BSS News


The NVQ Level 6 in Occupational Health and Safety is a new qualification, officially approved by IOSH and accredited by Pro Qual, whereas an NVQ 5 is approved by IOSH, but accredited by City & Guilds.

Both qualifications cover roughly the same information, but there are a couple of key differences you should be aware of if you’re thinking of upgrading:

Professional Development:

The biggest difference in the coursework itself is how Professional Development is handled. In NVQ 5, one module at the end of the course is designed to require candidates to put together a thorough case study related to the work in their portfolios.

In the NVQ 6, this module has been broken down to be an extra requirement included in each individual module. This means that you’ll be doing reflective work at the end of each module, providing real, relevant examples of how you’re applying your knowledge in your role at work.

This difference is important, because it is a major component in the process of reassessing a successful NVQ 5 portfolio to ensure it meets ProQual’s requirements for the Level 6. If you have completed an NVQ 5 and wish to upgrade, you may have to revisit some of your professional development work to ensure it is up to standard. We are only able to reassess portfolio evidence which is less than five years old.

As you can imagine, candidates’ portfolios vary greatly depending on where they are in the NVQ process, so upgrading will incur a cost. We estimate about £500 to upgrade, but this can vary depending on the quality, size, and age of your portfolio. The best course of action, is to speak with one of our assessors.

To help offset some of this cost, we are providing a 6 month free subscription to T100 Mini to all NVQ candidates. This is a lite version of our T100 HS Management software, designed to help you easily gather evidence for your portfolio, and also providing access to your assessor. (Read more here).

HS Roles Outside the UK:

The NVQ 6 is internationally friendly! Where as the NVQ 5 is limited to candidates in specific places, we have more flexibility with the NVQ 6. It is important to note that all evidence and coursework will need to be reviewed by an assessor in the UK in order to be successful in the course.

Length of the course:

Our Assessors will provide support for both courses, but the NVQ 5 tends to take at least 12 months to complete. We provide three years of support to NVQ 5 candidates, but it is important to note that City & Guilds is having their certification of the course reappraised on 31 August 2023. Should they choose not to continue providing this course, no one will be permitted to get a certificate past this date.

NVQ Level 6 is a new service we’re providing and has no end date presently. As your assessors we will provide you with two years of support to complete your Level 6. More information can be found on our NVQ 6 page, but please don’t hesitate to call if you’d rather ask questions to us directly; we’re happy to help.