Routes to CMIOSH (Chartered Member IOSH); Pros & Cons

If you looking to achieve CMIOSH status and further your safety career, this article is for you. This article contains a table which compares the two main routes – The NEBOSH National Diploma, and The ProQual NVQ Level 6 Diploma.

It also outlines the Pros and Cons of each, it’s the ideal safety training guide to help you plan your next step.

Let us have a little overview about the two (2) professional routes to CMIOSH.


The NEBOSH National Diploma

The NEBOSH Diploma is one of the courses structured by the National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) and it is a level 6 course. It has become established as the most popular and highly respected qualification of its kind. Those who hold the qualification find themselves in high demand in the global marketplace.

Employers increasingly see health and safety management as a strategic role demanding an appropriate high-level professional qualification.

This qualification assists in the development of professional competence, increasing learners’ ability to help organisations make sensible and proportionate decisions in order to manage risk, meet business objectives, and meet regulatory and other requirements. Thorough but achievable, the qualification is designed by health and safety professionals to meet the needs of the modern workplace. It is a university degree-level qualification, offering a route to Masters-level study. It is a qualification to be proud of.

The qualification covers the practical skills that are essential to health and safety professionals. It assesses learners’ ability to apply their skills and knowledge and deliver positive change throughout the workplace.

Those who pass their NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety are entitled to use the designatory letters IDipNEBOSH and also gain membership of some professional bodies. Diplomates are invited to NEBOSH’s annual NEBOSH Graduation and Awards Ceremony. In addition they will be invited to join NEBOSH’s growing Alumni network.

Professional Recognition

The NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety meets the academic requirements to apply for:

  • Graduate Membership (Grad IOSH) of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). This is the first step to becoming a Chartered Health and Safety Practitioner as a Chartered Member of IOSH (CMIOSH).
  • Member status (MIIRSM) of the Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM).
  • Holders of either the NEBOSH National or International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety and either the NEBOSH National or International Certificate in Construction Health and Safety meet the headline entrance criteria requirements for Registered Membership (RMaPS) of the Association for Project Safety (APS).
  • Graduate membership of the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Saiosh) – Current Technical members (TechSaiosh) can now upgrade to Graduate Membership (GradSaiosh) using the NEBOSH International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety to meet the membership level’s academic requirements.


The ProQual NVQ Level 6 Diploma

The Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice qualification is aimed at candidates who are responsible for developing and applying health and safety procedures day-to-day in their organisation. They may be a staff member, supervisor or manager
looking to improve their knowledge and skills.

The awarding body for this qualification is ProQual Awarding Body and the regulatory body is the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). This qualification has been accredited onto the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Qualification Profile

Qualification title: ProQual Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice

Ofqual qualification number: 603/3106/9

Level: Level 6

Total qualification time: 1064 hours

Guided learning hours: 532

Assessment: Pass or fail (Internally assessed and verified by centre staff External quality assurance by ProQual verifiers)

Qualification start date: 1/4/2018


Read Also3 main HSE certifications, (NCRQ vs NVQ vs NEBOSH); Which one is best?


Which route to CMIOSH (Pros & Cons) – Source (RoSPA)

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health ProQual NVQ Level 6 Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice 
Aimed atSafety Supervisors, Safety Officers and Safety ManagersSafety Supervisors, Safety Officers and Safety Managers
Study modePrimarily classroom based, with additional home study expected. Unit A taught over three weeks (10 days)Unit B taught over two weeks (10 days)Unit C taught over two weeks (10 days) Combined total of 30 days classroom study.A vocational qualification, therefore work based. The pace depends on the candidate.
AssessmentUnits A, B and C are each assessed by a three hour written exam. Unit D is an 8,000 word review of the health and safety performance of an organisation.A portfolio of evidence is submitted using RoSPA’s online system. This portfolio is assessed against the required competencies, all of which must be demonstrated.
DurationThe four units can be taken in any order over a five year period.A flexible study option: complete within 24 months
PriceClassroom: £5999.00 + VAT
Online: £1800.00 + VAT
£1795.00 + VAT
ProsAn academic, degree level qualification. Highly regarded and sought after by employers. Gives an understanding of a broad range of issues, therefore provides a transferable knowledge base that is applicable across industry sectors and job roles. Can be taken at a pace to suit the candidate, up to maximum of 5 years.Work based, therefore easier to combine with daily tasks. There are no exams so candidates who know that they do not perform well under pressure may find this advantageous. Flexible pace, ranging from 4 months to 2 years.
ConsEmployers must be convinced of the business benefits as the time away from work and cost of the course represents a considerable investment. The rigorous nature of the course requires a high degree of commitment from the candidate.Rewards competencies within the current work situation, therefore only really suitable for Safety Supervisors, Managers etc. who are currently in the right role and arguably less transferable to future roles and organisations.
End resultGradIOSH status (Graduate Membership of the Institution of Safety and Health); meaning holders meet the academic requirements of Chartered status (CMIOSH) but are undergoing professional development.GradIOSH status (Graduate Membership of the Institution of Safety and Health); meaning holders meet the academic requirements of Chartered status (CMIOSH) but are undergoing professional development.
Next stepIn order to achieve CMIOSH status holders of the NEBOSH Diploma must submit a mini-portfolio of evidence from their current job role.To achieve CMIOSH status NVQ Level 6 holders must take an open book exam over a period of two weeks.


Read Also: 2022 NEBOSH Examination Dates for Certificate/Diploma Programs

In conclusion, if you are planning to achieve the CMIOSH status you can decide to follow any of the routes highlighted; after carefully reading the requirements, the pros and the cons associated with the routes.