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Why is a NEBOSH General Certificate Advisable Before a NEBOSH Diploma?
It is fair to say that a NEBOSH Diploma is a tough qualification to achieve. Its sheer size in terms of the number of study hours and work involved makes it one of the premier health and safety qualifications available in the world. In fact, its worldwide appeal has led to the introduction of the NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety which aims to give people who either live or work anywhere in the world, not just in the United Kingdom, the expertise required to pursue a career as a health and safety practitioner.
There are some people who have little to no experience in the heath and safety industry or have not attended any health and safety training courses in the past, without realising that a NEBOSH Diploma qualification is roughly equivalent to a degree. This means that it would be like a person going to university to study mathematics without ever having seen a maths textbook or studying it at school. So just as someone would expect to study maths as a GCSE, then an A-Level, and THEN go on to do a degree in it, so to is it highly recommended to work up to the Diploma by first achieving the NEBOSH General Certificate. In fact the Diploma qualifications, both the national and international version, will build upon the information taught on a NEBOSH General or NEBOSH International General Certificate. Even the NEBOSH General Certificate qualification is by no means a walkover, in itself requiring a lot of dedication and commitment to learn all of the information required to pass the assessment.
So it is highly recommended to take a NEBOSH General before a NEBOSH Diploma to give you a much better chance of achieving the Diploma qualification.
Self Study Element of a NEBOSH Diploma
As well as building upon the knowledge provided, another important reason for insisting upon this minimum requirement is that the NEBOSH National Diploma is not an entirely taught course in the same way that other lower level accredited health and safety courses are. Other courses such as the IOSH Managing Safely or SMSTS Site Managers course to name just two examples will be aimed at and suitable for those who have little or no knowledge of health and safety in a workplace, meaning that the course tutor will cover everything required to successfully pass the assessment(s) at the conclusion in order to obtain the accredited certificate.
Whilst the Diploma has a large number of taught hours (the most of any of the health and safety courses which we offer in fact!), it also incorporates a large element of self-study. Without a suitable level of knowledge already acquired from completing the NEBOSH General Certificate these candidates will struggle to conduct suitable self-study on topics, issues or legislation which they do not know a great deal about.
Don't Run Before You Can Walk for a Health and Safety Qualification!
There is no doubt that when a person decides that they want a health and safety qualification the majority will desire to achieve the highest one possible. After all, if you are going to dedicate time, effort and money into achieving something then you may as well get the best available.
However jumping straight into a NEBOSH Diploma is a bit like going straight from GCSEs to a university degree without first achieving A-levels (incidentally, the NEBOSH National Diploma is in fact equivalent to a degree-level qualification). Just as many will struggle with jumping from GCSE maths to degree-level mathematics, going straight to the Diploma from little or even no previous health and safety training is a stretch too far and often a waste of money. Health and safety in this respect is not simply a case of using common sense to avoid obvious hazards. The NEBOSH Diploma will expect you to have detailed in-depth knowledge of health and safety law and legislation, policy creation and suitable implementation, risk assessments and correct reporting procedures, and many more. Not already having a fairly comprehensive level of knowledge of such areas will make achieving a NEBOSH Diploma qualification extremely difficult, and is why the NEBOSH General Certificate is a tough but manageable starting point for those wishing to progress up to Diploma level.