Workforce Skills Support

How To Become A Health & Safety Manager

May 14, 2024

Safety, health, environment, and quality (SHEQ) advisors or Health And Safety Managers are the backbone of the construction industry, ensuring that projects adhere to stringent regulations while upholding the highest standards of safety and environmental responsibility. If you’re eager to embark on a career where you can make a tangible difference in ensuring the well-being of workers and the sustainability of construction projects, becoming a SHEQ advisor might be the perfect fit for you. In this guide, we’ll explore the various paths to becoming a SHEQ advisor, the responsibilities associated with the role, earning potential, and avenues for career advancement.

How to Become a Safety, Health, Environment, and Quality (SHEQ) Advisor

Education Paths

  1. University: Pursuing an undergraduate degree in construction, engineering, or business development provides a solid educational foundation for aspiring SHEQ advisors. Additionally, further qualifications through institutes like the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) can enhance your expertise in the field.
  2. College/Training Provider: Completing courses such as the National Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) equips individuals with essential knowledge and skills. While no specific entry requirements are mandatory, a strong command of the English language is advantageous.
  3. Apprenticeship: Advanced apprenticeships as safety, health, and environment technicians or environmental health practitioner degree apprenticeships offer a combination of hands-on experience and theoretical learning. These apprenticeships are typically available to individuals over the age of 16.
  4. Work Experience: Gaining practical experience through internships, part-time work, or volunteering demonstrates dedication and enhances employability in the competitive construction industry.

Necessary Skills

To excel as a Safety, Health, Environment, and Quality (SHEQ) advisor, certain skills and qualifications are essential:

  • Legal Knowledge: SHEQ advisors must possess a thorough understanding of health and safety legislation, environmental regulations, and quality control standards relevant to the construction industry. This knowledge enables them to ensure that projects comply with legal requirements and maintain a safe working environment for all personnel involved.
  • Attention to Detail: Identifying potential hazards and risks requires a keen eye for detail. SHEQ advisors meticulously inspect construction sites, equipment, and processes to pinpoint any deviations from safety or quality standards, allowing them to implement timely corrective measures.
  • Initiative and Teamwork: SHEQ advisors must demonstrate proactive initiative in identifying safety concerns and implementing preventive measures. Additionally, effective collaboration with colleagues, contractors, and regulatory bodies is vital for fostering a culture of safety and compliance across construction projects.
  • Communication Skills: Clear and effective communication is essential for SHEQ advisors to convey safety protocols, risk assessments, and compliance requirements to diverse stakeholders, including project managers, site workers, and regulatory inspectors. Strong communication skills facilitate smooth coordination and cooperation among team members, enhancing overall safety performance.
  • Problem-Solving Abilities: Construction environments are dynamic, with unforeseen challenges and emergencies arising regularly. SHEQ advisors must possess strong problem-solving skills to assess complex situations, devise effective solutions, and mitigate risks promptly, ensuring the safety and well-being of personnel and the successful completion of projects.
  • Persistence and Determination: Upholding safety and quality standards often entails overcoming obstacles and resistance. SHEQ advisors must demonstrate resilience and determination in advocating for best practices, enforcing compliance with regulations, and driving continuous improvement initiatives, even in the face of opposition or adversity.
  • Leadership and Influencing Skills: As champions of safety and quality, SHEQ advisors play a pivotal role in inspiring and motivating others to prioritise these values. Effective leadership and influencing skills empower SHEQ advisors to instill a safety-conscious culture, gain buy-in from stakeholders, and drive behavioural change towards safer work practices and enhanced quality standards.
  • Continual Learning and Adaptability: The construction industry is subject to evolving regulations, technological advancements, and industry best practices. SHEQ advisors must exhibit a commitment to lifelong learning, staying abreast of emerging trends, attending relevant training programmes, and adapting their strategies to meet evolving challenges and opportunities in the dynamic construction landscape.

By acquiring these skills and necessary qualifications, aspiring SHEQ advisors can effectively contribute to promoting safety, health, environmental responsibility, and quality excellence within the construction industry, safeguarding the well-being of workers and the integrity of construction projects.


To become a SHEQ (Safety, health, environment, and quality) advisor / Health And Safety in England, you could complete one of the following qualifications:

  • Degree in Safety Health and Environmental Management: This undergraduate degree provides comprehensive knowledge and skills relevant to the SHEQ field, offering a solid foundation for aspiring advisors.
  • IOSH Working Safely: This course, offered by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), introduces basic health and safety concepts, making it suitable for individuals entering the field.
  • IOSH Managing Safely: Also provided by IOSH, this course is designed for managers and supervisors, covering essential aspects of health and safety management, which are pertinent to SHEQ advisors.
  • NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety or equivalent: The NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety, or an equivalent qualification, equips individuals with specialized knowledge specifically tailored to the construction industry, essential for SHEQ advisors operating in this sector.
  • ProQual Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety Practice
  • ProQual Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Health & Safety Leadership and Management

In Scotland, the qualifications required to become a SHEQ advisor are similar to those in England:

Similarly, in Wales, the qualifications necessary for aspiring SHEQ advisors mirror those in England and Scotland:

These qualifications provide aspiring SHEQ advisor / Health And Safety Manager with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure compliance with health, safety, environmental, and quality standards within the construction industry. By obtaining these qualifications, individuals can embark on a fulfilling career path dedicated to promoting safety, health, and environmental responsibility in construction projects.

Responsibilities of a Safety, Health, Environment, and Quality (SHEQ) Advisor

SHEQ advisor/ Health And Safety Manager are entrusted with a diverse range of responsibilities, including:

  • Ensuring compliance with health, safety, environmental, and quality standards across construction sites.
  • Investigating accidents and incidents, and implementing preventive measures.
  • Conducting comprehensive risk assessments and regular inspections.
  • Recommending process improvements to enhance safety and efficiency.
  • Providing training and guidance to personnel on safety protocols and best practices.
  • Monitoring equipment safety and assessing environmental impacts.
  • Developing, reviewing, and updating safety policies and procedures to reflect regulatory changes.
  • Liaising with regulatory bodies, trade unions, and other stakeholders to address safety concerns effectively.

Earning Potential and Career Progression

Salary levels for SHEQ advisors vary based on factors such as experience, location, and employer:

  • Newly trained SHEQ advisors can expect to earn between £25,000 and £30,000 annually.
  • Experienced professionals may command salaries ranging from £30,000 to £35,000.
  • Senior or chartered SHEQ advisors with extensive experience and expertise can earn between £35,000 and £50,000 per annum.

Career progression opportunities for SHEQ advisors may involve specialisation in specific areas such as environmental or legal advisory roles, or advancement into managerial positions within construction firms.

Becoming a construction SHEQ advisor / Health And Safety Manager offers a fulfilling career path for individuals passionate about promoting safety, health, and environmental sustainability in the construction industry. Whether you opt for formal education, apprenticeships, or gain practical experience through work, the journey to becoming a SHEQ advisor is both enriching and rewarding. By acquiring relevant skills, qualifications, and experience, you can contribute significantly to ensuring the well-being of workers and the successful completion of construction projects. Take the first step towards a rewarding career as a SHEQ advisor today!

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