Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Should I Not Go Straight Into a NEBOSH Diploma Qualification?

A NEBOSH diploma is one of the most prestigious health and safety qualifications available in the world. Founded in 1979, NEBOSH have become one of the largest health and safety awarding bodies in the world, and, one of the most respected. Their qualifications are taken by approximately 35,000 people each year.
Of all the qualifications that they offer, the NEBOSH diploma qualifications are the most comprehensive. These qualifications are designed for professional health and safety advisers, and require a large amount of time and dedication to complete. As an example, NEBOSH estimate that for the National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety, candidates should expect 241 hours of taught tuition and 234 hours of self study and reading. They are so comprehensive that many universities will accept the qualifications as part of the entry requirements for MSC programmes!
Because of the sheer amount of work involved, a NEBOSH diploma is only suitable for those who are serious about obtaining it, and are prepared to put the work in. Anybody who is not prepared to put the work in from the outset should not take the qualification. Many companies and organisations will put certain employees on a health and safety course, either because it is a legal requirement or they think it will be a benefit to the company to have a person or people qualified in health and safety. In some of these cases, the person may be a bit reluctant to go on the course, particularly if they are being forced to against their will by their company. If they do not 100% want to be there, they will not give their full attention to the information being taught, or complete the required homework or reading. For a short course or one that is not accredited, they may be able to get by and learn enough to pass. For a NEBOSH diploma qualification though, this is just not an option. Only a person who is totally committed to obtaining the qualification will be able to get through the hundreds of hours of taught tuition and self study required to pass; it is not a qualification that you can force someone to do!
The comprehensive nature of the qualification also means that it is not suitable as a first qualification for someone who has no previous health and safety training. Although it may seem more appealing to pay once for the most comprehensive qualification, candidates will struggle with a diploma without this previous knowledge. Most health and safety training providers will require those wishing to enrol on the course to have a qualification such as the NEBOSH General Certificate as a pre-requisite before they will even consider them. THE NEBOSH diploma qualifications are equivalent to degree-level qualifications, and just like degree courses, students need to be able to show that they have the required foundation knowledge before enrolling.
As well as being some of the most comprehensive, NEBOSH diploma courses are also some of the most expensive, which is another reason why they should only be undertaken if you can give full commitment to it in order to put in the hours required.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Study Book Before Starting a Health and Safety Course?

For health and safety training courses such as the NEBOSH General Certificate where a study book accompanies the course, many delegates often request to be sent the book beforehand so that they can familiarise themselves with the course content and what they are likely to face. Whilst this may seem on the surface to have some advantages, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits, which is why many providers prefer to give out the book on the first day of the course (or even a few days into the course) and are reluctant to send it out in advance.
The main reason for not allowing delegates to see the book beforehand is that for many it will be their first experience of classroom-based health and safety training. Whilst some may already have a good level of health and safety knowledge and be on the course simply because it is a legal requirement for them to hold a certain qualification, others will be attending the course because they do not currently have little or no health and safety knowledge, at least not to the level of complexity required by their position. Like a school child opening up a textbook designed for a university student, in all probability they will simply be overwhelmed by the level of detail it contains. Much of this information is designed to be taught first by a knowledgeable tutor before being read or looked up in a text book, so seeing the content written down in the book before it has been taught may frighten or at least discourage potential attendees. Some may even panic and decide that they will never be able to understand all that and not even show up to the course (it happens!). This is the main reason for not sending the textbook in advance.
Another reason is that different course tutors may prefer to teach the course syllabus in a different order to that of the book. A lot of the accredited health and safety courses are made up of modules which do not necessarily have to be taught one after the other or in a certain order. Some modules may even have a direct relevance to other modules, and the course tutor may prefer to teach one module before another one, even though they may be located in different sections of the book. If a delegate has read ahead, they may misunderstand the points being made, which could cause a problem if it relates to another module or unit as well. This is why course tutors much prefer to teach the delegates the information to ensure it is correctly understood, before they read about it in the book and potentially get the wrong end of the stick.
As well as the potential for misunderstanding, for some courses these textbooks can be big, weighty things which cost a lot of money. Not only does sending it in the post cost money in shopping charges, but there is also the possibility of it getting lost in transit. Just as likely, if not more so, is that if the delegate receives the book a couple of weeks or so before the start of the course, there is a good chance of them misplacing it, which means somebody has to fork out more money to replace it. Whether that's the training provider, the delegate's company, or the delegate themselves, somebody won't be too happy about shelling out for this avoidable cost!