Student Testimonials

Neil Hughes-Hutchings


I first encountered NCRQ in May 2020 when the organisation was offering the Level 3 Safety for Managers course free of charge as part of the Coronavirus Support Scheme. Like countless others across the UK, I had been furloughed as a result of the pandemic so jumped at the chance of continuing my professional development and completed the course only a month later. I found the course to be extremely beneficial, largely due to the use of real-life case studies which helped to bring the topics to life.

As the course matched with my preferred learning style, I decided to take the next progressive step and enrolled on the first two modules of the full Level 6 Diploma. It was during studying the second module that I was unfortunately informed that I was being made redundant from my position, but I did not let this deter me from my goal. I enrolled on the final module and completed the full diploma in just over 150 days!

I have accrued 16 years’ experience in school travel health and safety and combining this with the successful completion of my diploma meant I was able to successfully apply for graduate membership with IOSH. I have taken this a further step by enrolling on the IPD pathway to become chartered. Studying with NCRQ afforded me the unique ability to be able to further excel in my career, despite the challenges that I faced as a result of COVID. I am very excited by the news of the impending launch of the Level 6 and Level 7 fire risk assessment qualifications and will be looking to enrol in the future.

Evelien van Delft

Regional Program Manager Environment, Health and Safety - Google

I am currently studying the Level 6 Diploma in Applied Health and Safety, and I can wholeheartedly recommend NCRQ to anyone considering starting an occupational health and safety course. NCRQ’s qualifications have something to offer everyone, from people relatively new to the field or leaders of any background wanting to become more knowledgeable about the practical application of health and safety in the workplace. I like NCRQ’s courses because they explain concepts using practical case studies that help you relate the theory to the everyday life of managing a business. I have had experience of other qualifications having worked with other providers in the past. These alternatives were more about memorising facts, whereas NCRQ provide a qualification that allow you to apply the skills you are acquiring in a practical scenario.

Phil Hadley

Environmental Health & Safety Manager - Manufacturing

I was made redundant in 2020 as a result of the pandemic despite 25 years of experience in Research & Development. In the last ten years, my role had featured increasing emphasis on Environmental Health & Safety Leadership. I was responsible for building a health & safety culture which included stimulating employee engagement with EHS and pioneering innovative health & safety strategies. My redundancy left me feeling high and dry as I had a wealth of experience but felt unable to prove my credentials in an objective, formalised way.

I decided to reflect on my interests, and eventually decided to change the direction of my career. With my practical experience of health and safety, it made sense to consider undertaking a qualification in this area. It wasn’t long before NCRQ was recommended to me and I decided to invest in  the level 6 Certificate in Applied Health & Safety, which I completed in just a few weeks. When NCRQ reduced the price of the diploma by 50% to help those affected by the COVID outbreak I quickly applied and I am currently working on the third module.

My NCRQ qualification has made a key contribution in helping me to obtain a job as an Environmental Health & Safety Manager for a local manufacturing company and I am really excited about the opportunity.

Bethany Holroyd Tech IOSH, Engtech MICE

UK Health & Safety Advisor/Mental Health First Aider - Transport & Infrastructure - WSP

I found myself furloughed in April 2020 just as I was starting a new career as a health and safety advisor having spent the previous ten years in civil engineering. Like so many others, I was powerless, but that didn’t stop me from worrying about, paying bills and the long-term effect on my career.

I had followed a number of industry related pages on Twitter including NCRQ. I came across the promotion offering the Safety for Managers qualification free of charge and enrolled, thinking what do I have to lose? I enjoyed the course immensely and found the case studies of particular relevance aiding my motivation. The unpredictability of childcare as a result of the pandemic demanded flexibility and this is something that I found was catered for by self-directed learning model. I was able to work at a pace and time that suited me.

My experience was so positive, I enrolled on the full diploma and I have already completed the first two units. I know lots of us who have children have struggled and continue to find things difficult presently, and it can seem liked a mammoth task, but is it doable. Don’t worry about what what anyone else is doing, just do you – if takes four months or twelve, it doesn’t matter – the pride you feel at the end of it makes it worth it!

Katie Arbuckle

Zone Manager/Venue Manager, Boomtown Fair/Glastonbury Festival

There’s a lot of discussion on various festival websites about different qualifications and I’ve heard a lot of people are starting to take on NCRQ. It’s been good; I’ve been lucky as I’ve had a job where I’ve been allowed to do a little bit on the side every day. I’m about three or four weeks into the end of the diploma and as it’s such a new area it seems that there are only a small number of people who are actually qualified higher than that.

Paul Barrett

Manager, The Robert Napier School

I’m really enjoying the qualification! I’ve done a few others and I’ve got to be honest I really struggled. I saw your course and all the feedback, and you’ve got national recognition, it’s really taken off for you. The feedback was really important; even if you get a good result you can still improve and the assessors made some really good points. It’s more relevant to real life – why do 3 hours of sitting an exam?! This is the modern approach, you get asked a question and if you don’t know the answer you look for it, you can go on the internet, you know where to look. I’m responsible for 11,000 pupils on site. Some of the students are visually impaired or in wheelchairs, all of the information you need in situations such as there are in the course material. The qualification has given me the confidence to manage the site.

Elizabeth Bowes

Health and Safety Trainer, Cross Country Carrier

I’m a lorry driver and trainer and found this qualification brilliant. When I was parked up in a bay I could just sit there and do the NCRQ qualifications, just pop the workbook on the dashboard! And then I would do the online assessments at home. I’m a health and safety tutor too, I teach it to the new drivers along with driving the trucks. To get the diploma was a career change for me, all the knowledge I need. The student support and tutors are absolutely brilliant I was on the phone for 2 hours on one occasion, they’re just happy to help out! The assessments were good, once you worked out what was needed it was fine. I can’t wait for the new qualifications to come out.

Nicola Davies

HSQE Officer, Saville Audio Visual

I did another qualification before with a different provider but it was quite difficult because it was so theoretical; unless you understood how that worked, it wasn’t fitting for real-life situations. This course explains it, along with the case studies. The feedback has been so useful. It explains where you can improve but also it does make you feel good when you’ve done it right. Sometimes qualifications only give you negative feedback, whereas it’s nice to have positive feedback. I’m the Health, Safety and Environmental Officer at work and I wanted to progress to GradIOSH, which is why I did NCRQ. It helps me with the similar situations at work, sometimes when I’ve done a case study or assignment a couple of weeks later I remember doing that or looking at the same report. It teaches me how to research which I think is really important and you don’t get that in some of the other qualifications. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time on the HSE site!

Sukhjeeven Dhaliwal

Health & Safety Advisor, Dennis Eagle LTD

I really enjoyed the course as I was able to learn at my own pace in my own time. I can suck up all the information and then, when I’m ready, I can complete the assessments. I recommend this to a lot of people. I’m looking to be a health and safety adviser now, so I’m using the qualification to progress and gain the knowledge needed. It’s always good to go back and refresh your knowledge as well, so I will look into more courses with NCRQ in the future. I tried another course and it didn’t work for me, I took time out and found this qualification; someone already in the industry recommended it to me. The tutors are very quick to respond and pretty much available all week! It’s good always having them there.

Stephen Richard Forshaw

Home improvements, Harrison Home Improvements

I took the qualification to enable me to provide a suitable Health and Safety policy for my company and to make sure my team are working in a safe way. The learning style was great; as I’m self- employed I didn’t need to take time off or away from my work. That is really important to me, so no production time was lost due to training. It’s also convenient to do at my own pace, so if something came up at work, I can just put the course on hold. I’m ex-army, so this type of qualifications suited me – I don’t need to sit exams! This style of learning really suits military personnel, they’re real-life case studies and very practical. I’m gaining more than just a Diploma, I have both certificates for Applied Health and Safety and Personal Injury too.

Martin Jackson

HSQE Consultant, AD Porta Ltd

You can really relate the content to real-life scenarios because it was all based on case studies as opposed to just facts and figures. My background is in the railways and now utilities and, even though some of the assignments were for totally different industries, you can definitely relate to it. I’ve been a health and safety director for years and I’ve never taken any real qualifications. This qualification has enabled me to justify why I’m competent to do what I’ve been doing for 20 years. The Director at the company I’m moving to in the Middle East is really interested in the qualification, which shows that, wherever you go, the UK standards seem to be the benchmark. The qualification will underscore what I already know and it has enabled me to speak with confidence and gravitas. I would be interested in any future NCRQ qualifications, especially Construction and Fire Safety.

Abdihakim Jama

Advisor, Shaw Trust

I find the qualification extremely interesting. It helped with my work and life balance and it helped me secure my first 6 interviews. I’m currently waiting to hear from 3 employers, but this qualification has given me a major advantage.

It prepared me to think like an advisor, which is the main advantage of this course. The layout and content prepares you mentally to think like an advisor, that’s what really interested me the most.

Raymond Kelly

Trainer / Assessor, Tyneside Training Services / Gateshead College

I’m taking the NCRQ qualification to give me more options later in life if I need them. It will help me a lot with work as well as I have a health and safety department. I’ll be able to work more with them and spread the sort of work I’m doing to widen my job role. I liked the assessments because I liked the idea of working in my own time at my own pace. I enjoyed the research, finding out a lot of information and being able to use it. The workbook is great for preparing you so you know what to do when the time comes for the assessment.

Ching Man Mandy Lo

Former NCRQ Student

I like the case study approach, it gives me quite a lot of confidence in making judgments and decisions. I’ve enquired to the HSE as an inspector, they encouraged me to apply next year. I feel doing the course actually helped me a lot in knowing what the would be involved in the role and how to handle some of the assessments. The role play and the reports have been very helpful. Not only did the course help me decide whether I’d really working enjoy in this field, but it also helped a great deal in my preparation for the assessment centre, especially in elements where they want you to imagine being an inspector attending scenes for investigation, and also persuading duty holder to adopt certain preventative measures. I found myself going over the case studies and assignments, imagining how one would conduct themselves to achieve the goals. Regardless of the outcome, I want to say a big thank you!

Elizabeth Lockwood

Health and Safety Advisor, Jacobs UK Ltd

I found the qualification really good! It’s really easy to fit around your work life as its so flexible. I’m able to study around my working hours and it does link in with what I do during the day, which I find so useful. I really like the assessments, it suits my learning style. I’m able to apply my knowledge to the scenario and then fit it with the assessment. I found the tutors really helpful but I didn’t need to use them that much, to be honest. The best thing is just knowing they’re there and not having to stress about it.

Charlotte Morley

Health and Safety, Adrian Scripps

One thing I found is that this qualification gave me so much confidence in work! I come from a health and safety background, but more training rather than management. So I’d get into situations where I would tell the team to do something but I didn’t know how to justify myself. This course has taught me how to do that, and not just because of the rule and regulations but also civil liability. I’m so happy I took the course, it’s helped me so much. The assessments were really interesting, they made me think. They shocked me a little bit, it’s the first time I’ve studied since I was at school and I had to remember how to manage time and come home and study.  The tutors were amazing, the support is fantastic. I’ve sat there at 6pm and panicked about an assessment thinking I have to get this in before they close! They calmed me down and helped me. They work over the weekend too and so I’m the one who calls then as well!

Josephine Nevoh

Former NCRQ Student

I started the course about 18 months ago because of an incident in work where I noticed people were using a generalised risk assessment, which didn’t match our area of work. I felt I had to use my knowledge to explain why this wasn’t going to work. I had great success with that so I asked if I could do a qualification in this area. The other qualifications out there were not what I wanted, I like analysis and critical thinking. I saw this course and thought “I’m going to do it!”. In the beginning, I thought it would be a simple course although it mentioned Level 6 standard. On my first assessment, I understood the criticism I got for it. I gained a merit, it wasn’t bad, but I understood that I needed to pull my socks up and write at the standard you would be expected to do at university and answer clearly. I felt that I had learned something and achieved something each time I did an assessment and I enjoyed doing it.

Kelly Nicoll

Health and Safety Manager, Hawk-Eye/Sony

I’m the health and safety manager for Hawk-Eye. I loved the qualification as it was really engaging and it really makes you think. It’s about how to actually apply what you know properly, rather than just being able to recite the Health and Safety at Work Act off-by-heart. I use what I’ve learned every day now and I often refer back to the case studies and use them as examples. This has given me the confidence to just keep going. I’ve got my peer interview for my Chartered Membership soon, so I’m hoping to get that before the end of the year, which is brilliant! It’s given me a huge amount of confidence, that actually I know what I am doing and I know how to apply it in a business way. It’s fantastic!

Jennifer Poole

QSHE Technical Coordinator, Independent Oil and Gas Company

I’m really enjoying studying the NCRQ qualifications. I’ve completed the certificate level and I’m now onto the next certificate and then the Diploma. Hopefully, it won’t take too much time as I’m working well through it. It’s really easy to pick up when you’ve got some spare time and to fit in around work. I like that you don’t have to request the assignments until you’re ready so you can really plan for when you have time to dedicate to it. I found the tutors really helpful as there were a couple of assignments where you’re not sure on the wording or what they want. They get back in touch really quickly, I was panicking a little and when you first start something you’re a little unsure, so it was great to have that feedback so quickly to clarify things.

Judith Richardson

Director, QUBE Environmental Ltd

I’m on my second module and I’ve just submitted my first assignment, so up to now, I think the qualifications are really good and I’m enjoying it more than I ever thought I would! I was surprised by my grades; I gained a distinction and two merits in my first module. I’m really pleased with the results, I was very nervous to hear my grades, so when I found out I has a merit I was jumping around the office. I’m a Director of an asbestos and water hygiene company, so we do risk assessments on site on a daily basis, I’ve done a lot of that, but I’ve never had a formal qualification to back it up. Moving forward, I’ve been able to apply for TechIOSH following passing the first certificate. I’m hoping to complete the Diploma shortly and go onto getting Graduate membership of IOSH.

George Silvester

Safety Technician, Vivergo Fuels Ltd

The qualification was found by my manager. When they offered me the role of the Safety Technician we had to sit down and decide which route to go down; do I want to go down the exam route or do something more practical? We felt that a more practical approach is better and it’s one where you’re continually learning, so that’s really suited me. Feedback and support were brilliant, it’s good that the book was so in-depth and the really important thing is it’s about real life events. I left school in 1975, and the Health and Safety at Work Act is also from around 1975. People are still dying today 40 years later so it’s really important. It just shows you when you read some of the case studies in the materials, even though the names are anonymous, you look and you think wow, it’s still happening out there. Things need to change!

Nick Western

SHE Advisor, BAE Systems

I thought the qualification was fantastic! I really did! I’m a bit of a meathead when it comes to death by legislation and regulation. Usually, you’ve got to learn everything about HSE and the Health and Safety at Work Act and after sitting there for 3 hours your wrists don’t work! I’ve learnt so much from NCRQ. I’ve booked four other colleagues on it and it looks like there will be another 3 next up. Generally, anyone who comes into our department is going to be doing this course. I used to be in the Navy and I know others with a military background would like the practical side. There are different ways of learning and it’s much more interesting when delivered by audio and visuals well!

Neil Whiteley

QHSE Executive, Sodexo Defence and Government Services

The qualification is fantastic, I really enjoyed it and it’s a great way of learning. It’s better than formal examinations, where you’re just sat in a classroom. You’re actually doing something, you can contribute it to your workplace. I just thought it was great! It fits in really well with my lifestyle; I’d just come to the end of a job after 14 years and I was able to do it in the evenings and sometimes in the day. It does benefit the workplace, they got the benefit as much as I did really. For value for money, you can’t even compare it with other qualifications.

Paul Woolacott

ES&S Delivery Lead, DOW Chemical LTD

I find the Diploma fantastic! I left school with very few GCSE’s and I went to work for a chemical company. I started to work through the different roles there working up to Emergency Services Security and Safety Manager. We’ve now been taken over by another company and they’ve asked me to take over a more geographical role and asked if I would go back and do some qualifications, as this is the one thing I never had. I was initially apprehensive at 45 years of age to go back into education. I looked around at a couple of different qualifications and this seemed perfect for me, as it was based on my work and I knew my past experience would really help me with this qualification. I find that the way it is taught is that you have to actually physically go out and find the information yourself, it’s not provided for you. The modular based learning is absolutely perfect for me.

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