Health and Safety Professional path: After HSE Level 1, 2 & 3 what next?


After HSE Level 1, 2 & 3 what next?

A lot beginners in the Health and Safety profession do ask this question: After HSE Level 1, 2 & 3 what next?

I will not go into too much stories, I will just give my personal opinion to the question and state my reasons.

Let me tackle the question: After HSE Level 1, 2 & 3 what next?

After HSE Level 1, 2 & 3, here are the sequential steps you can take to ensure proper development in the Health and Safety Profession and also make yourself employable:

  1. Enroll for NEBOSH IGC: NEBOSH IGC is seen as the fundamental certification for a career minded Health and Safety professional. If you must grow in the Health and Safety profession, you must be certified with the NEBOSH IGC certificate. It’s like having your B.Sc. in your specialized field.
  2. Register with a professional body, both locally and internationally: In Nigeria we have our ISPON (Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria), we also have international bodies like IOSH (Institute of Occupational Safety and Health), IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety Management), etc. You need to identify with a professional body to share ideas, information and opportunities.
  3. Enroll for ISO 9001 Lead auditor’s certificate: ISO 9001 is a lead quality management certification. The course will broadens your scope; instead of just being a HSE professional, you will be a QHSE (Quality Health, safety and Environment) professional. This will also presents you with more opportunities. Enrolling for ISO 9001 should be considered first before ISO 45001 (occupational Health and Safety Lead auditor’s course), because it serves a dual purpose. It can be used to audit quality and also occupational Health and Safety since it uses almost the same frame-work.
  4. Enroll for ISO 45001 Auditor’s certificate: This is the new Occupational Health and Safety standard that is about to be launched to enhance the Health and Safety practice. It will replace OHSAS 18001.
  5. Enroll for NEBOSH Diploma: If you have the financial muscle to further develop yourself in the Health and Safety profession, then NEBOSH Diploma should be the next certification to consider. This certification will stand you out in the Health and Safety profession.
  6. Enroll for M.Sc in occupational Health and Safety: Some people prefer enrolling for M.Sc in occupational Health and Safety before going for NEBOSH Diploma. My candid opinion is this: NEBOSH Diploma comes first because of its level of recognition. After NEBOSH Diploma, then you can enroll for M.Sc in occupational Health and Safety. The M.Sc in Occupational Health and Safety will widen and deepen your understanding in Occupational Health and Safety.

The above trend of certifications is my personal suggestion based on my knowledge in health and Safety and current trend in the profession, it is not based on any standard.


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  1. Thanks Ubong for educating us. How can a young graduate who already has HSE levels 1, 2 and 3 certifications and is passionate about health and safety environment grow in this career when recruiters do not give them opportunities but would rather go for more experienced personnels?

    • Not all recruiters. There are opportunities for beginners. Just be patient, such opportunities do come up from time to time. Personally, i got employed with HSE level 3 with zero experience.

      So just be patient and hopeful.

  2. Thank you Ubong for achievements and response to Ugwumsinachi Otaka. Please am really in need of a job in Safety operations. I also have HSE levels 1, 2 & 3 and having searching for jobs but have not really found any. Please do you have referrals or any job you could link me up? I will really appreciate! My mobile is 0803 789 8913

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