Accredited health and safety training can provide you or your employees with a level of knowledge in accordance with set minimum standards. This is because only health and safety providers who have been pre-approved by the relevant awarding body are authorised to deliver courses and qualifications bearing the name of that professional body. For example, only those accredited by the National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) are allowed to offer NEBOSH courses or certificates bearing the NEBOSH name.
This is to ensure that the training provider in question has proven that they can meet the teaching and delivery standards required by the awarding body. Those that fail to do so will have their accreditation taken away and will no longer be allowed to deliver the courses.
As well as NEBOSH there are also other awarding bodies including the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), ConstructionSkills (abbreviated to CSkills, also known as the Construction Industry Training Board or CITB for short), City and Guilds and the British Safety Council (BSC) to name just a few choices available.
The syllabus of an accredited course will be clearly set out and the assessments at the end will, whilst not having the exact same questions to prevent everybody knowing what questions will come up on the paper, will be of a similar difficulty level which means those who have successfully passed the assessment will have demonstrated that they have a good level of knowledge regarding the health and safety issues, so much so that they have been able to apply it to passing the written examinations and practical assessments which may be required.
The fact that accredited courses can only be provided by pre-approved providers means that they can often be more expensive that a course put together by a provider. Not only will there be less supply as only a certain number of providers are accredited to offer the courses, but the approval process and administration required to comply with the rules and requirements of certain awarding bodies will mean that some providers will pass on this extra cost to the customers in the form of higher fees, typically charging extra for certificate costs. This is an issue to be wary of when comparing costs and prices for courses, as there may be hidden charges. There are though providers out there who will not add on any additional fees for certificates such as ATC Risk Management and Associated Training for example where the course cost displayed is an all-in cost without any surprises.
Another disadvantage is that it is the awarding bodies themselves who print and send out the certificates to successful course attendees. As they have to print out certificates for the entire United Kingdom and even worldwide for certain international qualifications, it can be a slow process and long wait before they get around to printing yours, with waits of between twelve and sixteen weeks not uncommon. Whereas a provider offering their own course can quickly print off and post a certificate, those undertaking an accredited course will have no option but to wait before they receive theirs.