NEBOSH National and International Diploma update: a new regulator, assessment changes and renewed IOSH membership recognition
Wednesday, 3 May 2023
NEBOSH prides itself on rigorous and respected qualifications that prepare learners for the workplace and support their continued professional development. Key to maintaining these standards is our regular review process of all our qualifications. Our most recent has resulted in some positive changes for the NEBOSH National and International Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals.
This article provides an overview of the changes we have made and the impact on learners at different stages of their qualification journey.
*Please note, we have not made any changes to syllabus content and the learning outcomes remain unchanged.
**IMPORTANT** Please refer to the learner scenarios at the end of this article for details related to learners at different stages of their qualification journey.
Change of regulator from SQA Accreditation to Ofqual
The NEBOSH National and International Diplomas for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals are moving to Ofqual regulation. This will take effect from the July Diploma assessments.
Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments, and offers regulatory protection for NEBOSH Diplomas taken internationally and in the UK.
These qualifications were previously regulated by SQA Accreditation. Even though SQA Accreditation do not regulate overseas, NEBOSH has always required all of its Learning Partners to adhere to the same high standards in relation to processes and quality checks regardless of location.
Because of the change in regulator, the Diplomas will be classed as new specifications (May 2023) and will have new qualification titles in line with Ofqual requirements. These are:
- NEBOSH Level 6 National Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals
- NEBOSH Level 6 International Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals
- These will be in effect from the Diploma assessments commencing 19 July 2023.
As we move to Ofqual regulation, some of our policies and processes will change for Diploma learners only. These will be signposted alongside relevant information on our website.
Moving to Ofqual means that we will regain IOSH membership recognition for our overseas learners (see following section for further details).
IOSH membership recognition
As part of the changes to its accreditation processes in 2022, IOSH announced it will no longer accredit qualifications that are not regulated. SQA Accreditation does not currently regulate outside of the UK and therefore does not permit use of its logo on parchments where learners took their assessments outside of the UK. This change meant that any NEBOSH learner who took their Diploma assessments outside of the UK would not be eligible to use their NEBOSH qualification towards IOSH membership unless they had registered/enrolled with NEBOSH by 31 August 2022.
By moving to Ofqual regulation, we are able to fulfil IOSH’s accreditation requirement for regulation in any country that a learner takes their Diploma assessments. We therefore re-applied for IOSH recognition and can confirm that the NEBOSH National and International Diplomas meet the academic requirements to apply for IOSH membership at the appropriate grade*^
Recognition by BCSP, BCRSP and IIRSM remain unaffected.
*IOSH retains the right to change its membership standards, recognition, and grade entry requirements. Please check the latest IOSH membership eligibility criteria at the time of applying.
^Please refer to the learner scenarios at the end of this article for details related to learners at different stages of their qualification journey.
Applies to Diploma assessments taking place on or after 19 July 2023.
New unit codes
National Diploma ND unit codes will change to DN (e.g. unit DN1), and International Diploma ID unit codes will change to DI (e.g. unit DI1). This is to help distinguish between the qualification specifications.
The unit titles will remain the same as the July 2020 specifications.
The total marks per unit assessment will be reduced as follows:
- DN1/DI1 will reduce from 550 to 300 total marks
- DN2/DI2 will reduce from 300 to 175 total marks
- DN3/DI3 will reduce from 230 to 175 total marks.
DN1/DI1 will still consist of two papers; the second paper will have one ‘combined part’ (instead of being split into parts 2, 3 and 4). Paper 1 will be 100 marks (reduced from 150 marks) and Paper 2 will be 200 marks (instead of 400 marks).
Reduced assessment hours
Due to the reduced total marks for each Diploma unit assessment, it will not take learners as long to complete and submit their assessments. Therefore, the expected total hours to complete and submission windows will change as follows:
- DN1/DI1 will reduce from 60 to 40 hours completion time. The submission window will be reduced from 6 weeks to 4 weeks from the assessment release date.
- DN2/DI2 will reduce from 40 to 20 hours completion time. The submission window will be reduced from 4 weeks to 2 weeks from the assessment release date.
- DN3/DI3 will reduce from 40 hours to 20 hours completion time. The submission window will be reduced from 4 weeks to 2 weeks from the assessment release date.
Due to the change in assessment duration, the submission dates have changed. The submission deadline will also be listed on a learner’s individual Assessment Registration Confirmation email at the time of registration for an assessment: Diploma assessment window and submission dates.
Sample assessment papers are available to download from our website: Diploma assessment recourses.
Reduced total qualification time and credits
Due to the assessment hours being reduced, the total qualification time and credits has reduced accordingly. Please note that there are no changes to the taught or private study hours, as the syllabus content has not been changed from the July 2020 specification.
- National Diploma – total qualification time reduced to 415 hours (43 credits)
- International Diploma – total qualification time reduced to 409 hours (42 credits)
Learner scenarios for IOSH membership applications
Learners who achieved their Diploma qualification before 31 August 2024 and were registered with NEBOSH before 31 August 2022
Learners who achieved either a Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals (2020 specification) or a Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (2015) can apply for IOSH membership at the appropriate grade, irrespective of the country they took their qualification or whether their Diploma parchment features a regulator logo.
Learners who are studying for a NEBOSH Diploma but have not yet achieved all units
Learners who are still studying their NEBOSH Diploma (not yet achieved all three units of the Diploma qualification) will move to the Ofqual regulated version of the qualification. Any units already achieved under the July 2020 specification will be automatically transferred across as recognised prior learning towards the Ofqual regulated version.
This means that, when learners achieve their qualification, it will be under Ofqual regulation. The learner’s final parchment will feature an Ofqual logo, enabling them to use their qualification towards IOSH membership.
Learners do not have to do anything, NEBOSH will transfer studying learners to the new specification automatically.
Please note, that any remaining unit(s) will be assessed under the amended assessment structure outlined in the previous Assessment Changes section. Please also note the change in assessment window and submission dates. The submission deadline will also be listed on a learner’s individual Assessment Registration Confirmation email at the time of registration for an assessment: Diploma assessment window and submission dates.
*UK learners only. Where learners have not yet passed all three units, but are awaiting results for a final unit assessment which was taken before July 2023, the parchment will still contain the SQA Accreditation regulator logo. This is because learners will need to pass at least one Ofqual-regulated unit assessment in order to achieve the Ofqual logo on their parchment. Please see section below for what this means if a learner registered after 31 August 2022
Learners who enrolled on the NEBOSH Diploma after 31 August 2022 and passed all units before the July 2023 DN3/DI3 assessment
Learners who enrolled after 31 August 2022 and passed all their Diploma assessments in the UK before the July 2023 DN3/DI3 assessment will have gained their qualification under SQA Accreditation regulation and their parchment will feature the SQA Accreditation Logo. These learners can use their qualification towards IOSH membership applications.
Learners outside of the UK who enrolled after 31 August 2022 and passed all their Diploma assessments before the July 2023 DN3/DI3 assessment will have gained a qualification that does not include a regulator logo on their final parchment. Unfortunately, this means that a small number of learners may be unable to use their qualification towards IOSH membership.
Learners studying any other NEBOSH qualification
Any other NEBOSH qualification currently under SQA Accreditation remains unchanged and IOSH’s rules around membership applications for accredited qualifications are the same. Please refer to this article for full details: Recognition of NEBOSH Qualifications.