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Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice

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Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice

FAQs about Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice

The Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice is the highest-level competence-based qualification in the UK and Ireland. It is comparable to a bachelor's degree typically undertaken at a university. It is considered the ideal qualification pathway for those health and safety practitioners who have gained career progression through hands-on experience rather than prior academic achievement. The qualification's primary purpose is to provide recognition for the level at which such individuals currently work.

Related: Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

This Health & Safety and Construction NVQ diploma is appropriate for any aspiring health and safety professional working in a health and safety role. The qualification is designed for those who require recognition for their competence in health and safety. This individual type may be working close to, or already at health and safety management level. Or an individual responsible for managing an organisation's health and safety compliance through policy and practice.

The qualification is appropriate for learners from all work sectors, including energy, oil & gas, retail, corporate business, and construction. Those wishing to progress their career internally or via the job market by having the ability to present a level 6 health and safety qualification are also likely to reap the rewards. The NVQ level 6 Diploma also meets the academic requirements of IOSH, should an individual wish to progress to graduate and chartered membership status.

To undertake the Level 6 NVQ diploma, the candidate must have already gained a significant level of health and safety experience within a workplace. During the lifespan of the qualification, the candidate will work closely with an assigned assessor to determine how they can evidence this experience. Candidates can generate evidence through any of the below methods:

  • Self-reflective accounts: This is the candidate's interpretation of how they have carried out specific tasks.
  • Witness testimonies: These are statements from an existing or prior colleague detailing a particular task they have witnessed the candidate undertake.
  • Expert witness accounts: These are written statements from a respected health and safety professional detailing a candidate's application of practice that they have witnessed.
  • Questions: These can be directed at the candidate from the assessor to fill any gaps in their knowledge base.
  • Accredited prior achievement or learning: This is training that the candidate may have undertaken that evidences a particular ability set by the qualification.
  • Professional discussion: This is a recorded dialogue between the candidate and the assessor. The assessor may use this to complete any gaps in the performance criteria that may be difficult to observe.

The tangible evidence deciphered from any of the above methods must then be aligned against the criteria detailed within each of the qualifications ten mandatory units. Every criterion within the ten units must be adequately evidenced for the candidate to be awarded the qualification.

Communication with the assessor can be via several methods. This communication may include face-to-face, video call, telephone, or direct messaging either through email or a state-of-the-art e-portfolio portal. Communications take place at times and via a method that suits the need of the individual candidate.

The NVQ level 6 health and safety qualifications 10 mandatory units are as follows:

  • Promote a positive health and safety culture
  • Develop and implement the health and safety policy
  • Develop and implement effective communication systems for health and safety information
  • Develop and maintain individual and organisational competence in health and safety matters
  • Identify, assess and control health and safety risks
  • Develop and implement proactive monitoring systems for health and safety
  • Develop and implement reactive monitoring systems for health and safety
  • Develop health and safety emergency response systems and procedures
  • Develop and implement health and safety review systems
  • Maintain knowledge of improvements to influence health and safety practice

The duration required to complete the Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice is entirely up to the candidate. It all depends on the urgency, the candidate's ability, and current workload. Previous experience tells us that it can take between 10 and 18 months to complete, with some exceptional students obtaining it in as little as seven months. This turnaround time is impressive, given this health and safety qualification is equivalent to a bachelor's degree.

The NVQ level 6 health and safety is often a qualification route of choice for those in busy health and safety roles. This choice may be due to them being less able to commit significant time to classroom learning or undertaking assignments required by other equivalent level qualifications such as the NEBOSH and NCRQ diplomas. It is also a preferred pathway for candidates who prefer to demonstrate competency through practical application rather than a traditional academic examination.

The Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice is considered equivalent to both the NEBOSH and NCRQ diplomas. This equivalence is from both a recognition and qualification framework level. All three are level 6 qualifications in the UK which is the equivalent to a bachelor's degree.

It isn't easy to select an outright winner when considering the benefits of both the NVQ level 6 in Health and Safety and the NEBOSH Diploma. Both have their own merits and are appropriate to varying types of candidates. Unlike the NEBOSH Diploma, the NVQ level 6 health and safety does not involve classroom attendance or examinations. Instead, it is gained solely by submitting work-related experience evidence related to health and safety practices. Therefore, it is accepted that the NVQ level 6 health and safety is better suited to those who already work in a health and safety role. The NEBOSH Diploma is better suited to those with limited or no experience wishing to gain subject area knowledge for career development opportunities.

The NVQ Level 6 and NCRQ Diplomas are the same levels of qualification. Within England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, they are graded at QCF level 6, equivalent to a bachelor's degree. They are both recognised as acceptable degree-level health and safety qualifications. The main difference between the two is how they are obtained. The Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice is gained by submitting work-related evidence that the candidate will already possess. Such evidence will be related to their role as a health and safety practitioner. The NCRQ Diploma in Health and Safety is gained by studying the course material and then completing three significant assignments graded as a pass or a fail.

The NVQ level 6 Health and Safety qualification meets the academic requirements for Graduate Membership of IOSH. Those who achieve it can then commence the CMIOSH pathway to eventually gain full chartered membership status with the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. This benefit makes this qualification an appealing choice for aspiring health and safety professionals.