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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.


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
Conor Brown (MIIRSM), Development Manager, HSB Engineering Insurance


​Tell us about your career so far…

My journey started when I joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 16. I wanted to explore the world and learn in a different environment, so I embarked on a cadetship.

However, being at sea for up to nine months at a time made me realise I wanted a more traditional lifestyle. I’ve always been fascinated by risk and compliance, even during my time at sea. I realised that theoretically if you achieve 100% compliance, particularly in technical areas, you can avoid incidents and in particular machinery failures. So, I started pursuing this element as a passion. My first job on land was in manufacturing which was somewhat related but not exactly what I wanted.

I quickly realised that I needed to compliment my experience with recognised qualifications. My maritime qualifications weren’t as widely recognised as I had hoped. I would find myself explaining more about my qualifications than myself or my experience during interviews! So, I earned qualifications like NVQ Level 4’s and even a degree that were seen as more ‘traditional’. This then led me to my current employer.

I work with clients who are facing various risks, such as rising energy costs. Essentially, we analyse every aspect of their operations, assets, supply chain, and both business and operational risks. Then, we build them a bespoke risk profile which is matched with services & solutions through a risk management plan with step-by-step recommendations to support them in managing risks, often taking a strategic approach.

What attracted you to the Nebosh IIRSM qualification?

It looked at an aspect that I hadn’t explored much before – the relationship between decision-making processes and risk management – along with concepts like SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis, scenario planning, strategic planning and psychology.

I've always been intrigued by compliance because theoretically being 100% compliant ensures workplace safety, yet many choose not to follow this. I wanted to delve into the psychological aspects of this, including unconscious bias. I particularly enjoyed the Understand the Impact of Psychology on Decision Making module – the aspects around the biases, how they were identified, where they come from and how they influence decisions.

The qualification also covered the principles of risk management. It was primarily aimed at people managing risk within their own organisations and, as a service provider, I’m always thinking about risk in somebody else’s organisation; how can I go in there and understand their risks and control it? So, it was interesting to think about it as if it was my own organisation; how the culture, the communication, the relationship between things like business continuity and the planning aspect of it would all be different.

How have you applied this qualification to your role?

The psychology areas have equipped me to feel more confident in discussing areas such as biases that can influence an organisation’s decision making, the different biases that may exist and how to implement control measures such as having diverse teams with diverse stakeholders involved in decision making. I feel I can now see things better from an organisation’s perspective.

Would you recommend this qualification to others?

Yes definitely. I liked that it was a bite-sized course, but also detailed, high quality and can be done in your own time. I have recommended this certificate to a lot of people who are involved in contingency planning and risk management. I would love to see more courses like this.

Finally, what advice would you give someone who is considering a career in risk management?

I’d say go for it! Nobody I have ever met has gone into risk management decision making from school, so set your stall out early and identify if it’s something you want to do. If you have people managing risk in your organisation or network, talk to them, get a couple of days shadowing people in the role, look at taking qualifications that will give you the base to build on and might help you identify which areas of risk management you enjoy the most, join IIRSM, go to events and webinars. Remember, everyone started somewhere.

Find out more

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