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IOSH digital certificates


Update: 16 November 2020

Further to the previous update issued 5 November 2020 (below), IOSH has today advised that courses delivered by remote learning (i.e. virtual classroom and eLearning formats) will not be subject to the issue of digital certficates pending a further review. This means that for all IOSH courses delivered by International Workplace, certificates will be issued in hard copy as previously, and will be distributed to our clients and their learners in the normal way.

We apologise for any confusion that may have been caused by the move to digital certificates, which is entirely outside of our control. Our understanding is that further refinements will be made by IOSH to its digital certification regime, subject to consultation with learning providers (us), employers (our clients) and learners. We will of course do our best to keep everyone appraised of the situation in advance of any further changes.

For further information, please contact your Account Manager, use the chat function on this webpage, or email


Update: 5 November 2020

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has implemented a new procedure for issuing certificates to learners who successfully complete its non-regulated health and safety courses.

The changes are part of a wider digital transformation programme intended to create efficiencies and improve quality assurance for learning providers, their clients, and their learners. The first step in this process has been to replace traditional hard copy (paper) certificates with digital certificates. This change came into effect on 4 November 2020, and applies to the most popular IOSH courses including Managing Safely, Managing Safely Refresher, Working Safely, and Safety for Executives and Directors.

As a leading provider of digital learning services, International Workplace strongly welcomes this new initiative and is working closely with IOSH to integrate systems as completely as possible. We believe the changes will make life much easier for our clients and our learners, cutting the time it takes to issue certificates; and good for the environment in cutting carbon emissions and reducing paper waste.

The following information provides general guidance for learning administrators about the change to digital certification. For further information please contact your Account Manager or email


Which courses have moved to digital certificates?

International Workplace’s programme of IOSH courses includes:

All of these courses are classed by IOSH as ‘non-regulated’ vocational courses, which means they are not governed by a Government-approved regulator such as Ofqual or the SQA. IOSH now issues digital certificates for these courses, as well as some others not offered by International Workplace.


When did courses switch to digital certificates?

The change to digital certification took place on 4 November 2020. From this date on, learner results submitted to IOSH for the above courses have been subject to the issue of a digital certificate.


What is a digital certificate?

A digital certificate will only exist online. Certificates have been designed to ensure they look as similar as possible to the hard copy versions that have traditionally been printed by IOSH and issued out by the learning provider. Digital certificates contain security features to prevent fraudulent copying and to allow the learning provider, the client and anyone seeking to verify the information that that the certificate is genuine. It will not be possible for the learner to print or copy their digital certificate. Access to digital certificates for learners is open-ended – there is no time limit. Digital certificates will be viewable on all devices including smartphones.


How do I access a digital certificate - learners?

Learners will no longer be sent hard copy (paper) certificates. Instead, they will be provided with a unique login to IOSH’s secure learner platform, where they will be able to view and download their digital certificate. Learners will be given access to their digital certificate soon after the learning provider submits their results to IOSH and registers them as having successfully completed a certificate course.

Learners can share access to their digital certificate via their secure account on the IOSH learner platform. To do this they will enter the recipient’s details and an access expiry date, which will send an email notification to the recipient with a link to the digital certificate for a limited period of time. Digital certificates will contain a QR code, which can also be shared via the IOSH learner platform in the same way to shortcut the process.


How do I access a digital certificate – learning administrators?

Currently, IOSH does not appear to have created a role for the learning administrator in a client organisation to allow them to access to all learners’ certificates centrally. We are aware that in some organisations our clients have historically preferred us to send all IOSH hard copy certificates to a single point in order that a central administrator can either retain a record of the certificate and/or can distribute them to their learners internally.

The move to digital certificates will see access granted to the learner direct, and it will be the responsibility of the learner to share access to the digital certificate with their organisation if it is the organisation’s policy to retain a central record. At International Workplace we are working with IOSH to upgrade our learner records system to provide our clients with a detailed record to show the result, certificate number, and certificate date of issue for each learner, but we are not able to automatically give access to the digital certificate itself.


How do I verify a digital certificate?

Anyone who wants to gain assurance that an IOSH certificate is genuine can use the IOSH online Training certificate checker. To check a certificate you will need to enter the following details for the learner:

  • Certificate number
  • First name and surname
  • Course name


Will digital certificates still be recognised?

Digital certificates have the same validity as hard copy certificates and are likely to be less prone to fraudulent copying. They will be recognised by CSCS as part of the application process for a CSCS card.


What will happen during the transition from hard copy to digital certificates?

The previous paper-based certificate process was cumbersome, often taking a number of weeks to process and despatch certificates. The pandemic has caused further delay, in some cases taking several weeks from completion of the course for the learner to receive their certificate. 

Digital certificates are issued soon after the learner’s results are submitted to IOSH by International Workplace as the learning provider. As such, certificates for all records uploaded by us to the IOSH portal on or after 4 November 2020 will be issued digitally, and the learner will be notified via email by IOSH. As a result, we expect certificates for any learner results we upload now to be available much more quickly than previously.

Learners whose previous results have been submitted to IOSH by us prior to 4 November 2020 will receive a hard copy (paper) certificate administered under the previous process. Unfortunately there will still be a delay in sending these out for the reasons stated earlier, until the backlog of hard copy certificates has been cleared. An unavoidable impact of the move to digital certification is that learners who have completed their course on or after 4 November 2020 will gain access to their (digital) certificate before learners who completed their course prior to 4 November 2020, who will receive a hard copy (paper) certificate.


Other things to think about

This is a major change for IOSH as part of a wider digital transformation project, so there will inevitably be glitches as digital certification is rolled out, as well as further technical developments in coming months.

We are seeking to ascertain more information about moderation – the process IOSH uses to quality check learning providers by reviewing marking of their learner’s IOSH Managing Safely projects at random – to ensure that learner results are not adjusted by IOSH after the certificate has been already been issued to the learner. This is unlikely to be the case, but we await further clarification currently.

Digital certificates rely on the learner having an email address in order to be notified of their results and having access to the internet in order to view their digital certificate online. IOSH states it expects learners to register an email address if they don’t have one already, but we expect there may be some leeway initially at least to allow for learners who don’t have an email address.

Similarly, it will be possible initially for learners to continue to receive a hard copy (paper) certificate, but this must be requested by the learner and will attract additional cost to the standard digital certificate (there is not an option to choose between them).


If you would like more information, please contact us via our chatbot or email