses available, there is an option for everyone looking to improve their knowledge and skills in workplace safety. By choosing the right course, you can contribute to a safer and healthier work environment for yourself and your colleagues.


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