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Toby Howell AIEMA BA PGDip

Introducing our Latest Online NEBOSH General Certificate

December 2022

An integral part of sustaining industry-leading health, safety, and environmental training courses is continually striving to improve standards. Being willing to tear things down to build them better is the sacrifice required to always push for greatness. With this approach and considerable consultation with our learners, we have integrated several innovative features and changes to our NEBOSH General Certificate Online offering.

This blog will uncover all the changes that affect learners on their training journey. It will analyse the decision-making behind every new change, looking to illustrate how each new feature maximises learner success. 

Disclaimer: It is important to note that Astutis has not altered, in any way, the course content or the learning outcomes. The core, integral NEBOSH General Certificate course remains the same. Astutis have drastically changed the appearance and feel of the course to promote the most learner-centric experience possible.  

Visual Enhancements

The new NEBOSH Online General Certificate has a new user interface that has allowed radical innovations to the colour scheme and button style, introducing psychological elements that promote information retention. Our graphic designers have emphasised creating colour contrast, which, other than being much more visually pleasing, helps to activate a higher sense of retention in the learner. The vivid colour scheme allows for the segregation of information, grouping and separating different course elements whilst embedding visual cues for the learner. 

The psychology of learning has influenced every innovation in the Online General Certificate course; this even includes buttons. Our graphic designers have ensured that button hierarchy is present, meaning that there is an improved understanding of what each button means, and how each learner interaction can help maximise their study. As with life, if everything is overloaded, you could potentially struggle to get things done. With that in mind, the Online General Certificate course has been built with the integration of minimalistic elements. Instead of being immediately greeted with a barrage of information, learners will have complete control over what information they receive and when. The interface is a calming and neutral white, and learners will have pointers on learning more and expanding their understanding. 

Our Online General Certificate course epitomises our necessity to offer information to learners to digest in different ways. Effective learning is not when learners are boxed into one way of retaining information. This is why we have integrated a mass of animation to consolidate messaging visually. A wealth of stunning illustrations help to accompany text and animations, creating a multimedia-rich course that emphasises both proactive and reactive learning. 

The Science Behind the Learning

As part of the regeneration of the Online General Certificate, our Learning Designers wanted to embed a wealth of learner theory into the fabric of the course. Learner theory is the research that goes into what makes successful learning. Our Learning Designers are constantly researching the most effective tools and methods to study. They invest a significant amount of time in 

The Astutis learning process has two parts. Firstly, we consider how to get the information from the source and into your brain. Secondly, we think about how to recycle the knowledge and how the learner can apply it. This process ensures learners have the best chance of recalling the information they need during their exams. An integral way to achieve this is to have a varied mix of proactive activities to stimulate learners' brains and break away from reading. 

On the topic of breaking away from learning, we believe a significant portion of people prefer to learn-by-doing, the notion that physically doing something makes people understand and remember it. Science suggests that it also dramatically benefits learners in an academic/training format. For this reason, we have always strived to include as many learn-by-doing elements as possible. We have mock exams and proactive, engaging exercises that encourage learners to apply their gained knowledge throughout the course, not just at the end. 

Bitesize learning has been a phenomenon that we have slowly integrated into our course materials. Science suggests that humans can retain more accurately when remembering small chunks of information. This goes beyond simply providing smaller pieces of information. Our cleaner, streamlined user interface provides the perfect foundation to engage with the learning materials at whatever pace you choose. However, it will significantly restrict the potential of moving on before genuinely understanding it first. This becomes extremely useful when preparing for exams.

Preparing for the Exam

Our approach to exams has remained the same since our inception to ensure our learners pass the first time. With our ExamSmart™ approach, we base our exam preparation process on three integral pillars;

Pillar One: To have confidence in your understanding

Pillar Two: To be able to communicate your understanding

Pillar Three: To be able to apply your understanding 

With these pillars in mind, we saw an opportunity to fine-tune the exam preparation phase. Every learner prepares for their exams differently. This is why we incorporated several innovations focused on preparing learners for their exams right from the beginning of the course with the 'Learning to Learn' Module. This new module introduces key revision concepts and techniques, hoping learners can begin to plan for their exams as early as possible. The module showcases several mind mapping and categorisation exercises that invite learners to try throughout the course, giving them the ultimate head start on their exam. 

Our Learning Design team have also integrated a host of extra exam preparation activities; all focused on maximising learner success in their exam. These activities are positioned at the end of each module, consistently encouraging learners to think about how to apply the information into their exam. 

One of the most significant learning outcomes of the General Certificate is to professionally complete risk assessments, which are vitally essential documents in preserving safe workplace operations. As part of the course progression, learners will (at the end of every module) be confronted with a simulated situation with risks and hazards present. They must complete a risk assessment based on that situation. Each situation is focused on the module's risk category, meaning learners will have completed at least one risk assessment on each risk category by the end of the course. These exercises are not assessed; they merely prepare learners for their eventual NG2 Risk Assessment

We have also integrated a built-in search function into the course, allowing learners to search any term quickly and efficiently and find the materials where that term is present. This addition incorporates complete interactivity within our course materials for the first time. 

Key Takeaways:

  • After consulting with our learners, we took time to carefully formulate a plan to regenerate our NEBOSH Online General Certificate offering. 
  • The outcome has resulted in a complete enhancement of several core visual and learner theory elements that make the course more learner centric with added impetus on exam preparation from the inception of the course.
  • All enhancements have been heavily influenced by the psychology of successful learning. This is our most complete Online NEBOSH General Certificate to date. 

For more information on the Online format and the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, click the button below to visit the course page.

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  • "I liked the course. I thought the practice exam could have been better with only 18 questions for a practice exam when the real exam is 30. Also the marking references didn't match your handbook, possibly due to it being an IEMA practice exam,"

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