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NEBOSH General Certificate & Health and Safety NVQs
Two Popular Health and Safety Qualifications Achieved in Very Different Ways
Two of the most popular health and safety courses and qualifications are the NEBOSH General Certificate and the NVQ Level 3 and 5 in Occupational Safety and Health. Both the NEBOSH General Certificate and a health and safety NVQ are held in high esteem and carry great weight amongst both current and prospective employers alike, and are regarded in fairly equal terms. Despite this fact, the two are achieved in vastly differing ways.
The NEBOSH General Certificate
The NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is a more traditional health and safety course insofar as the information is taught which is then assessed at the end through written assessments and a practical workplace project. As the information is taught, it is suitable for those who have little or no previous health and safety training, knowledge or experience of the subject.
A Health and Safety NVQ
In contrast to a course such as the NEBOSH General, a health and safety NVQ qualification contains no teaching but instead relies upon the collection of evidence by the individual as they go about their normal workplace duties. These vocational qualifications are therefore only suitable for those who are currently in a job role where they carry out certain tasks such as performing risk assessments and writing/influencing company health and safety policy. If they are not, they will not be able to collect enough suitable evidence to satisfy the assessment criteria of the NVQ. It also means that those considering an NVQ qualification in health and safety will find it extremely beneficial to have already had some health and safety training so that they have a certain level of knowledge, although if they are in a suitable job role they are almost certain to have already had this. If not then the company is likely to be in breach of all kinds of health and safety legislation and regulations for having an untrained and unqualified person in such a health and safety role!
Which is Better?
There is no definitive answer as to whether an NVQ or NEBOSH General Certificate is "better" than the other, as it will depend upon a multitude of different factors such as a person's learning style, past experience, previous training, current job role etc.
Whilst a NEBOSH General Certificate teaches information, enrolling on an NVQ negates the need to travel and means there are no travel or accommodation costs that are likely to be incurred on a traditional training course. There are also no exams or assessments at the end as there are on the General Certificate.
Ultimately the decision depends upon the individual concerned, along with that of their current or future employers as to which qualification they recognise, respect and want the most from their new or existing employee.