When pursuing a career in occupational health and safety, should you get your qualification from NCRQ or NEBOSH is a question on many people’s minds. National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) and National Compliance and Risk Qualifications (NCRQ) are two prominent organisations that provide certifications in occupational health and safety.  

According to NEBOSH, there 220,000 people who are certified with NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety which is considered a gold standard in the industry. The field of occupational health and safety is experiencing a substantial demand for professionals, and organisations like NEBOSH and NCRQ play a pivotal role in meeting this demand. Which is better? NCRQ or NEBOSH? In the blog, we will delve into this topic and examine the distinctions between NEBOSH and NCRQ, providing you with valuable insights to aid you in making an informed decision. 

Table of Contents  

1) What is NEBOSH?  

2) What is NCRQ?  

3) Key differences between NCRQ and NEBOSH 

    a) Approach and focus 

    b) Assessment methods 

    c) Course structure 

    d) Industry recognition 

    e) Learning style and flexibility 

4) Which is better? NCRQ or NEBOSH? 

5) Conclusion  

What is NEBOSH?  

NEBOSH is a renowned independent examination board and awarding body based in the United Kingdom. Established in 1979, NEBOSH has become a global leader in providing comprehensive and internationally recognised health, safety, and environmental management qualifications.  

NEBOSH offers awards, certifications, diplomas and masters programs as well. NEBOSH offers a wide range of certifications that cater to individuals at different stages of their careers, from entry-level to advanced professionals. The qualifications provided by them are designed to equip learners with a solid foundation in health and safety principles, risk management, and regulatory compliance.   

The NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is a standard and a well-known certification offered by the organisation. For those seeking more advanced qualifications, NEBOSH provides the Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety. This diploma is considered a benchmark for health and safety professionals and provides in-depth knowledge and skills required for senior health and safety management roles.  

In addition to these core qualifications, they offer specialised diplomas and certifications focused on specific areas such as construction safety, fire safety, environmental management, and oil and gas operational safety. These certifications allow individuals to develop expertise in their chosen field and enhance their career prospects within specialised industries.  

Acquire the skills needed to improve health and safety at your workplace and advance your career in occupational health and safety with our range of NEBOSH courses. 

What is NCRQ?  

NCRQ is an organisation that offers practical and industry-focused qualifications in the field of occupational health and safety. Established in 2013, NCRQ emerged as an alternative to traditional qualifications, aiming to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.  

NCRQ's qualifications are designed to enhance practical competence, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. They focus on providing learners with the tools and knowledge to effectively assess risks, investigate incidents, and implement effective health and safety measures within the workplace.  

Unlike traditional qualifications that rely heavily on theoretical exams, NCRQ priotises practical assessments more. You will be presented with authentic workplace scenarios and challenges, which you must analyse and respond to based on your understanding of health and safety principles. This practical approach enables individuals to develop the skills necessary to address real-life occupational health and safety issues effectively.  

NCRQ offers various qualifications, including the NCRQ Level 6 Certificate in Applied Health and Safety, the NCRQ Level 6 Diploma in Applied Health and Safety, and the NCRQ Level 6 Certificate in Personal Injury Liability. These certifications are highly regarded within the industry and have gained recognition for their practicality and relevance.

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Key differences between NCRQ and NEBOSH  

While NCRQ and NEBOSH offer occupational health and safety qualifications, the two organisations have several key differences.  

Approach and focus  

NCRQ emphasises practical application and real-world scenarios in its qualifications. It collaborates with industry experts to develop courses prioritising practical competence, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. As a candidate, you engage in hands-on assessments and case studies to apply health and safety principles in authentic workplace situations.  

NEBOSH, on the other hand, follows a more traditional approach, combining theoretical coursework and written exams. While practical elements exist within NEBOSH qualifications, the focus is primarily on acquiring comprehensive theoretical knowledge of health and safety concepts, regulations, and best practices.  

Assessment methods  

NCRQ places a strong emphasis on practical assessments. You must complete assignments, case studies, and workplace-based assessments that simulate real-life health and safety challenges. These assessments evaluate the practical application of knowledge and skills. Whereas NEBOSH predominantly uses written examinations to assess your understanding of theoretical concepts.  

Understand and learn how to develop an effective safety system within your organisation with our NEBOSH National General Certificate In Occupational Health And Safety training course. 

Course structure  

NCRQ offers a streamlined approach to qualifications, with fewer levels and specialisation options than NEBOSH. The organisation provides qualifications like the NCRQ Level 6 Certificate and Diploma, focusing on core health and safety aspects.  

NEBOSH offers a more extensive range of qualifications, including the National General Certificate, International General Certificate, and specialised diplomas. This allows many to choose certifications tailored to their industry or career goals.  

Industry Recognition  

NEBOSH certifications have gained widespread recognition globally and are highly regarded by employers. The qualifications align with established educational standards, and they have a long-standing reputation for their quality and comprehensive curriculum.  

NCRQ, although relatively newer, has also garnered recognition within the industry for its practical approach and relevance to real-world health and safety challenges. However, its recognition may vary depending on geographic location and employer preferences.  

Learning style and flexibility 

NCRQ's approach will appeals to you if you thrive in hands-on, practical learning environments. Focusing on real-world scenarios will allows you to develop critical thinking skills and practical problem-solving abilities.  

NEBOSH, with its more traditional approach, will suit you if you prefer a structured classroom or self-study environment. They also provide comprehensive course materials and resources to support independent learning. 

Which is better? NCRQ or NEBOSH?  

Whether NCRQ or NEBOSH is better depends on your preferences and career objectives. NCRQ's practical approach and real-world application focus may appeal to those seeking hands-on learning and problem-solving skills. NEBOSH's comprehensive theoretical knowledge and global recognition suit individuals who prefer a traditional approach and value established qualifications.  


Choosing between NCRQ or NEBOSH comes down to personal preferences and career aspirations. To summarise, assess your learning style, career goals, and industry requirements to decide which option best aligns with your needs. Nevertheless, both organisations offer valuable certifications that can enhance your career in occupational health and safety. 

Learn and become familiar with various risk management techniques used in process management with our NEBOSH HSE Certificate In Process Safety Management training course. 

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