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Frequently asked questions

Trainee HM Inspector of health and safety posts

The current recruitment for trainee inspectors is closed, however, see if you could be right for the role?


How much time will I be away from home?

A number of the training events will be at HSE offices. These will range from 2-day-over-3 to 4-day-over-5 courses. Other courses of similar duration may be held at contractor premises or in hotels. From some locations you may have to travel on a Sunday to arrive on time for the course to start and return home late on the Friday, all trainees will frequently be required to stay away from home for a whole working week. The first six months of the training programme is particularly intensive.
Please note HSE is currently modernising the RTP to move it to a blended learning approach from June 2017. We expect this will reduce the amount of classroom time, making the programme more flexible and reduce the time spent away from home. There will be no change in the level of attainment you will have to reach to be awarded the post graduate diploma.

The diploma

Why does HSE need me to do the Diploma?

The Diploma gives academic underpinning to your training and reinforces your own professional credibility, and as an employee of HSE (e.g. in court, or when doing chargeable work etc.) It is a mechanism for delivery of some of the technical and legal training needed by competent Inspectors. Some training will be delivered internally by HSE staff and other parts by selected external contractors. The mix means that Inspectors will get a broader perspective. NEBOSH will be accrediting the ‘core elements’. This external accreditation by a highly respected awarding body can only enhance the reputation of HSE and its Inspectors.

Do I have to do it?

Yes. Achieving the NEBOSH Diploma is a requirement for all new General and Regulatory Specialist Inspectors. This is a valuable opportunity to obtain a qualification from one of the UK’s best-regarded vocational awarding bodies, funded by your employer.

How will it be delivered?

By a mixture of off-the-job tutorials and courses delivered by HSE or specialist training providers; by on-the-job coaching at joint visits and self-study linked to both joint and solo visits. The links between off-the-job training and on-the-job consolidation are particularly important.
Please note HSE is currently modernising the RTP to move it to a blended learning approach from June 2017. We expect this will reduce the amount of classroom time, making the programme more flexible and reduce the time spent away from home. There will be no change in the level of attainment you will have to reach to be awarded the post graduate diploma.

When will it start?

Related training, such as joint visits will start when you join HSE. The Regulatory training programme is expected to start early June 2017

When will it finish?

New starters are expected to normally complete the Diploma after 2 years of starting the formal programme. However, for FOD and Construction Inspectors technical CDP training will continue for a further year. Specialist Inspectors may attend some on the technical training where there is an essential business need.

Special requirements

Who do I speak to if I have any special requirements in order to complete the Diploma i.e. I have a disability?

Arrangements will be sought to ensure you have the support you require to fully undertake the training programme.

Studying and working

How much time is involved?

A detailed timetable of training and assessment activities will be provided to assist you. Wherever possible any consolidation and assessment activities will be entirely work-based and carried out in HSE time.

What takes priority?

You and your line manager will be given detailed schedules of training events and assessment periods for the whole of the training period. You will both be expected to plan foreseeable work and personal commitments around this timetable. To pass the Diploma, you must attend all scheduled courses.
You will normally stay with your allocated Diploma Group throughout, to avoid timetable clashes. If you unavoidably have to miss any training due to unforeseeable events such as serious personal or family illness, you should consult your Operational Development Manager (ODM) as soon as possible to see what alternative arrangements can be made.

Can I take time off in lieu (TOIL) for extra hours spent in connection with training courses?

You can count travel time to and from a course for TOIL calculations but not time spent during the course, for example on evening work. If you travel to a training course, you can claim for the initial journey to the course and the final journey home.

Do I need to purchase any books for study purposes and if so can I claim the costs back?

HSE will ensure that you have access to all study material. You will not be expected to purchase any books.

Working patterns

Can part-time staff undertake the Diploma?

The overall demands of training during the early years of a new Inspector’s career are such that it is highly unlikely to be practicable for somebody to work significantly reduced hours. New staff will normally be recruited on the basis that they will work full time. Very exceptionally, it might be practicable for somebody to work slightly reduced hours, provided that there is full flexibility over when hours are worked so that all required courses can be attended. Each case would need to be considered individually
. The other consideration is the need to be able to accommodate all the on-the-job learning and consolidation of off-the-job training during available working hours. On completion of training, requests to move to alternative working patterns would be considered in accordance with HSE's HR guidance and policies on working hours.

Are there set working hours?

You will be expected to work a 37 hour week. Core hours
8:30 – 17:00

How can students taking an extended break from work (e.g. for maternity leave) fit in?

An extended break from work during the Diploma period would only be considered for exceptional circumstances such as serious illness or accident or for maternity leave. Each case would be considered individually. HSE would make every effort to accommodate individual needs, but it is likely that this would mean extending the period of the Diploma by deferring all or part of the course and might have implications for B4s for re-banding if the break occurred in the first two years.


How will I be assessed?

For the Law Module, there will be a short 1.5 day assessment centre with further assessed exercises, For the occupational health and safety technology modules, assessment will be by means of written assignments, mostly based on inspections of real workplaces. There will be one assignment for each module.

The professional practice module is assessed against a competence framework over the initial 2 year training period.

The marking and assessment will normally be carried out by staff from HSE. All module assessments will be subject to internal moderation/verification. NEBOSH will externally moderate.

In addition, you will be required to keep a Learning Log to demonstrate that HSE delivered training has taken place and been understood and that on-job-learning has been achieved. This will be assessed by Principle Inspectors (PIs) and verified by ODMs. There will be no marks as such for the Learning Log, but it must be assessed as “satisfactory” before the Diploma can be awarded.

Can I get help with assignments?

HSE tutors will explain fully how the assignments should be written and presented before you start the first one.

Selection of suitable workplaces on which to base the assignments will be made in consultation with your line manager to maximise the contribution such work makes to FMU programmes. The assignment briefs will be drafted in such a way that there should be no difficulty in finding suitable premises amongst those available to any Group/FMU or those dealt with by Specialists.

The work presented must be largely your own. If matters of evident concern which would normally require support or advice e.g. from relevant Specialists, are encountered during the inspections involved, these must obviously be dealt with properly and according to normal HSE practice The contribution made by others would then be clearly explained in the assignment report. This would be acceptable and entirely proper.

What happens if I fail?

Provided you do all the necessary work, and with all the support you will get from HSE we hope this will be unlikely. If it should happen, there are rules concerning re-sits and resubmission of work and these will be explained to you at the start of the Diploma. The processes will be explained again if you are informed you have failed an assignment. HSE will support and provide the time for a second submission of a failed assignment(s) provided other aspects of performance are acceptable. This process will be managed through HSE’s normal performance management arrangements. You should understand that if you fail assessment elements after two attempts you will not be able to pass the diploma as a whole. Ultimately, if you do not pass the Diploma, you will not be able to continue to work as an HSE Inspector and your employment may be terminated.

Updated 2016-10-12