Courses Available Online, Virtually and Classroom
Fully Certified NEBOSH, IOSH, IEMA Accredited
7-Day Customer Service

How Hard is the NEBOSH Diploma to Complete? Discover if the NEBOSH Diploma is Worth it | Astutis

Unsure of how hard the NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals might be? You aren't alone! But you are in the right place. Discover if the NEBOSH Diploma is worth it in our updated 2023 version.

December 2023


  1. The NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals is designed to challenge learners proactively with a dense assessment structure. 
  2. The course is equivalent to a UK University Bachelors Degree with Honours. Therefore learners must understand the course is a massive investment in their future. 
  3.  Requiring 475 hours to complete the course is a considerable commitment. It is important to not underestimate the amount of effort and determination that is required to complete the course. 

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals is a hard qualification but it's the best investment any professional can make for a fantastic career in Health and Safety. It widely regarded as one of the most complete health and safety training qualifications. The NEBOSH Diploma takes approximately 475 hours to complete.

This blog will uncover the potential difficulties learners should expect when studying the NEBOSH Diploma. The updated 2022 blog will analyse: the assessment structure of the course and the best practices on how learners should approach the course length. If you want more information about the latest incarnation of the course, check out Important changes to the NEBOSH Diploma

Are There Any Entry Requirements for the NEBOSH Diploma?

Before starting your NEBOSH Diploma journey, it is strongly recommended that all learners complete the NEBOSH General Certificate or have a minimum of 5 years experience working in a health and safety role. A fundamental understanding of key health and safety management principles and risk and safety management skills will ensure learners make the most out of their experience.

The NEBOSH Diploma is designed for experienced Health and Safety professionals, who want to expand their knowledge at a higher level. It's designed to improve your understanding on critical health and safety issues such as:

  • Workplace Hazards
  • Management Systems
  • Fault and Event Trees
  • Reliability,
  • Fire Prevention
  • Occupational Health and Safety

Completing the NEBOSH General Certificate first, will ensure you are familiar with crucial health and safety concepts and the intricacies of the NEBOSH exam process.

The NEBOSH Diploma course is set at an academic level and many often compare it to an honours degree standard. You'll have to absorb a fair amount of information, and you'll have to prove that you understand it and be able to put it into practice. If we continue that comparison, a UK University degree usually takes around three years to complete. In contrast, the NEBOSH Diploma takes just under 500 hours. That time is split over a long period however, based on that comparison, you can begin to understand the effort required to succeed. 

Certain aspects of the course will require elements of discovery learning, pressing the learner to grasp paramount health and safety topics. Like any academic course, the taught component is one aspect. You'll also have to do your independent reading and studying on topics. Therefore we recommend learners practice their ability to research and investigate concepts in their own time before starting the course. 

To discover more about the entry requirement for the NEBOSH Diploma, take a look at our blog.

What is the Difference Between the NEBOSH National and International Diploma?

One question we are consistently asked is 'What is the difference between the National and International NEBOSH Diploma?'

In short, the main difference is specific training related to UK based Health and Safety regulations (NEBOSH National Diploma) and International Health and Safety regulations (NEBOSH International Diploma). The course difficulty is exactly the same for both the National and International version of the NEBOSH Diploma courses. 

Our learner Fiaz Ur Rehmann, studied the NEBOSH International Diploma with Astutis. Explore his learning experience in a candid discussion during our Health and Safety Digest episode below. 

How Long Does the NEBOSH Diploma Take to Complete?

Time is the biggest obstacle to overcome, as the NEBOSH Diploma course has a recommended study time of around 475 hours. It should be evident that the NEBOSH Diploma is not a small investment. It is a life changing training course that promises to ignite career employability and upskill workforce worldwide. 

To structure your learning, we always recommend a study or training plan. Remember, you are in charge of your learning, proactively planning your knowledge pathway is critical to maximising your chances of success. Finding your study plan is essential to success. Usually, short and concentrated study periods are more effective than long and sporadic ones. But this is very personal and needs to be fully explored before committing to any NEBOSH qualification.

Our NEBOSH Diploma learners benefit from expert CMIOSH tutor help and access to the Astutis TrackSmart™ tool, supporting their learning journey with a personalised learning study plan and timetable.  

For more information on how long it takes to complete the NEBOSH Diploma, click here.

NEBOSH Diploma Examination Process: What Should I Expect?

The new NEBOSH Diploma has updated the assessment process, testing learners in radical new ways. You will be placed in simulated working scenarios, putting purposeful impetus in your hands as you take this critical next step in your career.

We explore how to confront the NEBOSH Diploma ND1/ID1 assessment and the ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 assessments in our in-depth blogs. 

To summarise, the course is split into three units:

  1. ND1/ID1 - Workplace Health and Safety Principles.
  2. ND2/ID2 - Controlling Workplace Health Issues.
  3. ND3/ID3 - Controlling Workplace Safety Issues.

Try to split ND1/ID1 from ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 in your mind. ND1/ID1 has a slightly different assessment form and it will require learners to go through four stages of assessment. Astutis learners have access to our ExamSmart™ tool, supporting you be prepared and enjoy a seamless learning experience.

NEBOSH Diploma Assessment Process: An Overview and Timeframes

A. ND1Assignment – workplace-based tasks designed to challenge learners using real-life simulations (six weeks to complete).

NEBOSH Diploma ND1 Assessment process is split in 4 stages:

  1. Questions based on a realistic Workplace Scenario
  2. Workplace Activities: Tasks to complete in a suitable workplace
  3. Reflective Tasks: Personal Experiences
  4. Short Research Project

For more information regarding the ND/ID1 assessment phase, check out this blog.  

 B. ND2: Scenario-based case study (four weeks to complete).

 C. ND3: Scenario-based case study (four weeks to complete).

The ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 assessments are scenario-based case studies in which the learner will be confronted with a situation. The situation could be that while you are working,  something might go array, and you will be marked on how you react and resolve the situation. This is just an example. You will be marked on your ability to apply the knowledge gained from your NEBOSH Diploma training, to the scenario given. 

Learners will have time on their side regarding the NEBOSH Diploma assessment process. NEBOSH estimate it will take 140 hours to complete all the Diploma assessments. Learners will have six weeks to complete their ND1/ID1 assessment. Meanwhile, four weeks are required for each ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 case study. 

For further support and guidance on passing the ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 assessments, check out this blog

NEBOSH continually update their pass marks however, as of 2022, learners are required to achieve 50% in their assessments to pass. Learners can find the latest information regarding pass marks on the NEBOSH Diploma section on the NEBOSH website.

Final Takeaways:

1. Finding the best way to learn, personalised to your needs, is highly important to achieve the results you want. Learners must find their approach to training and embrace it. If you are someone who prefers structured study with a tutor, we recommend the Virtual Classroom format. Meanwhile if you are a independent learner we recommend the Online or Distance formats.

2. Having a study plan in place to add structure to your learning can prove pivotal especially if you are studying the course in the Online or Distance formats. Remember that the NEBOSH Diploma is equivalent to a UK University Degree. With that comparison fresh in the mind, your preparations to pass the course should be likened to a three year learning experience.

3. Astutis continue to provide content designed to assist learners on their NEBOSH Diploma journey. Be sure to keep up to date on our social networks for helpful guides and course walk-throughs. We also provide learners with access to our exclusive ExamSmart™  and StudySmart™ tools, to make your learning experience with Astutis as seamless as possible. 

Explore more about the NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals below.

Related Blogs

  • Is the NEBOSH Diploma Worth It? 6 Reasons Why You Should Take the NEBOSH Diploma Image
    Toby Howell AIEMA BA PGDip

    Is the NEBOSH Diploma Worth It? 6 Reasons Why You Should Take the NEBOSH Diploma

    If you are undecided on whether you need to take the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals, look no further! This blog is for you. 
  • Is the NEBOSH Diploma a Degree? Image
    Andrew Froude B.Eng (Hons), CMIOSH, MIIRSM, OSHCR

    Is the NEBOSH Diploma a Degree?

    The NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals is the most comprehensive Health and Safety training course available. Discover the level of the course and whether the NEBOSH Diploma is equivalent to a degree. Read more in our updated 2024 blog here. 
  • How Long Does the NEBOSH Diploma Take to Complete? Image
    Brenig Moore MCIEH CEnvH CMIOSH

    How Long Does the NEBOSH Diploma Take to Complete?

    Learn more on how long the NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals takes to complete in our updated 2023 guide.
  • How to Study the NEBOSH Diploma Image
    Toby Howell AIEMA BA PGDip

    How to Study the NEBOSH Diploma

    Unsure about how exactly to study the NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals? Luckily for you, you're in the right place! This blog will uncover every learning format which you can utilise to your benefit to study the NEBOSH Diploma. Read more here. 
  • Does The NEBOSH Diploma Expire? Image
    Andrew Froude B.Eng (Hons), CMIOSH, MIIRSM, OSHCR

    Does The NEBOSH Diploma Expire?

    Find out if the NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals expires in this updated Astutis blog, read more here. 
Section Curve
Case Studies

Real Life Stories

Find out how learners look back on their training with Astutis. Our case studies give our learners, both individual and corporate, a platform to share their Astutis experience. Discover how training with Astutis has helped past learners and delegates make the world a safer place, one course at a time.
More Image
Bottom Curve
What People Say

Hear What Our Learners Have To Say

We're always there for our customers. 98% of our learners rated their overall experience as good or outstanding. We will always pride ourselves on our customer service. But don’t take our word for it, here is what our customers have to say
  • "Outstanding service and communication from the very first contact to the last. . ."

  • "Comprehensive and full of detail, presented in an engaging way."

  • "Highly recommend Astutis! The platform works very well, and the staff are a pleasure to deal with, extremely attentive and highly supportive!"

  • "Excellent platform and supportive staff."

  • "Excellent communications, friendly staff, user friendly website."

  • "Course was excellent and delivered at a steady pace that made it easy to absorb information. The tutor Andy was very clear and concise and provided thorough preparation for the exam."

  • "The proficiency of the admin team was great, and the ease of access and all communication was great. I will do a course with them again."

  • "The course was comprehensive and included a great variety of subjects."

  • "From start to finish, the organisation, engagement and course content was excellent."

  • "Excellent content and delivery. This has equipped me well for the requirements of my role."