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NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma | The Ultimate Astutis Guide

November 2023


The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals has played a considerable role in workplace safety. It has set the benchmark for the highest standards in safety, with everybody from the world's most recognised brands to aspiring individuals adopting its teachings and understanding. 

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals is a flagship course regarded as the gold standard of workplace health and safety training. 

This blog will uncover everything you would ever need to know about the NEBOSH Diploma. The blog will analyse who the course is for, the organisational benefits and learning outcomes, and much, much more. 

So let's get started!




1. What is the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma?

In a nutshell, the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma is the highest level of qualification for people who want to become top-notch experts in workplace safety and health. 

The course was first made in 1980 and has been trusted by organisations all around the world. It covers a wide range of topics, such as understanding safety laws and regulations, assessing, and managing risks in the workplace, ensuring that people are healthy and safe on the job, and creating a culture of safety in organisations. 


1.1 Who is the NEBOSH Diploma Course For?


The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma is broadly accessible as a comprehensive health and safety management course. The knowledge and understanding can be applied in virtually every industry, ensuring human safety and enhanced competence and regulatory compliance. 

However, the course is tailored to work more effectively with individuals already in management or supervisory roles. Due to the weighty nature of the course, it demands a degree of prior knowledge in health and safety. We recommend that learners considering the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma take the NEBOSH General Certificate first. The NEBOSH General Certificate introduces topics more comprehensively in the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma. 

People taking the course are often professionals serious about making workplaces safer. They may be experienced safety managers, consultants, or those looking to take on leadership roles in health and safety. It's a challenging and comprehensive program that helps you become an expert in keeping people safe at work and can open up excellent career opportunities in this field.

It is widely believed the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma is perfect for the following roles;

  1. Experienced Health and Safety Professionals: The NEBOSH Diploma is typically taken by professionals with a solid health and safety foundation seeking to advance their careers. It's often viewed as a progression from lower-level NEBOSH certifications.
  2. Aspiring Health and Safety Managers: Individuals who desire to take on leadership and management roles in health and safety departments within organisations can benefit significantly from the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma. It equips them with the knowledge and skills required to manage health and safety at a strategic level effectively.
  3. Risk Managers: Those responsible for risk management within an organization, including identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks, can find the Diploma particularly valuable. It provides a comprehensive understanding of risk management principles.
  4. Compliance Officers: Individuals responsible for ensuring that the organisation complies with health and safety regulations and legal requirements can benefit from the in-depth knowledge of regulations and compliance provided by the Diploma.
  5. Safety Consultants: Safety consultants and advisors who work with multiple organisations (potentially in a freelance capacity) can use the Diploma to enhance their expertise and credibility. It can help them provide more valuable guidance to their clients.
  6. Occupational Health Professionals: Those in the field of occupational health, including occupational health nurses and physicians, can benefit from the Diploma as it covers aspects of occupational health and industrial hygiene.
  7. Human Resources (HR) Professionals: HR professionals often deal with issues related to employee health and safety, so having a NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma can be beneficial in managing these aspects of HR responsibilities effectively.
  8. Career Changers: People looking to transition into a health and safety management career can take the NEBOSH Diploma to establish their credibility and competence in the field.

1.2 Inside the NEBOSH Diploma Course Structure:

The most recent incarnation of the course is split into three main units:

  • DN1 Workplace health and safety principles 
  • DN2 Controlling workplace health issues
  • DN3 Controlling workplace safety issues

DN1 is an assignment split over two papers. Paper one holds the simulation questions, whilst paper two holds the workplace activities, reflective tasks and a research project. 

Meanwhile, DN2 concludes with an assessment, whilst DN3 requires a case study of your workplace. 

Read our blog on passing the assessments to better understand the structure of the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma assessments and how to maximise your chances of success!

1.3 Course Cost

The cost of the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma varies depending on your chosen learning method (more on that later). Here is the *current* pricing list of NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma offerings;

-       NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma: Online - £2300.00*

-       NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma: Virtual Classroom - £5495.00*

-       NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma: Distance - £1675.00*

-       NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma: Classroom - £6560.00*

For more information on the benefits of each learning method, scroll down to section five.

There are certain funding options for the NEBOSH Diploma. Ensure you have exhausted all avenues for funding before purchasing!

*Prices shown were accurate at the time of publication*

1.4 How Difficult is the NEBOSH Diploma?

Simply put, the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma is a significant investment. It requires approximately 400-500 hours of study (depending on the chosen learning method) and demands that learners properly pay attention throughout. This is not a course to take lightly.

It is equivalent to a UK University Degree. According to the National Qualifications Framework, completing the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals equates to a full bachelor's degree.

Learners have reiterated the complexity of the course cannot be underestimated to fully achieve all the course outcomes.

To paint a more detailed picture on the complexity of the course, hear from double NEBOSH award winner and former Astutis learner, Jayne Morgan, on how difficult she views the course.


2. The Benefits of Holding a NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma:

If you are an aspiring individual, the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma has the power to open several avenues of exciting employment or career advancement. 

Let's take a look at those exciting career paths!

2.1 Potential Career Paths

Traditionally, those who pass the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma go onto become;

-       Health and Safety Managers

-       Health and Safety Advisors

-       Risk Managers

-       Compliance/Safety Auditors

-       Safety Directors

-       Environmental, Health and Safety Advisors

-       Environmental, Health and Safety Managers

The average salary of a health and safety manager (for example) can range from £35,000 to £60,000 or more.

However, senior Health and Safety Managers or Directors with significant experience and expertise can earn salaries exceeding £60,000, with some reaching six-figure incomes.

2.2 How Will My Organisation Benefit With the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma?

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma provides a deep and comprehensive understanding of health and safety principles and practices. It covers various topics, including risk management, occupational health, safety management systems, and more. Graduates of this program are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills to manage health and safety in the workplace effectively.

The course provides staff with forensic oversight on legal requirements and health and safety regulations compliance. Organisations benefit from well-versed employees in these areas and can help ensure the company operates within the law, reducing the risk of legal issues and penalties.

Understanding and effectively managing risks is fundamental to the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma. Organisations can benefit from individuals who can identify, assess, and mitigate risks, which can help prevent accidents, injuries, and incidents, thereby improving overall workplace safety. This, in turn, can reduce the financial burden associated with workplace injuries, fines, and legal costs. This can lead to cost savings in the long run.

The course also provides benefits beyond traditional health and safety. Staff will be better equipped to promote a positive safety culture within an organisation. They can lead by example, influence colleagues, and create an environment where safety is a top priority, which can result in reduced accidents and incidents.

2.3 What Are the Learning Outcomes for Staff?

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma is an extensive course. It covers risk management in many industries, offering health and safety solutions to help enhance safety, save lives, and improve organisational culture. 

  1. Understanding Health and Safety Management Systems: Staff will have a thorough understanding of the vital elements of health and safety management systems, including policy development, planning, implementation, monitoring, and continuous improvement. Staff will also have the confidence to express and communicate elements of their system. 
  2. Risk Management: Individuals should understand the principles of risk assessment, including the identification, assessment, and control of workplace risks. They should be able to evaluate risk control measures and their effectiveness.
  3. Occupational Health: Staff will have oversight on occupational health principles, including the assessment of workplace health risks, the prevention of occupational diseases, and the management of occupational health services.
  4. Workplace Hazards and Control: Staff will be able to identify, assess, and control common workplace hazards, such as those related to machinery, fire, electricity, chemical substances, and workplace design. It's important to remember the most prevalent risks in their organisation's industry; they will have an enhanced understanding of how best to combat them after studying the course.
  5. Emergency Preparedness and Response: Staff will be able to develop and evaluate emergency plans and procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of employees during emergencies and disasters.
  6. Legislation and Legal Compliance: Individuals should understand the legal framework governing health and safety, including national and international regulations, and should be able to ensure organisational compliance with relevant laws.
  7. Safety Culture and Leadership: Staff will understand the importance of safety culture within an organisation and the leadership skills needed to promote a positive safety culture.
  8. Accident and Incident Investigation: Staff will have confidence in their ability to investigate workplace accidents and incidents, determine root causes, and make recommendations to prevent recurrence.
  9. Professional Ethics: Individuals will demonstrate an understanding of professional ethics and conduct themselves ethically and responsibly when dealing with health and safety issues.
  10. Management of Change: Staff can manage change within an organisation to minimise health and safety risks and ensure a smooth transition.
  11. Health and Safety Audit and Review: Individuals can plan and conduct health and safety audits and reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of safety management systems.
  12. Communication Skills: Participants will have strong communication skills to effectively convey health and safety information, policies, and procedures to all levels of an organisation.

For more information the incredible long-lasting takeaways get from the course, view the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma Course Guide.

3. Progressing From the NEBOSH General Certificate to the NEBOSH Diploma: What's Next?

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma is the natural older sibling of the NEBOSH General Certificate. The General Certificate introduces most of the areas featured in the Diploma course, but the Diploma comprehensively covers everything in much more detail. 

We strongly advise that learners only sit the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma course after passing the NEBOSH General Certificate course. 

The NEBOSH General Certificate is a Level-3 vocational qualification equivalent to a UK A-Level. Meanwhile, the NEBOSH Diploma is a Level-6 vocational qualification equivalent to a UK university Degree. So, it’s important to understand that the jump is substantial. 

But let’s compare some other aspects of the two courses.

 

NEBOSH General Certificate

NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma

Time to complete

110-25 hours in the Online format.

10 days delivered as 2 split weeks for the Classroom and Virtual Classroom formats.

415 hours to complete in the Online format.

6 split weeks (30 working days) for the Classroom and Virtual Classroom formats. 

Units

Two

Three

Assessments

Two

Three


For more information on the progression between the NEBOSH General Certificate and the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma, read our blog.

4. NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma Syllabus Breakdown

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma, as described above, is a weighty course. It features three main units that are split up into little modules. 

The entire NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma course syllabus is as follows;

4.1 DN1: Workplace Health and Safety Principles

This unit provides an in-depth understanding of the key areas for managing health and safety. It covers moral, economic, and societal drivers, health and safety law and management systems.

• 1.1 Health and safety regulations

• 1.2 Prosecutions

• 1.3 Enforcement

• 1.4 Civil law

• 1.5 Damages and liabilities

• 1.6 Occupiers liability

• 1.7 Lawful discrimination

• 1.8 Insurers

• 2.1 Organisational structures

• 2.2 Leadership

• 2.3 Consultation

• 2.4 Health and safety cultures

• 2.5 Traditional and proactive safety management

• 2.6 Risk perception

• 2.7 Human failures and factors

• 3.1 Competence, training, information and supervision

• 3.2 High-reliability organisations

• 4.1 Hazard identification and techniques

• 4.2 Managing health and safety risks

• 4.3 Risk management

• 5.1 Loss causation and quantitative analysis of data

• 5.2 Measuring and monitoring

• 6.1 Professional skills

• 7.1 Societal factors

• 7.2 Corporate social responsibility

• 7.3 Organisation change

• 8.1 Civil proceedings

• 8.2 Coroner’s inquest

• 8.3 Criminal proceedings

• 8.4 Ethical issues

• 9.1 Contractors supply chains

4.2 DN2: Controlling Workplace Health Issues

Unit 2 gives an in-depth understanding of all major aspects of managing chemical, biological, physical, and physiological hazards in the workplace.

• 10.1 Occupational health and safety services and equality in the workplace

• 10.2 Mental ill-health, wellbeing, workplace violence, lone working

• 10.3 Health surveillance and medical surveillance

• 10.4 Hazardous substances

• 10.5 Health risks from hazardous substances

• 10.6 Epidemiology and toxicology

• 10.7 Asbestos

• 10.8 Ventilation and PPE

• 10.9 Hazardous substance monitoring

• 10.10 Biological agents

• 10.11 Noise

• 10.12 Vibration

• 10.13 Radiation

• 10.14 Musculoskeletal issues and manual handling

• 10.15 Workplace Temperature and welfare arrangements

4.3 DN3: Controlling Workplace Safety Issues

Unit 3 provides a thorough understanding of how to create a safe working environment It covers welfare, fire, dangerous substances, work equipment, electricity, construction, and transport.

• 11.1 Safe working environment

• 11.2 Confined spaces

• 11.3 Fire and explosion

• 11.4 Fire

• 11.5 Dangerous substances

• 11.6 Work equipment and machinery maintenance

• 11.7 Work equipment

• 11.8 Machinery

• 11.9 Mobile work equipment and lifting equipment

• 11.10 Electricity

• 11.11 Construction, work at height, demolition, excavation

• 11.12 Workplace transport, work-related driving

5. How Can You Study the NEBOSH Diploma: Learning Methods Available

The NEBOSH Diploma is available in five different learning methods;

  1. Online: Learners have three years of access to complete the 418-hour course. 
  2. Virtual Classroom: Learners (like the online format) have three years of access to the 418-hour course, split over six weeks, equating to 30 working days.
  3. On-Site: A special in-company training experience where we bring the training to your doorstep. Organisations can have a personalised training programme that provides added comfort and accessibility to proceedings. 
  4. Distance: Learners have three years of access to the 418-hour course, split over six weeks, equating to 30 working days.
  5. Classroom: Learners are taught in a traditional classroom led by a tutor. The course is split over six weeks, equating to 30 working days.

Each learning method is engineered to benefit a different style of learner.

Online learning provides a flexible, independent learning style that allows learners to learn where, when and however they wish. They get access to all the course materials and can prepare themselves.

The Astutis exclusive Virtual Classroom infuses the traditional structure and feel of the physical classroom environment with the undeniable flexibility and control of digital learning. Virtual sessions will be led by an industry-leading and fully qualified tutor who will ensure sessions are collaborative and engaging. 

Organisations can also opt for a more personalised staff training experience with in-company training delivered on-site by our experts. Many organisations adopt on-site training to reduce disruption and ensure enhanced comfort for their staff. 

Distance learning allows learners to have complete control over their learning. They are provided with a copy of the course materials and given the space and freedom they require to study at their own pace. 

The traditional classroom learning format warrants no introduction. It has stood the test of time and involves an industry-leading tutor leading in-person sessions. 

Unsure of what learning method will work best for you or your style? Take a look at our What's Your Style guide!

6. Understanding the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma Assessments

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma is split into three different chunks;

  • DN1
  • DN2
  • DN3

Each section has its own assessment. So, let’s start at the beginning with the DN1 Assessment.

6.1 Understanding the DN1 Assessment

DN1 is an assignment split over two papers. Paper one holds the simulation questions, whilst paper two holds the workplace activities, reflective tasks and a research project. We urge learners to approach the DN1 papers, after finalising a revision plan that covers the contents of the papers. 

6.1.1 Stage One: Workplace Scenario-Based Case Study Task

Learners will be presented with case studies which engineered to provide real-life scenarios to assess and provide your professional opinion. You will be presented with an in-depth scenario that replicates real life. This scenario could be wordy, totalling several sides of A4 paper. 

6.1.2 Stage 2: Workplace-Based Tasks

This assessment lets you showcase your knowledge and understanding of your work environment. It asks you to put your learning into practice and analyse a working environment with a critical eye. 

6.1.3 Stage 3: Reflective Tasks

During this stage of the assessment process, you will be asked to reflect on your personal or work life, demonstrating your leadership and communication skills.

6.1.4 Stage 4: Short Research Project

To conclude the assessment stage, you will be asked to research a specific topic and answer a question. Your answer will be in the form of a report allowing you to display your knowledge and opinions on the subject.

6.2 Understanding the DN2 and DN3 Assessments

Units DN2 and DN3 are each assessed with a case-study and scenario based questions. You will have 2 weeks to complete each question paper and submit it for marking. We recommend you spend at least 20 hours on each paper (around 10 hours per week). DN2 and DN3 are each worth 175 marks, and you require at least 50% to pass.

We cover every aspect of the DN1, DN2 and DN3 assessments and how to pass them in our blog. Alternatively, you can watch Astutis Technical Director and former NEBOSH Diploma tutor, Brenig Moore, as he offers his personal advice on how to approach the examination/assessment process


7. Conclusion

To conclude, the NEBOSH Level 6 National Diploma is a globally-respected accreditation in the realm of health, safety and environmental training. Its strength is in preparing individuals to become effective leaders in the organisation and wider field by gifting them a comprehensive toolset of theoretical understanding and the confidence to apply it in a practical sense in their workplace. 

The course enables managers to have a newly-embedded foresight into all aspects of workplace safety, including employee mental health and well-being which have risen in prominence in recent years. Ultimately, the course provides organisations with a all-in-one package to enhance workplace health and safety. For individuals, the course opens doors, allowing for a more rewarding and prosperous career path.  But don't just take our word for it!

Watch our interview with former learner and the '2023 RoSPA Influencer of the Year', Simon Jones, who discusses the impact the course had on his career.

Be sure to look at our official NEBOSH Level 6 National Diploma course page for more information on the course itself. 

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