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Suitability of Online and Distance Learning Health and Safety Training Courses

There has been an increasing trend over the last couple of years for companies and individuals to look towards online and distance learning courses when it comes to health and safety training. These are lower priced and allow delegates to complete the training in their own time and so sound ideal at first glance. However, are they really suitable for all types of safety training, including in-depth accredited qualifications?

As an example the NEBOSH General Certificate, whilst providing a general overview of the most commonly-encountered hazards in a place of work rather than intricate specifics, still contains detailed information including health and safety management systems, chemical and biological health hazards & risk control, and legislation such as the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) 1998 (except Part IV) as amended in 2002 to name but a few. All of this means that there is a tremendous amount of detailed information which needs to be absorbed in order to pass the various assessments at the end.

At the BCF Group, we trialled this form of learning and thought long and hard about offering the in-depth qualifications such as the NEBOSH General Certificate or NEBOSH Diploma as an online or distance learning course but decided firmly against it in the end. This is because the pass rates are so much lower as many people struggle to not only take in all of the required information without the support of a course tutor, but also to understand how this knowledge needs to be used in order to pass the assessments. This is after all the whole point of undertaking the training in the first place; to pass the assessments and obtain the qualification. It can also be a tough ask to learn the information with all the distractions that are likely to be present when not in a dedicated learning environment (see picture above for an example!).

At the BCF Group we care more about delegates passing the assessment and gaining the qualification than taking their money off them. With over 30 years of experience, we are one of the UK's most trusted health and safety training providers which is a key factor in us being at the top of the Google organic search results for many health and safety searches. You will often find other providers, particularly those in the expensive advertising positions on Google who are desperate to take your money no matter what so that they can cover their advertising costs, who will offer e-learning or distance learning courses at extremely low rates. We have lost count of the number of people who have spent money on an e-learning or distance learning course only to find out once it is too late that it would be far better to attend a classroom-based course. Please do not become one of them.


Does All Health and Safety Training Have to be Classroom-Based?

We have already seen above how delegates taking courses with long syllabuses like a NEBOSH course or IOSH Managing Safely for example will have a much greater chance of passing the assessment in a classroom-based course with a dedicated trainer present. Not only this, but bespoke health and safety training courses which are tailored to the specific hazards and requirements of workers in a certain industry will also need to be performed face-to-face as each course will be modified to their needs, which makes a generic online course unsuitable.

However, not all health and safety training needs to be classroom-based. Whilst accredited qualifications may not be suitable, online training is perfect for those who require a short introduction to a particular topic. As an example, our online Basic Fire Safety Awareness course is nowhere near as in-depth as the NEBOSH Fire Certificate qualification, but will still provide a good overview of the main points regarding fire safety.

We offer a number of these short online courses starting from just £12 + vat per licence, with substantial discounts available for bulk purchases. Please click here to go to our "Online Courses" page and see the complete list.




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.

Click Here for More Information


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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