RSPH offers a range of Health and Safety related Qualifications - regulated by OFQUAL/CCEA or Qualifications Wales - at Training Centres around the UK. Select a qualification to see full details - including syllabuses, fact sheets and specimen papers and a list of the Centres where it's available (you can enter your location on the next page).
If your local Centre doesn't currently offer RSPH Qualifications, let us know (here) and we'll get in touch with them.
What does health and safety cover?
No matter where you work or what job you do, health and safety measures are incredibly important for the safety of your day-to-day life. You’ve probably experienced a fire drill at school or work? Or undertaken a workplace health assessment when you started a new job? These are just a couple of the measures which health and safety legislation has put in place to help keep employees safe. From making sure you have the correct equipment to work safely, to checking that your office building is safe to work in, people who are responsible for health and safety play a key role in ensuring the wellbeing of their colleagues.
The term health and safety is normally used to refer to occupational health and safety, or more commonly known as workplace health and safety. The measures that are put in place are normally a mixture of guidance, programmes and rules that have the ultimate aim of creating the safest working environment possible. One of the key pieces of legislation that helps guide how to keep the public safe at work is the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974.
What is the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974?
The Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 is a piece of legislation that is widely credited with introducing the term ‘health and safety’ to employees. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the Government body that enforces workplace health and safety in the UK. It’s important to know that employers and employees both have duties outlined in the Act and to understand what these are. Some of the key requirements of the Act that organisations must put in place are:
- Making sure that your staff are aware of health and safety procedures and the measures that are in place to keep them safe. This is normally done through things like inductions when a new staff member starts and things like fire assembly points are outlined.
- Staff are given equipment and the support needed so they can work in a way that doesn’t negatively impact their physical or mental health. This includes access to a chair that supports their back, any equipment needed to adjust the height of the monitor if they work with a screen and a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment is carried out.
- The organisation provides a safe working environment for its employees. This includes things like making sure that corridors and areas where there is a lot of footfall are clear, there is adequate lighting and all employees know how to report a health and safety issue.
- That all organisations have clear instructions for how they keep their employees safe and comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974. This includes things like keeping a written version of the health and safety policies that the organisation has put in place.
Display Screen Equipment Regulations (DSE) 1992 (amended 2002)
A recent piece of health and safety legislation is the Display Screen Equipment Regulations (DSE) 1992 (amended 2002). Employers have a duty of care for staff that work with display screen equipment (or DSE), which includes equipment like computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. This legislation acknowledges that using a screen for long periods of time can have health impacts and it puts in place measures that employers must take to ensure the safety of their staff. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines a DSE user as someone that uses a screen for more than an hour of their workday.
Some of the measures that the legislation outlines employers must put in place are:
- Arranging a DSE assessment. This should be done when an employee starts a new job, they change their workstation or there is a change in their health. The person employed to carry out the DSE should take a look at the employee’s overall setup, if they have any particular requirements needed to work safely and that they can work in a safe way.
- Encouraging staff to take breaks from their DSE. It’s really important for staff to take screen breaks, so employers should make sure staff are aware of the health and wellbeing benefits of regular time away from their screen.
- Provide an eye test if it’s requested by a member of staff. Looking at a screen for hours can have an impact on our eye health and employers have a duty of care to provide eye tests for employees who need check-ups. Many employers also offer discounts or fully-subsidised glasses for their employees.
- Give employees training and information on DSE use. This includes guidance on everything from teaching employees about the correct posture and equipment needed to avoid musculoskeletal problems to adjusting their screen to avoid glare.
Health and Safety careers
Every workplace needs a health and safety provision so if you have health and safety skills and qualifications, these are likely to always be in demand. In particular, industries and workplaces where there is a higher risk of injuries like construction sites and manufacturing will normally need several health and safety staff to advise and protect employees.
Health and Safety can be a really rewarding public health career. It’s varied, will teach you skills like problem-solving and communicating health messages with the public and ultimately, you’ll be helping to save people’s lives. Health and Safety training and qualifications could lead to any of the below job roles:
Health and Safety Consultant – Health and Safety Consultants or Advisors often work across a range of workplaces including offices, construction sites or commercial buildings. Health and Safety Consultants are responsible for making sure that the workplace employers are providing are operating safely and staff have all the equipment they need.
Health and Safety Officer (Healthcare) – Healthcare buildings such as hospitals rely on excellent health and safety procedures to keep their patients and staff safe. Health and Safety Officers working in healthcare buildings play a key role in protecting the public’s health. People working in these roles are responsible for things like infection control, safeguarding, dealing with chemicals and manual handling.
Health and Safety Engineers – The roles that Health and Safety Engineers have are wide-ranging but often very rewarding and exciting. Engineers can be responsible for creating chemicals, technology or equipment to help keep buildings safe. They can be working on factory or manufacturing equipment - fitting, fixing and installing equipment that employees use. Or they could be employed in Government roles where they are responsible for designing and building systems for public buildings, ensuring they are safe for the public to use.
The future of Workplace Health and Safety
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that more people than ever have started to work from home. Even as offices start to open up, there is likely going to be a long-lasting shift towards people splitting their time between working from home and working in an office. This presents some interesting Health and Safety issues when it is harder to make sure that everyone has access to the same equipment and space. In a recent blog for RSPH, Paul Crawford, Director of the Centre for Social Futures at the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Mental Health explained that "Businesses must recognise that working from home as a new normal could represent a perilous shift. Flexibility is great, but noone should be condemned to professional loneliness".
The Health and Safety Executive has outlined guidance that employers should implement for people who have made the move to permanent home-working. This includes:
- Keeping in touch with lone workers to make sure they have the mental and physical health support they need.
- Giving employees a guide to carrying out an at-home DSE assessment
- Making sure that employees have the equipment they need to carry out their job. This could be things like keyboards, computer mouse and screen adjusters to bigger items like ergonomic chairs.
RSPH often collaborates with public health professionals on blogs about key health and wellbeing issues. Below are a couple of blogs that our partners put together about the future of working from home and what the potential health implications could be for the public.
RSPH Health and Safety qualifications
RSPH has a range of Health and Safety qualifications, from our Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in the workplace to our Level 3 Award in Health and Safety for Supervisors in the Workplace. Level 1 qualifications teach learners about the fundamentals of health, safety and welfare in the workplace and help learners to understand how accidents in the workplace happen and how they can be avoided.
Our more advanced Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications build on this knowledge and give learners the skills and confidence to put in place measure in their workplace that will help keep others safe. These qualifications are ideal for supervisors and people who have a responsibility for the health and safety of employees. Having a recognised qualification is often needed in the health and safety sector, as you’ll need to have up-to-date skills and expertise to be able to carry out your role in the field.
All our qualifications:
- Are competitively priced (with discounts for bulk orders)
- CPD accredited
- Industry recognised, OFQUAL regulated qualifications (Internationally recognised)
- Offer flexible learning opportunities that can fit around other commitments
- Give you access to a friendly and supportive qualification team, who will be able to answer any questions about your course
To find out more about our Environmental Health qualifications, you can get in touch with our friendly qualifications team, who will be happy to help with any questions you may have. You can email them at [email protected].
RSPH Qualifications (classroom assessment*)
Ofqual reference number: 600/0082/X
Ofqual reference number: 600/5100/0
Ofqual reference number: 600/0325/X
Ofqual reference number: 601/6345/8
Ofqual reference number: 601/6346/X
Ofqual reference number: 601/8309/3
If there are no Training Centres in your area offering RSPH Qualifications, our eLearning Courses are a great alternative. They can be studied anytime and anywhere. And some lead to a formal Qualification or contribute CPD points (following an optional classroom assessment).