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NEBOSH Certificate - Most Commonly Asked Questions

Thinking of taking the new NEBOSH General Certificate? Get answers to all your questions! Find out if it's right for you and how it can benefit your career.

September 2019

This blog was updated in August 2002 to reflect the changes in available learning methods.

Are you considering a well-thought-of course and qualification in health and safety management such as the NEBOSH Certificate? This widely recognised and increasingly demanded qualification by employers will enable you to develop new opportunities for your career as a manager, and in health and safety.

Take a look at popular questions asked by people thinking about doing a health and safety management qualification such as the NEBOSH Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. 

1. What does the NEBOSH General Certificate look like?

The NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is the most popular health and safety qualification in the UK. And it's growing in popularity around the world, too. 

There are two versions of the course. The NEBOSH National General Certificate covers the key legal requirements for health and safety in the UK and the identification and control of workplace hazards.

The NEBOSH International General Certificate also covers the principles of health and safety, identification and control of workplace hazards, but is based on best practice and international standards, like the International Labour Organisation (ILO) codes of practice.

Both version of the course has 2 units:

  • NG1/IG1: a taught unit to help develop your knowledge. It's assessed with an online open-book exam. 
  • NG2/IG2: a marked practical risk assessment to develop your skills.  

Access the NEBOSH General Certificate Syllabus here and explore the learning outcomes, course elements and assessment requirements.  Both courses have Open-Book exams.

2. Why take the NEBOSH General Certificate?

The NEBOSH General Certificate offers you a widely recognised qualification to build a solid career in health and safety. Because it's suitable for all types of organisations around the world, it can open lots of doors when looking for a job.

In fact, research carried out in 2021 showed that:

"85% of the job advertisements for safety, health and environmental (SHE) roles reviewed, specified one or more NEBOSH qualifications; up from 83% last year (2022).” 

Year on year, employers are increasing their demand for new recruits to have a NEBOSH General Certificate.

The NEBOSH General Certificate also provides an excellent foundation for you to develop more specialist skills. You can take the NEBOSH Fire Certificate, NEBOSH Construction Certificate, or move to a higher level with the NEBOSH Diploma.

Learn more about why is the NEBOSH General Certificate the qualification for you:

 

3. Who is the NEBOSH General Certificate for?

The NEBOSH National Certificate (NGC) is targeted at people working in the UK.

The NEBOSH International Certificate is for people working outside the UK or for a multinational organisation and want a more portable health and safety management qualification. It's an internationally recognised qualification.

The qualification offers an excellent understanding of foundation health and safety concepts, so it's ideal for people with responsibilities in health and safety. However, 70% of people taking the NEBOSH Certificate are working in a broad range of job roles where health and safety is not their main responsibility.

Learn more about the difference between the National and International NEBOSH General Certificate here.

4. Can anyone take the NEBOSH General Certificate?

Yes! You don't need any prior knowledge to complete the NEBOSH General Certificate. It provides a basis for health and safety and is an ideal starting point to build on in your career.

If English isn't your first language, you must be able to understand and express concepts covered in clear English. NEBOSH recommends learners have a minimum score of 6.0 or higher in IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or the equivalent.

5. How hard is a NEBOSH General Certificate?

The qualification does demand a commitment to study time to make sure you understand the concepts and can apply them in a workplace scenario. And, of course, to  make sure you can complete the exam and risk assessment. 

If you have an experienced and reputable learning provider providing effective learning resources, ongoing tutor support and exam question practice with constructive feedback that you take advantage of, you will be well placed to pass your NEBOSH General Certificate.

6. How much does a NEBOSH General Certificate cost?

The price that course providers charge for the NEBOSH Certificate can vary considerably. Certain factors will influence the price, so it's important to consider what you need in order to learn successfully and pass the 2 assessments. These are just a few important factors to ask course providers to understand the real value:

  • Learning method - online so you can access the course on a computer or tablet vs a virtual classroom or physical classroom which also includes a structured course led by a tutor(s).
  • Exam question practice and tips on completing the Open-Book Exam (OBE) with feedback.
  • Pass rates.
  • Materials and resources do they offer.
  • Tutors’ qualifications and NEBOSH training experience.
  • Exam fees.

For online courses:

  • The degree of interactivity studying the NEBOSH General Certificate online.
  • The level and type of tutor support i.e. phone, email, webinars etc.

For virtual classroom-based courses:

  • Structure and format of the course.
  • Tutor(s) experience and qualifications.
  • Venue location, food and refreshments, parking.
  • Quality of the software platform, for example modern interactivity including polls and breakout rooms. 

Explore the latest information about the learning methods and cost of the NEBOSH General Certificate here.

7. Does a NEBOSH General Certificate expire

No! Once you've achieved your qualification it's yours to keep. However, to achieve the full qualification, you must pass both assessments within 5 years. 

The NEBOSH Certificate syllabus is regularly reviewed and revised when new legislation, best practice and standards are implemented, so it's important to keep yourself up-to-date on changes in health and safety.


8. What is the NEBOSH General Certificate equivalent to and where is it recognised?

In the UK, the NEBOSH General Certificate is equivalent to an SCQF Level 6 qualification. This is comparable to NQF/QCF Level 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, or A-level standard.

The NEBOSH National General Certificate meets the academic requirements for Technical Membership (TechIOSH) of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and Associate Membership (AIIRSM) of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM).

9. How long will it take to do a NEBOSH Certificate?

It will depend on the method of learning you choose to study and the course provider. If you study in a virtual classroom or physical classroom, it usually takes around 10 full days. 

Online courses are a lot more flexible, but you need to be motivated to study regularly. It varies from person to person how long it can take to complete an online course, but a rough guide is around 80-120 hours.

Don’t forget, you'll also need to take the 2 assessments. The online exam is able to be taken at multiple dates throughout the year. The practical risk assessment can be submitted at any time. 

Hopefully, you have a clearer understanding of what is involved in the NEBOSH Certificate and where it can take you in your career!

Astutis has trained over 100,000 learners across the world helping them become accredited health and safety professionals. With over 95% customer satisfaction, our expert team is always here to help. Start your NEBOSH journey today!

For more information on the NEBOSH General Certificate click the button below!

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