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More employers demanding professional level qualifications

The level of qualification expected by employers from health and safety managers is rising, according to a new study.

NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) said its 2014 Jobs Barometer research revealed that more employers were requiring health and safety managers to hold at least a degree equivalent NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health.

NEBOSH Chief Executive Teresa Budworth explained: “Last year, slightly more than a third of all job adverts for health and safety management roles called for applicants to hold our Diploma. This year this has risen to almost half at 48%.

We also have seen a similar rise in demand for higher level professional status in job applicants.

The study showed that Chartered Membership of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (CMIOSH) is now required in 31% of advertised roles, compared to 23% last year.

This year’s NEBOSH Jobs Barometer also revealed that some form of NEBOSH health and safety qualification and/or Technician Membership of IOSH or higher was specified in 88% of job advertisements.

I believe employers now see health and safety management as more of a strategic role.” said Teresa Budworth. “As such, more of them are demanding professional level qualifications and status.

Interestingly, over 80% of people who now take a NEBOSH Certificate level qualification are employed in roles whose primary function is not health and safety, from operational managers to finance managers. While Certificate level qualifications remain an important stepping stone to a career as a health and safety specialist, more and more employers see them as core qualifications for general management.

Once again, responsibility for environmental management featured strongly in health and safety job adverts, mentioned in two thirds of available positions. Responsibility for quality assurance was mentioned in 20% of roles.

The average top-end salary advertised was £42,000 per annum, down slightly from £46,000 in 2013. The average top-end salary for jobs where a NEBOSH Diploma and CMIOSH were specified was higher at £52,000 per annum. More than half (57%) of the vacancies were in London and the South East, with 26% in the Midlands and North West and the remainder spread throughout the UK.

Between 11 February and 12 March 2014, NEBOSH examined one hundred nationally advertised jobs for health and safety managers or advisors.