Directing safely (IOSH certificate)


This course follows the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health’s certificated syllabus. It aims to ensure that people at the most senior levels appreciate health and safety. The course reflects the principles embodied in:
  • The Health and Safety Executive’s guidance, ‘Successful Health and Safety Management’ (HSG65)
  • The Turnbull report (‘Internal controls: Guidance for Directors on the Combined Code’)
  • The DETR / HEC’s ‘Revitalising Health and Safety’ strategy statement

Training objectives

On successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • Understand the importance of strategic health and safety management and its integration into other business management systems
  • Understand directors’ and employees’ statutory duties
  • Identify accident causes and plan for prevention through hazard identification, risk assessment and control strategies
  • Appreciate the consequences of failing to manage health and safety effectively
  • Understand the importance of employee selection and the effect of human factors on health and safety
  • Recognise the importance of consultation and communication with employees on health and safety issues
  • Appreciate the significance of performance monitoring for continual improvement of health and safety management


The course is intended for people with strategic responsibility for determining and implementing effective health and safety management within ‘small and medium sized enterprises’ (ie, those with fewer than 250 employees).


A one-day course involving formal presentations, videos and workshop exercises.

Special features – IOSH certification

Understanding of the course material is evaluated by means of a 15-minute written assessment paper consisting of 10 multi-choice questions and a project designed to test the participant’s knowledge of acceptable records/documentary evidence required to support an organisation’s defence in litigation.

An IOSH Directing Safely certificate is awarded to all those who attend the course and successfully complete the written and practical assessments.

The expert trainer

David is Managing Director of one of the UK’s leading health and safety consultancies and is himself a practising health and safety consultant. With 20 years’ practical experience as a chartered engineer in the construction industry, he set up his own company in 1994 to offer a range of practical risk management solutions to client organisations, primarily in the field of health and safety and project risk management. The company grew rapidly through the development of long-term relationships with clients and then merged with one of the leading international environmental consultants, where David leads the health and safety practice.

David’s particular strengths are in the development of practical solutions in the management of health and safety and the integration of health and safety management systems into business and project processes. He has considerable experience in applying these strengths to assisting clients develop robust systems for managing contracted activities.

He is able to draw upon his practical knowledge, management experience and enthusiasm to get the job done to deliver highly interactive and enjoyable training courses, as the following comments from course participants demonstrate:

‘David has a clear understanding of the subject and presented the subject matter very well.’

‘David’s ability to give practical examples of how CDM was relevant to our business and how best to approach implementation was particularly useful.’

‘David is very knowledgeable, very good and interesting course, a lot of encouragement to interact.’

‘David did an excellent job presenting this course and I am sure we will be using him again for our safety courses and consultancy.’

‘David’s business experience allows him to clearly demonstrate the benefits of ‘active’ HSE management. Rather than tutor-based presentations on theory he was able to draw on experience and personal exposure to real everyday problems.’

Course outline

Note: relevant legislation is discussed within the context of each module.
  1. Aims and objectives
    • Overview and introduction to the programme
    • Assessment details
    • IOSH certification
  2. Health and safety management – good business sense
    • The moral, legal and economic reasons for promoting health and safety in the workplace
    • The role of directors in health and safety management
    • The basic principles contained in the ‘Revitalising health and safety’ strategy statement
    • The Turnbull Report and corporate governance
  3. Health and safety – getting it wrong!
    • The meaning of the term ‘accident’
    • Immediate and root causes of accidents
    • The costs of accidents: direct, indirect, insured and uninsured
    • The powers of health and safety inspectors
    • The charges of manslaughter and corporate manslaughter
    • The roles of Magistrates’ courts and Crown courts
  4. Health and safety – getting it right!
    • The difference between civil and criminal law
    • What is meant by the terms ‘negligence’, ‘contributory negligence’ and ‘vicarious liability’
    • What is meant by the terms ‘absolute duty’, ‘so far as is practicable’ and ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’
    • The difference between Acts, Regulations, Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance notes
    • The principles of safety management systems
  5. Planning for success
    • The process of continual improvement with regard to health and safety
    • Hazard and risk
    • The process of risk assessment and the function of risk control systems
    • Understanding the principles governing workplace precautions
    • SMART
  6. People – your most valuable asset
    • Factors affecting human behaviour
    • The reasons for human error
    • The need for careful selection of staff
    • The need for good health and safety training
    • The role of consultation and communication
    • Occupational health issues
  7. How well are you performing?
    • The meaning of and recognising improvements in performance
    • Relating performance standards to legal requirements
    • The drawbacks of accident statistics
    • Other sources of statistical information relating to accidents
    • What is meant by active and reactive monitoring
  8. Improving performance
    • The key areas for improving performance and identifying key objectives
    • The need for an action plan
    • The benefits of setting target dates
    • Appreciating the need for allocating responsibility
    • Performance indicators
    • The process of change

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