‘NEBOSH or NCRQ’ – Podcast Review

‘NEBOSH or NCRQ’ – Podcast Review
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Welcome to the Safeti Podcast – ‘NEBOSH or NCRQ?’ – Podcast Review

In this bonus episode, I discuss my blog post on the NEBOSH or NCRQ ? debate that is creating endless discussion across the H&S industry.

Social media is rife with opinion, people are confused!

I thought it would be useful to summarise my experiences in audio format and provide you with a few opinions from either side of the debate to help you choose.

Are you considering doing an NCRQ course?

We are so confident that you will find value in NCRQ’s courses that we’ve teamed up with them to offer the Safeti community a discount on course fees.

To receive our NCRQ & NEBOSH discount codes and receive more free content from Safeti, just fill in the form below


NCRQ – the new alternative – see the latest courses that NCRQ have to offer

Iain Evans (CEO) explains NCRQ – courtesy of Irwin & Colton – listen to what Iain Evans had to say about NCRQ

SHEilds – find out more about NEBOSH course with our preferred online provider

Safeti blog post – NCRQ or NEBOSH – extended blog post on the debate

NEBOSH Strategic Report 2017 – check out the official report from the examinations body themselves

NEBOSH Examiner’s Reports – access all the latest examiner’s reports courtesy of Safeti


You can read the full Episode here!

Here’s a taster from the Episode…

Hi guys welcome to this bonus episode of the safeti podcast. I’m glad to be bringing you an overview of the NEBOSH or NCRQ debate that I have a blog post posted on my website about, which has got a lot of attention. Loads of interesting comments and discussion across social media.

You will see within the health and safety realm a lot of people talking, arguing one way or the other. giving their views and experiences and I just thought it would be useful for me to summarize again what my experiences have been. Then we will tap into some of the feedback that people have given us as well and then from that hopefully it will help you decide on which route you would like to take.

Okay so let’s crack on

As I said I’ve contributed on numerous forums and blogs in terms of giving my opinion as to what the appeal for both the NEBOSH and NCRQ health and safety course offerings were from my experiences.

I wanted to just further summarize that for you, having completed the NEBOSH General Certificate and the NCRQ diploma and in recent times.

I can shed light of course only on my own experience and I will reiterate that this is an opinion piece just that obviously anything that I say is really just through my own experience and doesn’t necessarily reflect the feelings of other people.

It’s up to yourself to choose which route you might want to take. So there’s quite an amount of debate as I say about which is the best option and I can see how people would be really confused.

This is why I think it’s valuable for me to present this information again in an audio format and give some feedback again on what other people are saying as well. Just to help make the decision process maybe that bit easier.

NCRQ making an impact

When I first wrote this article a number of months ago, it felt like a really good time to pitch in on the debate. In 2017 I completed the NCRQ diploma and they as an organization had made been recent claims on Twitter I think it was. They are no reputedly the most popular Health and Safety diploma course provider in the UK.

Which was obviously a major claim and which means that they’ve really eaten into NEBOSH’s market significantly.

So the gauntlet had clearly been laid down by NCRQ and that that question of which course to tick has become even more intriguing and also difficult to answer.

As most people will know NEBOSH was very dominant for a very long period of time in terms of both popularity and also in terms of recognition from the employer side and that hasn’t really changed hugely I would say.

Although employers do appear to be increasingly recognizing other qualifications and they’ve always recognized the likes of the NVQ route as opposed to the NEBOSH qualification. And of course degree level qualifications that are similar to the NEBOSH diploma.

But the new kid on the block is really the NCRQ Diploma. Which has made a significant impact within just three or four years of its introduction.

Why has there been such a change?

So we’ll look at the reasons as to why this might be the case and as I said we’ll look at my experience of it to see if it actually helps you. We will not look at the NVQ route as I don’t have direct experience myself.

I wouldn’t like to make assumptions. One person did mention to me that it was unfair to compare the NCRQ diploma against the NEBOSH certificate. Because I hadn’t done the diploma with NEBOSH.

But, I think that it gave me really enough of an insight into how the diploma and the actual curriculum was executed and the approach.

Then you know I was able to compare that with the certificate level qualification. Which they also had to do for NCRQ. Because the NEBOSH certificate doesn’t count towards the NCRQ qualification.

Putting that aside, let’s look deeper into the potential reasons behind this apparent changing of the guard and the competition that has now came up against NEBOSH with NCRQ.

Pinnacle of Health & Safety

The NEBOSH diploma has long been regarded as the pinnacle of workplace health and safety qualifications and many quarters. It had become revered in such a way I guess that with that certificate you would automatically be inducted into the health and safety fraternity.

Particularly at the Diploma level and you know you would almost be as I said in my post assumed to be a health and safety expert if he had got your NEBOSH or you’d completed the Diploma qualification.

Which you know is fair enough and much of that respect is well deserved. Because the stringent cross examination by the NEBOSH examiners and the strict marking criteria used for a difficult course and as we go onto the pass rates have actually been getting consistently lower in recent years.

I guess for some of it was a way to keep the numbers down in the industry.

In this Episode we look deeper into the potential reasons behind this apparent changing of the guard and check out some of the most useful views from other people……You can read the rest of the transcript here.

To give you a further insight into what the NCRQ Certificate in Applied Health & Safety involves, here’s quick overview of the syllabus

What’s are the aims of the NCRQ Certificate?

To give you the knowledge and skills to be able to:

• supervise or manage a workforce in a safe way
• undertake risk assessments and develop sensible and proportionate control measures
• carry out investigations into workplace accidents or ill-health
• establish and develop a safety management system for any size of organisation
• understand and improve behaviours and attitudes that foster a positive safety culture
• manage health and safety in a low risk organisation.

Who is it for?

The great thing about NCRQ Certificate is that it is suitable for a broad audience e.g.

• people who have no safety knowledge or experience and want a good foundation in safety management
• those working in a safety related role and want to improve their knowledge and skills
• folks with general management responsibilities and want to be able to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.

As with all NCRQ qualifications, assessments are designed to reflect real workplaces, and test the skills that are actually required by employers.

You will receive a workbook which will guide you through a set of case-study based learning activities.

Once you have finished these activities in your own time, you let NCRQ know that you are ready to start the clock on your next assignment.

At this point, you will have a set amount of time within which to submit the relevant piece of work.

Assessments will take the form of a series of assignments. Each assignment will consist of a scenario, a task, and supporting information.

Students will then have 2-4 weeks to complete the assignment in their own time.

What’s your style?

A really nice feature of NCRQ is that reports can be written using any approach or presentation – so that students can work in a style that they are familiar, or adopt the methods used by their employer.

And as in real life, there are sometimes no black and white solutions – and the assessors will look at the process and justification, as well as the final recommendation.

What are the assignments like?

An example assessment programme for this qualification may include:

AssignmentApprox. Time RequiredCompletion Period
Undertake and write a risk assessment 
5 hours
2 weeks
Prepare an accident investigation report 
15 hours
4 weeks
Reply to a number of requests for advice 
5 hours
2 weeks
Complete a professional development plan 
2 hours
2 weeks

Here’s a very brief example of an assignment  –

You are the safety advisor in a small organisation. An accident has occurred in the workplace.
You receive an E-mail from the Chief Executive asking you to investigate and prepare a report highlighting the immediate and root cause, together with recommendations to prevent a recurrence.

You are also asked to comment on potential outcomes of any HSE investigation. There may also be an ethical challenge, such as asking you to not recommend an expensive solution.

Supporting information:
This may include a number of witness statements, risk assessments, manufacturer’s instructions, etc, which you will need to analyse and review.

Note: this is just a very high level example of the type of scenario that is used for assignments. Much more detail is provided when you are actually doing it!

If you missed it above and would like to hear more about the story of NCRQ, check out our podcast with NCRQ Chief Executive Iain Evans.

Just click on the image below to go to the episode!

Now, let’s go into a little more detail about what you’ll achieve….

The NCRQ Certificate qualification consists of one unit:

• HSD1: Principles of health and safety (RQF level 6, 14 credits)

What are the Learning Outcomes?

Here’s a rundown of what NCRQ  HSD1 helps the student to learn…

Be able to apply general duties on employers & individuals to any work related scenario

  • Critically evaluate the duties on employers and employees under current legislation to a work-related scenario
  • Evaluate the risks of a given scenario
  • Identify potential control measures to achieve legal compliance in a given scenario
  • Recommend to an employer suitable risk control measures for a given scenario
  • Justify the recommended control measures given to an employer against any financial, technical, operational and societal impacts

Understand how to improve a safety management system

  • Critically examine an established safety management system
  • Identify weaknesses that may result in inadequate or inefficient risk control of the safety management system
  • Propose actions to improve the safety management system

Know how to improve the safety culture of an organisation

  • Identify indicators of a poor safety culture of an organisation
  • Recommend improvements to promote a positive safety culture of an organisation

Understand how to investigate a workplace accident

  • Evaluate a collection of evidence
  • Determine the possible root cause and contributory factors of a workplace accident
  • Analyse the range of potential consequences of non-compliance with legislation
  • Report to an employer the consequences of non-compliance with legislation
  • Predict the likely outcome of a non-compliant scenario

Understand key workplace hazards and basic control measures

  • Explain the key hazards and control measures arising from common activities in a workplace

Be able to devise own professional development plan

  • Reflect upon own learning experience
  • Compile a personal development portfolio
  • Devise a professional development plan

Hopefully that gives you a good insight into how the course is laid out.

You can also access the full course specification and apply to complete the course over at NCRQ Certificate in Applied Health & Safety

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