Training and Development Courses and Qualifications by The BCF Group

Avoiding Cheap Health and Safety Courses

In today's tough economic climate, many areas of a company's or an individual's budget is squeezed, with cut-backs meaning funding for various items are cut back or eliminated completely.

One of the areas in which spending is often reduced is the budget available for health and safety courses. It is either sacrificed completely, or potential buyer's will place so much emphasis on finding the cheapest price that they do not look into other aspects, such as if the safety training provider is actually accredited by the relevant awarding body to offer their particular qualifications. For example, only NEBOSH-accredited providers can run legitimate NEBOSH General Certificate courses for official certificates.

Even if the training provider is accredited, there may still be reasons as to why they are offering safety courses at a low price. The trainers themselves may be associates rather than employed by the training company directly. This means the provider has less control over teaching standards and course quality, and also leaves delegates much more vulnerable to a course cancellation as the associate can get a better offer from someone else at the last minute and be free to ditch the course and do that instead. Also, a cheaper course selling price may be achieved by drastically cutting back on expenses such as the training facilities, the quality of refreshments, and the provision of course study books, handouts and other materials. All of this will lead to a poorer learning experience and make it less likely that course attendees will retain enough knowledge to pass the assessments at the end.

As well as the providers themselves, some businesses and individuals substitute classroom-based health and safety training with e-learning or distance learning courses. Whilst this may fit in a bit better with work commitments, the lack of a course tutor and dedicated learning environment makes it an extremely difficult method of achieving a health and safety qualification. A course such as the IOSH Managing Safely which is typically a 3-day course would require a tremendous amount of self-study, but a health and safety qualification like the NEBOSH National Diploma which is 35 days of classroom training would take an almost super-human effort to have the discipline to sit down on your own (usually after a hard day at work) and do hundreds of hours at work, without the real-time support of a course tutor to ask questions and discuss issues with, and to make sure that you are not going off at a tangent and doing work which is not required!

Along with being a legal requirement, health and safety is important for reducing lost working days with staff being absent through sickness or injury, not to mention reducing the chances of expensive legal action if you are sued or face criminal charges because of inadequate safety provisions. So not only should spending be maintained as far as possible, it is also highly worth avoiding the temptation to find the cheapest training and go with that based solely on price, as a little extra spending may give you a much better return in the future.

Selected Courses

Please see below for a selection of health and safety courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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IOSH Managing Safely Course

The IOSH Managing Safely course is designed for managers and supervisors of organisations in virtually all industry sectors, in order to give them all they need to know to effectively manage health and safety in the workplace.

Recently updated, the new high impact programme covers key health and safety issues, and includes references to international case studies.

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CITB Site Management SMSTS Course

The Site Management Safety Training Scheme (SMSTS) is one of the most popular health and safety training courses, and is intended for construction site managers, project managers and senior supervisors, as well as proprietors of smaller companies.

Client-based personnel would also benefit from attending the SMSTS course.

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CITB Health and Safety Awareness Course

This course is for those who have entered, or are about to enter, the construction and civil engineering industry as a member of the workforce to help them understand the potential hazards that they face at work on site. It aims to provide a practical summary of health and safety, welfare and environmental health and safety issues.

The course also allows delegates to identify their individual responsibilities for looking after themselves and others, what the employer's duties are and what should be done if they think anyone's health and safety is being put at risk.

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