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No health and safety qualification, no need to apply

Anyone looking for a health and safety job without suitable qualifications "need not apply" according to new research.

The 2011 NEBOSH Jobs Barometer found that just three of 100 nationally advertised health and safety vacancies failed to specify an appropriate level qualification or professional status. 

Between 23 March and 6 April 2011, NEBOSH examined one hundred job adverts for health and safety managers or advisors. In 93 cases, a NEBOSH qualification and/or Technician Membership of IOSH or higher was specified.

Overall, 66 of the 100 positions mentioned at least one NEBOSH qualification. A NEBOSH Diploma was specified in 45 cases and a NEBOSH Certificate level qualification 37 times. As well as the NEBOSH General Certificate, employers were also seeking NEBOSH Fire and Risk Management, Construction and Environmental Certificates.

Membership of IOSH (The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health) at Technician level or higher was mentioned in 48 job adverts. Five mentioned 'Tech IOSH', 'Grad IOSH' was specified 17 times and 26 positions called for Chartered Membership (CMIOSH). Membership at all three levels requires accredited qualifications.

The average top-end salary advertised was £45,000 per annum. The majority of vacancies (29%) were located in London, with a further 28% in the Home Counties and South East. Around 1 in 6 (18%) were based in the Midlands or East Anglia, 7% in the North West, 7% in Wales and the South West, 5% in Scotland and 2% in Yorkshire and the North East. Slightly less than one in 20 (4%) vacancies were "flexible" on location. Many of the roles required travel throughout the UK and some overseas.

NEBOSH Chief Executive, Teresa Budworth, said she was delighted with the high standards being set by employers when it came to health and safety roles. "It's clear that anyone seeking a job as a health and safety manager or advisor in the UK will struggle to find a position without appropriate level qualifications."

The 2011 NEBOSH Jobs Barometer also revealed that as many as 62% of advertised health and safety positions included responsibility for environmental management, up from 55% in April 2010. Over half (53%) of job titles refer to "environment", up from 42% last year. Job titles and responsibilities also included "quality", "facilities", "risk management", "assurance" and "well-being".

Teresa Budworth commented: "The role of the modern health and safety manager is being extended into various areas, particularly environmental management. Where this is the case, I would like to see more employers specifying further relevant qualifications.

"Our latest study showed that while almost two thirds of advertised positions included responsibility for environmental management, an environmental qualification, such as the NEBOSH Environmental Diploma, was only occasionally required."