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Who needs to take this course

A Risk assessment is a legal requirement, and if you employ five or more people you must record the significant findings of the assessment. This qualification is designed for learners with a responsibility to conduct risk assessments at low-risk premises.

The law

As an employer, you’re required by law to protect your employees, and others, from harm.

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, the minimum you must do is:

  • identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards)
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk)
  • take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk

Assessing risk is just one part of the overall process used to control risks in your workplace.

Steps needed to manage risk

Risk management is a step-by-step process for controlling health and safety risks caused by hazards in the workplace.

You can do it yourself or appoint a competent person to help you.

  • Identify hazards
  • Assess the risks
  • Control the risks
  • Record your findings
  • Review the controls

Identify hazards
Look around your workplace and think about what may cause harm (these are called hazards). Think about:

  • how people work and how plant and equipment are used
  • what chemicals and substances are used
  • what safe or unsafe work practices exist
  • the general state of your premises

Look back at your accident and ill-health records, as these can help you identify less obvious hazards. Take account of non-routine operations, such as maintenance, cleaning or changes in production cycles. 
Think about hazards to health, such as manual handling, chemicals, and causes of work-related stress.
For each hazard, think about how employees, contractors, visitors, or public members might be harmed.

Vulnerable workers
Some workers have particular requirements, for example, young workers, migrant workers, new or expectant mothers and people with disabilities.

Talk to workers
Involve your employees as they will usually have good ideas.

Assess the risks
Once you have identified the hazards, decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how serious it could be. This is assessing the level of risk.  


  • Who might be harmed and how
  • What you’re already doing to control the risks
  • What further action you need to take to control the risks
  • Who needs to carry out the action
  • When the action is needed by

Control the risks
Look at what you’re already doing and the controls you already have in place. Ask yourself:

  • Can I get rid of the hazard altogether?
  • If not, how can I control the risks so that harm is unlikely?

If you need further controls, consider:

  • redesigning the job
  • replacing the materials, machinery or process
  • organising your work to reduce exposure to the materials, machinery or process
  • identifying and implementing practical measures needed to work safely
  • providing personal protective equipment and making sure workers wear it

Put the controls you have identified in place. You’re not expected to eliminate all risks, but you need to do everything ‘reasonably practicable’ to protect people from harm. This means balancing the risk level against the measures necessary to control the real risk in terms of money, time or trouble.

Record your findings
If you employ five or more people, you must record your significant findings, including.

  • the hazards (things that may cause harm)
  • who might be harmed and how
  • what you are doing to control the risks 

Do not rely purely on paperwork, as your main priority should be to control the risks in practice.

Review the controls
You must review the controls you have put in place to make sure they are working. You should also check them if:

  • they may no longer be effective
  • there are changes in the workplace that could lead to new risks, such as changes to:
    • staff
    • a process
    • the substances or equipment used

Consider a review if your workers have spotted any problems or any accidents or near misses.

Update your risk assessment record with any changes you make.

Who needs risk assessment training?

You do! Whether you are an employer or self-employed, are you sure that you’re up to date with how to identify the hazards and control the risks from your work?

Risk assessment template

You can use a risk assessment template to help you keep a simple record of:

  • who might be harmed and how
  • what you’re already doing to control the risks
  • what further action you need to take to control the risks
  • who needs to carry out the action
  • when the action is needed by

What does this course cover?

The training included in this course covers the key syllabus of the Level 3 Risk Assessment qualification. These modules include:

  • Risk assessment principles
  • The relationship between hazard and risk
  • Requires learners to use the knowledge learned on the course by undertaking a risk assessment
  • Lays a foundation for further development as a risk assessor

What will learners achieve?

Learners gaining this qualification will know how to carry out a risk assessment to protect their employees and others from harm.

How long will it take?

This qualification is usually achieved by taking a two-day classroom-based course, however, it can also be achieved through a variety of other methods including blended, distance and e-learning.

Course features

This course includes a number of key features that will benefit the learner. These include the following:

Features for the Learner:

  • Content suitable for Level 3 Risk Assessment qualifications awarded by Highfield Qualifications and RSPH;
  • Interactive content and exercises based on real-life scenarios.

Guidance on assessment

This qualification is assessed by a multiple-choice examination and the completion of an internally set and assessed activity.

Progression opportunities

On successful completion of this qualification, learners may wish to continue their development by undertaking one of the following qualifications:

  • Highfield Level 3 Award in Health and Safety within the Workplace (RQF)
  • Highfield Level 4 Award in Health and Safety within the Workplace (RQF)