Where to study Occupational Health and Safety in South Africa

Choosing a place to study an occupational health and safety course

There are many institutions around South Africa that offer occupational health and safety (OHS) courses and sometimes deciding where to study can seem a little intimidating. How do you choose which one is right for you?

There are some questions you will have to ask before enrolling at an educational institution:

1. Do you want to make OHS a career or is this an additional responsibility?

Your purpose for wanting to study an occupational health and safety course will determine where you will study. If you would like a career as an occupational health and safety consultant, you will have to enrol for an accredited course. If, however, you have been appointed as the occupational health and safety representative or coordinator in your company, studying a formal course will be enough.

2. Do you need accreditation?  

Choosing a place to study will depend on your reason for studying. If you would like to make occupational health and safety a full-time career, you would likely need to study a course that is accredited.

Many people become occupational health and safety consultants which means that they are either hired by a company to advise them on health and safety regulations or they travel to companies/sites to help companies comply with health and safety laws and regulations. Then, there are people that prefer to inspect companies’ compliance with health and safety regulations to ensure that they comply with legislation - industries like hospitality, mining and construction will have someone who inspects their premise, equipment, and health and safety procedures.

If you work for a company and you’ve been appointed as the health and safety representative or coordinator or you would like to take that responsibility you don’t necessarily need an accredited qualification. An unaccredited formal course would be enough in teaching you the required health and safety procedures and legislature your company needs to comply with. Many unaccredited formal courses also include first aid training.

3. Do you want to attend classes or do you prefer studying in your own time?

If you are working full-time you probably don’t have a lot of free time which means you will have to choose between night classes or studying at home. Many people don’t want the hassle of attending classes after a long day of work which makes distance learning a more appealing option. The upside of new technological advancements is that education, and especially distance learning, has become a lot easier. You are able to join online study groups and discussions that offer you support and assist you with any questions.

Choosing to study through distance learning means that you are able to structure your studies around your life and other responsibilities.

4. What is your budget?

One of the biggest concerns with studying is finances. Most people have tight budgets and not a lot of extra money to study. When choosing a college, it is important to work out your budget to see what you can afford. You also need to find out whether the college has payment options which eases a bit of the financial strain. College SA for instances offers three payment options:

  • Pay everything up front
  • Pay a fixed monthly fee
  • Pay per subject


College SA offers two Occupational Health and Safety courses that are aimed at those that would like to act as the health and safety representative or coordinator in their company, or already are. Our registration process is simple and you can begin studying right away from anywhere!