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Dafydd Jenkins MSc, BSc (Hons), FdSc, GradIOSH, SIIRSM

Who is the NEBOSH General Certificate for?

The NEBOSH General Certificate is taken by thousands of learners from all backgrounds, levels and industries. Find out if this course is right for you.

March 2019

Most of us spend more time in work than we do at home. Our colleagues are like our friends and family and none of us want to see them get hurt. That's why we all have a responsibility to look out for each other and keep each other safe and healthy.

But how exactly do we do that? 

Employers all over the world are recognising the importance of creating safe and healthy environments for people to work and visit. And the NEBOSH General Certificate is designed to do just that. It teaches people how to manage risk and put the right systems in place to keep people safe. 

You probably think it's just for people who work in health and safety, right? 

Wrong. It's open to absolutely everyone. Thousands of learners from all types of backgrounds, at all different levels, in all types of industries take the course. I've gone into a bit more detail about this topic here. But if you're looking for even more information on the course, take a look at our introduction to the NEBOSH General Certificate.  

What type of workers take the NEBOSH General Certificate?

One of the many attractions of the NEBOSH General Certificate is that it’s a level-3 foundation qualification designed for beginners. So you don’t need any health and safety knowledge or experience to take the course. 

In fact it’s this foundation approach that makes it so appealing to people. 70% of people who take the NEBOSH General Certificate are employed in jobs where health and safety isn't even their main role. Everyone from font line workers, to managers, to budding health and safety professionals take the course.

Typical learners include:  

  • Health and safety officers/engineers
  • General managers/supervisors
  • Public service workers
  • HR personnel
  • Operational managers
  • Security workers
  • Directors/CEO’s

Why do people take the NEBOSH General Certificate?

Most people take the NEBOSH General Certificate for one reason - to get the skills and knowledge to protect people from life-changing injuries. Some people also take the course so they can improve their company's performance and make sure they're complying with the right regulation. 

Others have ambitions of a career in health and safety and use it as the first step in their journey.  Research shows that most employers now request the NEBOSH General Certificate as a minimum requirement for health and safety roles.

It also provides the core knowledge needed to progress onto other qualifications, such as the NEBOSH Diploma, or specialist certificates such as the NEBOSH Construction Certificate or NEBOSH Fire Certificate.

National vs International

The NEBOSH General Certificate is available in two versions: national and international. You can learn all about the difference in our blog post here. But to summarise quickly, the main difference between the two is the application of legislation and regulation.

The NEBOSH National General Certificate is for those working within the UK and is based on UK legislation. It focuses on the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1971 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, as well as codes of practice and the criminal and civil prosecution process.

The NEBOSH International General Certificate is for those living and/or working outside of the UK. It’s based on best practice and international standards, such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) codes of practice, and includes local laws and cultural factors when appropriate. 

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