NEBOSH Health and Safety Leadership Excellence v IOSH Directing Safely

IOSH Have had something of a monopoly on accredited courses for Directors and Senior Managers, so I was really interested to see how NEBOSH do things.

The IOSH and NEBOSH programmes are both one day courses. Understandable given that these courses are intended for executives, for whom time is precious. On the downside, that means picking topics between the huge number which are part of health and safety’s rich tapestry. IOSH’s soulution uses the Health and Safety Executives excellent and venerable publication HSG65, Managing for Health and Safety. It applies the same basic plan, do, check, act model which has been adopted across the ISO standards.

At each stages, the course considers the role of senior management using a series of scenarios and ultimately to the creation of an individual commitment plan.

Although NEBOSH make reference to management systems its not the focus of the course. For NEBOSH, Leadership is the central theme and the management system is a useful framework to exercise leadership.

I was particularly pleased with how vision, is at the heart of the course. All too often health and safety is presented as boring, transaction, or just a simple encumbrance, so the idea that leaders are being asked to really think “what is Safety about, why should I care” and from that to consider how a passion for safety can provide the leadership to make a real difference.

The course uses a five (well seven really) block model for Leadership and candidates are required to consider their current leadership style and what they will do in the future against each one, at intervals throughout the day.

So which is better?

Neither! Both are really good and it depends on what you are trying to achieve which one would work best for you, ie are you trying to establish your management systems or are you trying to develop inspirational H&S Leaders.

Probably the most important advise is to take time in selecting and don’t send junior staff on these courses. Its not snobbery. Theses types of courses are intended to address matters of policy and fundamental direction. If the people attending have no part to play in those things its frustrating for them and of no value to the sending organisation.

If you are interested in knowing more about these or other courses please drop me a line or call for a chat.

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