Membership FAQs

IOSH membership frequently asked questions

New to IOSH 

The membership structure

Membership benefits

Changes in your circumstances




New to IOSH

What category of member will I become when joining IOSH?

All new members are welcomed initially as Affiliate Members. The cost for your first year of membership is £153. Once you've joined we'll review your qualifications and experience. If appropriate we'll recommend that you're transferred to either Associate, Technical or Graduate membership. If the committee ratify this recommendation then no additional costs for subscription are incurred.  

Find out more about changing your membership category.

If you're awarded Graduate membership you can pay a one-off fee of £160 to commence your Initial Professional Development (IPD).

Why do I initially join as an affiliate member?

So you can access all of our benefits and services while we assess whether you're suitable for Graduate or Technicical membership.

What if my degree isn't in health and safety?

All new members of IOSH join as Affiliate Members. We then assess their qualifications and experience to check if we can make them an offer of becoming an Associate, Technicical or Graduate Member.

To become a Graduate Member, you need to have a degree that's on our list of accredited qualifications. If you don't, you can still become a Graduate Member if you have a 'cognate degree'. To qualify, at least 60 per cent of your degree must be in an occupational safety and health-related subject. To confirm this, we'll ask you to send us a copy of your degree syllabus.

If we award you Graduate status, we'll invite you to join our Initial Professional Development (IPD) programme.

As a 'cognate degree' holder, your IPD will include:

  • completing a skills development portfolio 
  • sitting an open assessment 
  • being assessed in a peer review interview. 

Find out more about IPD.

I'm not interested in becoming a health and safety professional – is there anything in IOSH for me?

Absolutely.

We exist first and foremost to promote health and safety. We believe that everyone has a right to a healthy and safe working environment. And we work hard to provide guidance that helps people take a sensible and practical approach to health and safety – whatever they do for a living.

Naturally, a big part of what we do is based on delivering knowledge and experience where it's needed through qualified working professionals. Because of this, our members give us a unique opportunity to bring about change and improvements at a national and international level. But to make our voice fully credible, we need people from all walks of life who are passionate about health and safety. We need them to share in public debates, lobby government and get involved in our campaigns. We also need people to share their experiences and knowledge to help us keep an outward focus.

If you have an interest in health and safety, or you just want to be kept in touch with developments so that you make the right business decisions, there's plenty in IOSH for you.

Join us.

I'm considering working in health and safety – what qualifications do I need?

There are two levels of qualification you should consider: level 3 and a degree level.

We currently accredit eight level 3 qualifications and 34 higher level qualifications, including NVQs/SVQs at level 5, bachelor's and master's degrees, and postgraduate certificates and diplomas.  

Level 3 qualifications are suitable for people looking to move into a first operational role, while degree level qualifications and relevant experience are usually required for more senior roles.

See our list of accredited qualifications.

Where can I get health and safety qualifications?

We accredit courses from universities, colleges and commercial training companies around the world. Most health and safety qualifications are designed to be taken part-time in conjunction with your normal job. Courses can take anything from 12 days to 24 months to complete, depending on whether you go for 'day release' style of learning, distance learning or intensive training, as well as the level of qualification you are taking.

The degrees that we accredit are full time university courses and will have a minimum entry requirement.

The courses can range in price from hundreds to thousands of pounds. We recommend you check out your local options, how urgent your need is and whether your employer will cover the cost, particularly if you're currently working in a health and safety role for the organisation.

While we can't recommend one course provider over another, you can contact our membership team or phone +44 (0)116 257 3198 to discuss your options. Alternatively, ask fellow members for their recommendations through our online study support forum.

I’m a member of the BCSP/BCRSP, can I become a Chartered member of IOSH?

Our reciprocal agreements with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) allow Certified Safety Professionals and Canadian Registered Safety Professionals to become Chartered Members of IOSH by completing our Open Assessment. Find out more about CSP and CRSP to CMIOSH [PDF 148 KB].



The membership structure

How do I become an Associate Member?

To be recommended for Associate Member status, you should hold one of the accredited level 3 qualifications.  No health and safety experience is necessary for this status.

How do I become a Technical Member?

To be recommended for Technical Member status, you should hold one of the accredited level 3 qualifications and have a suitable amount of experience in health and safety. Your experience can be gained while you're studying by voluntary activity, part time work or a full time job role, specifically in health and safety or with an operational health and safety element, for example facilities management.

Every Technical Member has to maintain their Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

What's the difference between an Associate member and a Technical member of IOSH?

Associate and Technician membership recognise the same qualifications however, by definition, a Technician member is someone who is currently practising in health and safety and possibly looking to develop their career.  As a result, they need to maintain their skills and knowledge with CPD.

While Associate membership recognises health and safety knowledge, it does not reflect any experience.  It is not appropriate if you’re currently practising and giving advice on health and safety unless you are new to the profession and are currently building experience.

How do I become a Graduate Member?

To be recommended for Graduate Member status, you should hold one of the accredited qualifications or a cognate degree. You don't have to have a specific level of experience in health and safety. Provided you have an appropriate qualification, you'll become a Graduate Member.

All Graduate Members join our Initial Professional Development (IPD) scheme. IPD will take between two and five years to complete. If you successfully finish IPD, we'll recommend that you're awarded Chartered membership. This is the only route to Chartered membership.

Graduate Members must keep up to date with their CPD.

How do I become a Chartered Member?

To become a Chartered Member, you must first fulfil the qualification requirements of Graduate membership and successfully complete the IPD scheme.

As a Chartered Member, you must maintain your CPD throughout your time with us.

Why become Chartered?

Businesses, employers and recruitment consultants are already well used to looking for professionals with Chartered membership. They recognise Chartered status as a shorthand for 'best in class' and they know they'll get the highest professional standards from a Chartered individual.

Chartered status will help you:

  • improve your ability to influence decision-makers 
  • work on an equal footing with other professionals 
  • increase your future employability. 

Have a look at our membership structure.

Your professional development

More about IPD  

More about CPD 



Membership benefits

Which branch should I join?

When you join us, you'll be asked to choose which branch you want to be in. Joining a branch is free and, for obvious reasons, it's best to choose one that's near your home or place of work. However, you can join any branch you want.

Do I have to attend branch meetings when I join IOSH?

No. We know that health and safety professionals lead busy lives and time can be precious. However, we encourage you to make full use of your membership benefits. The free networking and learning opportunities available from your branch are well worth investing some time in, even if it's just occasionally.

Why should I join a group?

Both branches and groups have networking at the heart of what they do, but there's a clear difference between them.

As a branch member, you'll network with a cross-section of the health and safety industry and have the opportunity to get involved in activities that are local to your area.

As a member of a group, you'll meet up and share good practice with other professionals in your industry sector. Among other things, you'll have the chance to play your part in sector-specific projects and initiatives, and contribute to legal consultations that have a direct impact on your industry.

Some people choose to join the group that relates to the sector they currently work in, while others choose to join groups relating to the industry they want to work in, or work with.

Can I change my branch or group?

You can change your branch or group at any time during your membership of IOSH. Your membership includes free membership of a branch and free membership of one group. You can join as many additional groups as you want for £10 per year, per group.

I'm not a member of IOSH. Can I still join a branch or group?

Sorry, but you can't. You can attend group events as a non-member and pay the required fee. Some branches will allow you to attend one or two of their events as a guest. However, if you find our events interesting, it's well worth becoming a member, even if it's just to get free or discounted access to such events.

What is Policy and Practice in Health and Safety (PPHS)?

A bi-annual journal, published normally in May and November. PPHS provides a forum for academic and policy discourse on health and safety. It's aimed at those who practise, tutor, research or study health and safety regulation and management.

It's available in hard copy and online.

Can I subscribe to PPHS at any stage of my membership?

Yes. As a member, you pay the reduced fee of £20 for two issues per year, including online access. Non-members pay £40, and institutions and organisations £115.

Find out more about the benefits of IOSH membership.



Changes in your circumstances

I've moved home – what should I do?

When you move home or change your telephone number, email address or place of work, contact our Membership Team, who'll update your membership records.

What happens to my membership if I retire?

If you want to continue being a member of IOSH when you reach statutory retirement age, you can.

If you're over statutory retirement age and carry on practising health and safety, you'll pay the annual subscription for your category of membership at the normal rate.

Members who reach the statutory retirement age and retire completely from working life can continue their membership at the concessionary rate of £36 per year.

What happens to my membership if I fall ill or lose my job?

If you can't work as a health and safety professional because of a long illness, we'll review your CPD requirements and you can apply for hardship assistance when your annual membership subscription is due.

If you become long-term unemployed, we'd expect you to maintain CPD to support your search for work. You can apply for financial assistance when your renewal subscription is due.

We also have a benevolent fund if you find yourself in severe hardship.

Membership team

Need help or want to know more?

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