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NEBOSH IIRSM risk qualification

Disruption and uncertainty are today’s realities. The need to be able to mitigate threats and take risks are essential for survival.

Covid-19, climate risk, cyber threats, complex regulatory environments, data breaches, geopolitics, and increasing levels of anxiety in the workforce are just some of the challenges we’re facing, whilst at the same time, delivering on shareholder, regulator, customer and employee expectations.

Old fashioned concepts of risk management focus solely on failure. Modern concepts are about understanding what might happen, not just what could go wrong, but more importantly, what could go right.

Effective decision-making requires a good knowledge of the challenge faced, why a decision is needed and the objective(s) to be achieved.  Moreover, it needs reliable and timely information, plus insight from different perspectives, whilst factoring in any possibility of cognitive bias.

This qualification will help you build your risk management knowledge and skills, which are highly transferrable to any organisation, industry and job, anywhere in the world. It can help you on your chosen career path. 

Qualification overview

The NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk can help you be better equipped to identify, evaluate, communicate and act on risk.

This qualification is initially available via eLearning only, which means you can complete your studies at a time, place, and pace convenient to you. A classroom option will be available later in the year.

Studying this qualification will help you: 

  • Analyse the environment in which your organisation operates, identifying potential risks and opportunities and their impact on your objectives.
  • Master the essential principles of risk and risk management and their link to decision-making.
  • Having the right and timely conversations about risk with different stakeholders.
  • Appreciate the relationship between psychology and decision-making.
  • Understand the risk management process and framework based on ISO 31000.
  • Appreciate the positive role risk management plays in strategy development, business planning and achievement of objectives.
  • Understand the vital role of people and culture.
  • Appreciate the importance of an integrated approach to risk management.
Course structure

The qualification is made up of three elements and is based on the principles of the global risk management standard, ISO 31000.

Element 1 - Principles of risk and risk management

  • The principles of risk and risk management

  • The impact of psychology on decision-making

Element 2 - The risk management process

  • Overview of the risk management process

  • Scope, context and risk appetite

  • Risk assessment

  • Risk treatment

  • The role and importance of risk reporting and information

  • Communication and consultation in the risk management process

  • Monitoring and review of the risk management process

Element 3 - The risk management framework

  • Integrating the risk management framework within an organisation

  • The risk management framework and its relationship with culture

  • The relationship between risk management, business continuity, crisis management and organisational resilience

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, learners should be able to:

  • Understand the principles of risk and risk management.

  • Source and challenge the validity of risk information.

  • Understand the impact of psychology on decision making.

  • Apply the risk management process to manage risk effectively.

  • Understand how to integrate the risk management framework into your organisation.

Delivery method

This qualification is initially available via eLearning only, which means you can complete your studies at a time, place and pace convenient to you.

To study the qualification, you view a list of Learning Partners licenced to deliver the qualification on the NEBOSH website here.

A classroom option will be available later in the year.

Length of course

It will take a minimum of 28 hours to complete the NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk eLearning course and a further 1 hour for the assessment.


Your knowledge and understanding of the syllabus are tested by an onscreen multiple-choice examination.

This assessment is available on-demand, which means once you have completed the eLearning course, you can attempt the assessment at any time and will receive your results immediately. If you pass, you will be awarded a NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk and will be able to print off your certificate straightaway.


The NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk eLearning course can be purchase from licensed Learning Partners. This eLearning course fee includes the eLearning course itself, up to two attempts at the assessment and your certificate.

The cost will depend on the Learning Partner you choose to study with. To find a Learning Partner, visit the NEBOSH website.

Special membership offer

On successful completion of the NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk, non-IIRSM members can apply for membership and receive a 25% discount off their first years’ membership. The discount code is available from Learning Partners once you pass.

Qualification level

The qualification is is broadly comparable to Level 6 in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), comparable to Level 3 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, it is not formally accredited by a qualifications authority. 

For more information about qualification levels, see the “Qualifications Can Cross Boundaries” chart issued by the UK regulators, available here.

Who is it for?

The NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk is a perfect choice for anyone who wants to be able to identify, evaluate, and manage business risks and understand their impacts for an organisation.

It is particularly relevant for risk professionals looking to gain a broader view of risk beyond a specialism such as health and safety, quality, or business continuity.

In fact, the qualification is relevant for all decision-makers, those who simply have an interest in risk management and those looking for CPD opportunities.


Entry requirements

There are no entry requirements for this qualification.

However, the course is currently only available in English, so it is important that learners have a suitable standard of English language in order to understand and articulate the concepts contained in the syllabus. It’s recommended that learners undertaking this qualification should reach a minimum standard of English equivalent to an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.0 or higher in IELTS tests.

Case study and testimonials
Paula Ireland MIIRSM, Senior Health and Safety Manager at Fujitsu

Paula Ireland, MIIRSM, is a Senior Health and Safety Manager at Fujitsu, who chose to be part of the pilot for the NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk. We recently interviewed Paula to find out what she thought of this brand-new qualification. 

I can see that you studied Workplace Safety, Health and Welfare at University. Did you always know that you wanted this to be the focus of your career?

When I left school, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career, I was just desperate to start working.  I held a variety of jobs before I was lucky enough to secure an office manager position for a newly opened telecommunications company.  Over time, more of our customers looked to us to provide health and safety information and I found I really enjoyed it!  I felt I finally knew what I wanted to do, and I started to work towards becoming a full-time health and safety professional. I did a few courses and ended up going to university for three years to complete my certificate and higher diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work.

You have worked in a range of industries including construction, events, manufacturing, and warehousing. Do you find it easy moving between sectors?   

I have found that moving between sectors requires a change of thought process which can be challenging but offers great advantages too. For me, working in different sectors has broadened my knowledge and experience and made clear that there is always more than one way of doing things. I suppose a sector change opens your mind to alternative approaches and solutions.

You have worked for Fujitsu for 11 years and are now a Senior Health and Safety Manager. Can you tell us a little about your role and responsibilities?

When I first joined Fujitsu, I was a Health and Safety Advisor and worked with customers in the telecommunications sector across several UK sites. My responsibilities included conducting health and safety risk surveys and inspections, preparing pre-construction and construction phase plans, maintaining health and safety files, carrying out internal audits and being the external audit lead during certification audits. 

I was promoted to Health and Safety Manager in 2014 and then to Senior Health and Safety Manager in 2016.  Fujitsu take health, safety, and wellbeing very seriously and we were one of the first global technology providers to achieve the ISO 45001 standard for Occupational Health and Safety which I was heavily involved with.  Within my current role I am responsible for the following at both a local and international level:

  • managing health and safety performance evaluation, monitoring and measurement processes
  • managing the evaluation of occupational health and safety compliance processes
  • implementing suitable occupational health and safety compliance audit programs
  • identifying and managing health and safety improvement objectives and programs
  • developing accident/incident investigation processes to ensure consistency in investigation, analysis, and reporting
  • managing non-conformity, corrective action, and preventative action processes
  • managing internal health and safety audit planning arrangements
  • managing external occupational health and safety certification and accreditation requirements
  • providing occupational health and safety support for new business introduction requirements

You were one of the first people to take the new NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk qualification. What appealed to you about this new qualification?

Over the past two years we have seen many changes in the world, with many resulting from COVID-19. It created risks in the workplace that we have never had to manage before. For me, this made me want to add a different dimension to my existing health and safety knowledge. I wanted to enhance my knowledge of managing risk in its broadest sense, so when I heard NEBOSH and IIRSM had joined forces to develop a qualification on this topic, I immediately wanted to sign up.

What did you think of it?

It was good! The materials and course content were excellent. They provided me with the information I required and used examples to strengthen my understanding. I also liked the activities that were incorporated as these helped me explore how risk is managed within my own organisation.  This qualification considers risk management beyond health and safety. It looks at how organisations are managed and governed to control and sometimes even exploit uncertainty.

What did you gain from completing this qualification?

I have gained a better understanding of the role risk management plays in strategy development, decision-making, business planning and the achievement of objectives.  Since completing the course, I find I take a more holistic view of risk across the organisation rather than solely considering health and safety.

Would you recommend it to others?

Yes.  It is a great qualification for anyone who is looking to understand the wider aspects of their organisation’s business risks and their impacts, both positive and negative. Risk is present in all day-to-day business activities, so we need to understand the risks and their potential impacts.

Given your experience, what do you think is needed to be an effective health and safety practitioner?

A health and safety professional needs to have good communication and people skills. I think that they must be patient, approachable and confident without being arrogant. They need to be able to adapt to different situations and new challenges.  Good IT skills are also a must.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering making health and safety their career?

Being a health and safety professional is not just about preventing and reducing accidents in the workplace, it is all about improving an organisation’s safety culture and safety awareness. If you like variety and the opportunity to make a difference this is a great career choice for you. I have never been disappointed that I made the decision to make this my profession so my advice would be, if you have similar aspirations go for it!

Find out more

Find out more about this qualification and how to enrol on the NEBOSH website here.