Last updated: 19.06.19

What is an IOSH Safety Passport?

IOSH Passport to Safety – Important Notice

IOSH have informed us that on 1st November 2021 they will stop producing the IOSH Passport to Safety photo cards, therefore as of 30th June 2021 we are no longer selling the IOSH Passport to Safety course.

Please, note that if you are interested in this course, the training material within the IOSH Working Safely course is exactly the same as what was in the IOSH Passport to Safety course.

The only difference is that at the end of the IOSH Working Safely training instead of the photo card you will be awarded an IOSH certificate which we will post out to you by Royal Mail Signed for 1st Class delivery.

View our IOSH Working Safely course here.

Health and safety is one of the most important consideration any workplace, but competency is particularly necessary in certain industries such as construction, in which accidents and injuries are more likely. As a result, there’s a big focus on ensuring that workers have the right skills and knowledge to carry out their job safely.

The authorities, trade bodies, compliance organisations and, of course, individual businesses with their own standards are the main drivers of these changes. In order to demonstrate skills and knowledge, there are a number of solutions, most of which are focused around training. One of these is the IOSH Safety Passport, which is a card used by thousands of workers in the UK.

In this article, we take a look at what the passport to safety is, the benefits it can bring, and how workers can acquire one.

What is IOSH?

Firstly, let’s find out what IOSH is and what it stands for.

IOSH stands for The Institute of Occupational Health and Safety. It is the world’s largest health and safety membership body, with more than 40,000 members.

It’s the UK’s chartered body for those that are responsible for health and safety in the workplace. The organisation’s aim is to be a supporter, trainer and general advocate of these people, and as a result, it has various initiatives and campaigns that it carries out to make their jobs more effective.

The IOSH Safety Passport is one of these initiatives and it’s exactly as it sounds – the passport is a card that can be carried around, which shows that the bearer has basic training certifications.

The passport comes dated, with a photo and signature for authentication, as well as a hologram to show that it’s authentic.

What are the benefits of having a safety card?

Cards are particularly useful for those working in the construction industry, as this industry has extremely stringent health and safety standards and requirements with the potential for a lot of processes and paperwork to think about.

Construction sites can be a dangerous place to work, with people operating machinery, tools and materials that can cause injury. This means that businesses that operate on site, and managers in particular, have a responsibility to ensure the safety of those working there.

Establishing whether a person is safe to work on site is not always easy without some sort of proof of health and safety knowledge, which is why certifications are essential.

Identification cards are the one of the best ways to do this, as they can easily be taken from site to site, are durable, clear, hard to forge and are generally tamper-proof. These cards can simply be presented at registration or entry to site.

For the individual themselves, having an IOSH card means they’ve undertaken basic health and safety training, meaning they’re competent enough to work in certain environments.

The learner may also find that they’re likely to have better employment prospects and will find it easier to operate when moving from site to site because of their industry recognised training.

Who needs an IOSH safety passport?

Construction workers are the main focus of this IOSH initiative, as a card is hugely useful for site-to-site access as previously mentioned.

The Passport to Safety training is suitable for people at any level, in any sector, needing a grounding in the essentials of health and safety. Health and safety is a really important part of workplace life, which means that basic training is always a good idea.

The training required to gain an IOSH safety passport also conforms completely to the Health and Safety Executive’s ‘passport’ syllabus.

Important: Previously, IOSH safety passports could be used to apply for a CSCS card. However, on 5th May 2017 the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) announced that it will be suspending the recognition of the IOSH Working Safely certificate via e-learning as an approved route to obtaining the green Labourer card. The same suspension applies to IOSH Passport to Safety.

How long is a safety passport valid for?

As with all types of important training, health and safety knowledge needs to be refreshed from time to time. Learners can forget elements of their training, standards can change, and new elements can be incorporated into a certification.

As a result, IOSH safety passports expire every three years. When it does expire, learners will need to re-demonstrate their knowledge, which ensures their own safety, and helps site managers and other health and safety staff to meet their compliance requirements.

IOSH Passport training

In order to get an IOSH safety passport, an individual must demonstrate that they have good health and safety knowledge by taking the right course.

The IOSH Working Safely course, or those that cover the same elements, is the course that you will need to take if you want or need one of these cards.

Fortunately, these courses are widely available, and here at Virtual College we’re very pleased to be able to bring you a dedicated IOSH Passport to Safety Course. Upon completion of this e-learning training, learners can choose from either a card or certificate.

What does training involve?

There are five main elements to IOSH safety passport training. This includes:

  • An introduction to working safely - This section of the course means looking at working safely at a top level, and why it’s so important for you, your coworkers and your business to work in a safe manner.
  • Defining hazard and risk - Most health and safety policies and systems are about being able to understand what hazards are and how they create the risk of injury, so you’ll learn about defining what hazards are and what risk is.
  • Identifying common hazards - Most workplace accidents are the result of similar hazards, so it helps to have a good understanding of what the most common ones are and how they can be prevented.
  • Improving safety performance - Good health and safety can only come about through the introduction and following of good policies and processes. The course will help you understand how this works.
  • Protecting our environment - Personal safety is important, but so is the protection of the environment. This often less-considered aspect of health and safety is essential to gaining an IOSH safety passport.

Click here to find out more about the IOSH Passport to Safety course.


What does IOSH means?

IOSH refers to the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, an organisation based in Britain for professionals working in the health and safety field. The organisation offers training courses on various health and safety topics.

What is an IOSH course?

An IOSH course is a training course offered and certificated by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. They can be taken online or in a classroom, focus on a variety of health and safety topics, and ultimately result in a certificate.

Is IOSH a qualification?

No – the IOSH is an organisation for those who work in the health and safety industries. The IOSH offers various levels of memberships which can be achieved by completing courses and other requirements.

Is IOSH internationally recognised?

The IOSH is an internationally acclaimed and recognised body, offering certified courses and training for health and safety professionals.

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