Our stories

NEBOSH qualifications have helped shape the careers of people around the world. Below you will find the stories of NEBOSH Learning Partners, learners and employees who have studied with NEBOSH in the last 40 years.

If you’d like to read more about the careers of our learners and where a NEBOSH qualification could take you, see our Case Studies page.




Ian Coombes

Ian Coombes

Ian Coombes’ involvement in health and safety began in the mid-1970s, shortly after the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. His employers asked him to take on a health and safety project. He wasn't too keen at first, he thought the project would be nothing more than a "distraction" from his career.

Instead, he discovered that health and safety involved him in every part of the business. And as often happens with project work, his enthusiasm grew, he achieved things and he wanted to achieve more.

A few years later in 1979, when the idea of a new health and safety examining board and a new set of professional qualifications emerged, Ian jumped on board. He wanted to help make NEBOSH happen.

He was one of the first NEBOSH examiners. He put together course materials and text books. He became a Director at NEBOSH. Later, as NEBOSH began to expand its horizons overseas, Ian taught students in Kuwait and health and safety professionals seeking their NEBOSH Diploma in Trinidad.

However, Ian's biggest project began in 1989, when he started his own business, ACT Associates Ltd. His company provides safety, health and environmental consultancy and training - including NEBOSH training, of course.

Through his business, and his involvement with NEBOSH, Ian has helped a tremendous number of people develop into health and safety professionals over the past 30 years.

Nick Cornwell Smith

Nick Cornwell-Smith

Like many people, Nick Cornwell-Smith wasn't sure what he wanted to do when he left university. He ended up taking the first job that came his way - a job in health and safety.

Looking back now, Nick sees that health and safety was exactly what he wanted to do. He just didn't know it at the time.

He found the work suited his love of all things technical and scientific. And he says health and safety has thrown new challenges his way, almost everyday. One such challenge was developing and running a NEBOSH Diploma course while working as a lecturer at Grimsby College.

As Force Health and Safety Adviser at Lincolnshire Police, Nick had to find a balance between the risky nature of policing and health and safety.

One time, he had to make sure a police re-enactment was carried out safely. This involved three life-sized plastic horses and a Chinook helicopter! It followed an incident where a horse had thrown its rider after being spooked by a low-flying helicopter. Nick had to manage the risks - in particular, ensuring the plastic horses didn't also turn into dangerous low-flying objects.

Nick says that without NEBOSH he may not have had the career and the challenges he's enjoyed so much over the past 40+ years.

But what he values most, are the friendships he's found through NEBOSH. Like-minded people who took NEBOSH qualifications around the same time, and others he met through teaching NEBOSH.

Ray Hurst

Ray Hurst

Ray Hurst has won an argument with one of the BBC's toughest interviewers, been beaten by a Frenchman at conkers, rioted against the police and escaped from a sunken helicopter.

But when you ask why he's done these things, he gives the same answer. To solve problems.

In fact, a problem he faced many years ago got him into health and safety in the first place. Ray had grown tired of having to travel across London to work. He was in administration at the time. When a job in health and safety came up nearer to home, he went for it, and he got it.

That was in the 1970s. Ray enjoyed his work, it gave him the chance to tackle problems every day. And when NEBOSH arrived on the scene in 1979, Ray was one of the first people to sit the exams. He gained what was then the ordinary and higher NEBOSH qualifications.

He says his studies awakened new ideas and ways of tackling health and safety at the County Council where he worked. For example, he once used what he'd learned about the impact of colours on mood to tackle a behavioural problem. Ray says he wouldn't have known anything about using the 'Munsell' colour system if it hadn't been for his NEBOSH studies.

Another problem Ray has campaigned to solve is people's perception of health and safety. Whilst President of IOSH, he and Neil Budworth took on Radio 4's John Humphreys about this. Following a heated debate, Humphreys conceded on-air that Ray was: "Destroying the image that has been lovingly nurtured over the years of you heath and safety types being killjoys."

He took part in the IOSH sponsored World Conkers Championship for the same reason. To dispel myths. As for rioting? He was involved in an exercise to test emergency response in the South East. Likewise, his escape from a helicopter was all about testing safety procedures.

Ray's right. Health and safety is all about doing things.



Lynne Aigne

Lynne Aigne

Lynne Ainge likes to study. She admits she collects qualifications for fun as well as personal development. She has a NEBOSH General Certificate, a NEBOSH National Diploma, even an MSc in Occupational Health and Safety.

But fun isn't the only reason Lynne is so well qualified. She thinks credibility is important too.

Lynn's first job was helping people with learning disabilities. She did this from 1980 to 1994, gaining a variety of teaching qualifications along the way. She became interested in health and safety through finding employment opportunities for those she worked with.

So when a health and safety position came up at Suffolk County Council, she went for it. Lynne believes she got the job because of her teaching qualifications. Training was a key part of the role. Lynne turned to NEBOSH to get the knowledge she needed for her new career.

The first health and safety conference she went to gave her another incentive to study. There were 100 people there - 95 men and 5 women. She says she realised then that anything to help prove her credibility would be vital if she was going succeed in such a male-dominated profession.

Lynne went on to become Lead Health & Safety Advisor at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. It's a demanding job, but she has impressed with her experience and day-to-day knowledge. And her qualifications mean she's respected as a professional too.

Lynne thinks attitudes to women have improved a lot in recent years. She's pleased more women are taking their NEBOSH qualifications and she sees more women attending and presenting at conferences too.

Darren Brunton

Darren Brunton

Darren Brunton first began diving with the military, serving with the Royal Engineers and the Army Commandos. When he left the army in 1990, he began a career as a commercial saturation diver, working at depths of up to 100 metres or more for several days or even weeks.

He found that safety standards were not as high in commercial operations as they should have been. After witnessing several incidents and almost being killed himself, he decided he wanted to improve things and ensure fewer injuries and fatalities.

Darren’s NEBOSH studies in the 1990s lead to a new career and opened doors for him and his new business. He has been able to make a real difference in the industry.

Read more in Darren’s case study.

Wasyl Terych

Wasyl Terych

Wasyl Terych is the Senior Manager in a health and safety consultancy in Dubai. He enjoys the multi-cultural lifestyle. His work sees him travelling throughout the Middle East, to India, the Philippines and to Singapore.

Wasyl has a NEBOSH Certificate, a Diploma and a Construction Certificate. Asked why he chose NEBOSH, he says: "Because they're the most respected qualifications in the field of occupational safety and health."

He adds that this respect for NEBOSH now extends way beyond the UK. Wasyl teaches the NEBOSH International Diploma to students from many different countries. He says the letters IDipNEBOSH are respected by employers throughout the world.

Read more about his experience and how his career progressed in Wasyl’s NEBOSH case study.



Dee Arp

Dee Arp

There's no doubt a NEBOSH qualification can take you places. So where would a successful candidate, trainer and examiner like Dee Arp end up?

Like many, Dee got her first NEBOSH qualification because she needed to. She was a road safety specialist working as a technical manager in RoSPA's road safety department at the time.

Her colleagues were putting together an occupational road risks course. Dee helped out, and when it came to finding someone to run the course, they asked her to do it.

She enjoyed it so much she made the move in to Occupational Health and Safety full time and gained her NEBOSH Diploma. Dee was "Best Candidate" - meaning she got the highest overall score for Parts 1 & 2 of the Diploma. A "swot" according to her fellow students!

Dee began to train others studying for their NEBOSH qualifications. And while still with RoSPA, as their head of occupational safety, she became a NEBOSH examiner - assessing candidates and marking exam papers.

While studying, Dee had been told NEBOSH exams were notoriously difficult to pass. She'd been warned to stick rigidly to "NEBOSH-speak" and to watch out for trick questions.

As an examiner she found a lot of this just wasn't true. The exams weren't meant to be easy, but "NEBOSH-speak" and trick questions? These were myths, as far Dee was concerned. She decided if she ever worked for NEBOSH, she would do what she could to dispel such myths.

Dee became Standards Manager at NEBOSH in 2006, and is now Director of Technical Standards.

Dee doesn't want people to be put off studying for a NEBOSH qualification. She works hard to ensure that NEBOSH set fair and reliable assessments, appropriate to the level of qualification. She loves her job and enjoys the buzz and excitement the work brings. And she says everyone gets on well at NEBOSH, making it a great place to work.

But most of all, Dee feels her job is just right for her. She's seen NEBOSH assessments from all sides - as a student, a trainer and an examiner. So who better to set the standards?

Scott Trim

Scott Trim

Whilst Scott Trim was a business development manager at a training firm, whenever he was asked about health and safety training he had to turn people away, it wasn't what they offered.

However, Scott had done some health and safety training in the past and had a NEBOSH National General Certificate, so he asked his boss if he could develop a new course. His boss wasn't impressed as he didn't think there was much business in it.

Scott went home and thought about it, and the very next morning he handed in his notice and set up his own firm. He thought if his boss wouldn't offer health and safety training, he'd do it himself!

He found a few clients straightaway, and his business started to grow. At first the training he offered was basic but Scott wanted to offer more. He was experienced enough but realised he needed to take his own qualifications a step further.

He signed up for the NEBOSH Diploma and passed. With more confidence in his own qualifications, Scott began to offer more advanced training, along with a consultancy service.

Now, as well as his Certificate and Diploma, Scott has a NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management and a NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety.

“Health and safety should be like other professions,” he says, “with proper accreditation and licensed practitioners.”

Scott says his old boss wasn't keen on health and safety training because he thought it was a bit specialist, he didn't expect to get enough people through the doors.

But it hasn't been like that for Scott. He doesn't just train health and safety people, he helps company directors, senior managers and ordinary workers learn about the subject too.

Scott recognised that health and safety was becoming more relevant to everyone at work and, unlike his boss, he made the most of the opportunity.

Claire Jones

Claire Jones

No one in Claire Jones’ family had ever stayed on at school past the age of 16. So she hardly gave sixth form a second thought. Instead, Claire found a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) position with a local chemical company in West Cumbria where she worked as a junior process operator. She impressed her employer, won a YTS Trainee of the Year Award and was kept on.

Claire soon found herself in a health and safety career, and has achieved five NEBOSH qualifications since then. She even achieved the highest mark award for her NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management in 2009.

Find out more in Claire’s case study.  



Carole Baugh

Carole Baugh

It can be fun throwing yourself in at the deep-end. But a bit of experience and know-how comes in handy if you're planning on doing something challenging.

One of Carole Baugh’s biggest challenges was leaving behind the comfort and security of a full-time job and going self-employed as a freelance trainer.

It wasn't as if Carole hadn't done any training before. She'd worked for a brewery, running a pub and restaurant in Sheffield for 13 years. As well as this, she'd provided training courses for the brewery, helping new landlords learn the ropes with things like food safety and customer service.

Carole had completed a level 4 health and safety course, which gave her enough knowledge to include health and safety within her training programmes at the brewery.

When an opportunity arose for Carole to provide a range of work-related training courses through local colleges, it meant leaving the pub and restaurant behind and going it alone. She took a chance and it paid off. There was a lot of funding around for training at the time and several other colleges and organisations began seeking her help. Her business took off.

There was strong demand for entry level health and safety courses in particular, so in 2004 Carole decided she should gain more formal qualifications herself.

"I wanted to improve myself and my knowledge. I wanted to have the confidence to know that what I was saying was correct and up-to-date," she explained.

First of all Carole took her NEBOSH General Certificate, which she passed with distinction. It then took Carole just a year to gain her NEBOSH Diploma, which she passed with credit.

Throughout the 2010s Carole has been delivering level 3 and 4 health and safety training herself - something she would not feel comfortable with if she didn't have her NEBOSH Diploma.

She believes providing everyone with health and safety training at work is vital.

"I think there's a lot of misconceptions about health and safety, mainly because of bad publicity," she told us.  "When I'm training, I like to say 'you've read the rubbish about health and safety, about how it bans this, that and the other,' and then I like to put the facts straight and dispel the myths."

Carole threw herself in at the deep-end by going self-employed. But as an experienced trainer who is willing to build on her knowledge, she's been able to make a real success of it.

Stuart Rhee

Stuart Rhee

Everyone has a role to play in their family. And Stuart Rhee’s role is a little unusual; he’s their safety, health and environmental expert! When you understand that Stuart is an important part of his family’s business, that role starts to make more sense.

Stuart is a mechanical engineer, but he also takes responsibility for safety, health and environmental matters. This includes satisfying the safety, health and environmental audit requirements of clients.

Stuart has worked hard to achieve a number of NEBOSH qualifications, helping him succeed in this demanding role. He even achieved the highest mark award for his Environmental Certificate exam and assessment in 2010/11.

Read more about how his studies have supported the family business in Stuart’s case study.

Joel Nedamo

Joel Nedamo 

Joel Nedamo has seen a lot of the world. He was born, educated and began his working career in the Philippines. His degree in Civil Engineering from the Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila helped him secure work in many different places such as Kuwait, Taiwan, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

When Joel decided to develop his knowledge of health and safety, he soon found himself with two NEBOSH qualifications and challenging new role at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Joel is confident that the knowledge gained through in his NEBOSH studies helped him secure this exciting role. Read more in Joel’s case study.