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NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma: Unpacking The May 2023 Specification

May 2023


On May 03 2023, NEBOSH launched the latest specification of their flagship NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals qualification. 

It is now the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals

Astutis are proud to offer the latest specification of the NEBOSH Diploma, but it is essential to highlight the changes made and their purpose. This blog will do precisely that whilst also analysing what the changes mean for you, the learner.

Before we get into the changes, why have there been changes?

Well, for the NEBOSH Diploma to remain the most prominent health and safety training qualification, the course needs to be regularly updated to educate learners on effective workplace health and safety. The course must also consider health, safety and environmental regulations and cover the latest compliance guidelines.

In this latest update, NEBOSH has secured IOSH membership for the NEBOSH International Certificate learners. NEBOSH has entered into a partnership with the regulator, Ofqual. The partnership ensures that the course's National and International incarnations are considered academically equal and include IOSH membership. 

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals: What's New?

Apart from the name alteration, several amendments have been made to the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma, both in the National and International versions, but there have been no changes to the syllabus content or learning outcomes. The fabric of the course itself remains the same. 

NEBOSH's partnership with Ofqual means the NEBOSH Diploma retains its RQF Level 6 recognition whilst also incorporating IOSH membership for all learners across the globe who pass the course. 

In the new specification, the course unit codes will be different. In the previous specification, the units were named ND/ID, this time around, they will be called DN (National Diploma) and DI (International Diploma).

Despite the NEBOSH Diploma now being regulated by Ofqual there are no added entry requirements into the course. 

Arguably, the most extensive modification to the course is the adapted assessment phase. 

Are There Any Changes to the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma Assessments?

Since the May 2023 specification, all three NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma assessments have now lowered total marks.

DN1/DI1 will reduce from 550 to 300 total marks - 50% needed to pass

DN2/ID2 will reduce from 375 to 175 total marks - 50% needed to pass

DN3/DI3 will reduce from 230 to 175 total marks  - 50% needed to pass

DN1/DI1 will still consist of two papers, but the second paper will have one combined part, grouping parts 2, 3 and 4. Paper one will consist of 100 marks (reduced from 150), and paper two will be 200 marks (reduced from 400).

Paper one is a simulation assessment, asking how learners would act and behave in a real working scenario. Paper two holds the rest of the assignment activities, which include;

  1. Workplace activities
  2. Reflective tasks
  3. Research project

The time allotted to complete the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma assessments has been reduced, giving learners a more fluid experience passing from unit to unit. The changes are as follows;

  • DN1/DI1 - assignment - changing reduce from 60 to 40 hours completion time. The submission window is reduced from the assessment release date, formerly a six-week window, now a four-week window.
  • DN2/DI2 - case study (simulation) - changing from 40 to 20 hours completion time. The submission window will reduce from four weeks to two weeks. 
  • DN3/DI3 - case study (simulation) - changing from 40 hours to 20 hours completion time. The submission window is reduced from four weeks to two weeks from the assessment release date. 

Despite the reduced assessment time, it is essential to remember there are no changes to the course syllabus.

Why did NEBOSH reduce the assessment times to the May 2023 specification of the new NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma? NEBOSH has reduced assessment hours to save learner time. The assessments will remain the same, but NEBOSH claims learners do not need the specified time in the previous specification. Instead, a reduced timeframe will allow learners to flow through the course at a better pace without reducing the course content and learning outcomes. 

Once learners achieve a pass in each of their unit assessments, the qualification is complete. Then it's time for grading. The grading is calculated by adding the combined percentage mark for all three units. After that, the following grading boundaries are applied;

  • Distinction: 226% or higher
  • Credit: 196-225%
  • Pass: 150-195%

How many marks do I need to pass the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma? To pass the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma learners must achieve at least 50% of each unit's marks. NEBOSH will add each of the percentage marks (50%x3) to get to 150%.

How Long Does The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma Take to Complete?

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma course syllabus remains the same. There have been no amendments or alterations to shorten the course materials. NEBOSH insist that the May 2023 specification of the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma should take approximately 415 hours. This is down 60 hours from the last specification, which would have taken around 475 hours. This is because of the reduced time on the assessment phase of the course. 

Study time required for the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma Units

How Does the May 2023 Specification Affect the Current NEBOSH Diploma Learners?

Ofqual will accept previously achieved units of the NEBOSH Diploma (July 2020 specification) as recognised prior learning towards the May 2023 specification. Provided, learners pass at least one unit that Ofqual regulates, learners will receive a parchment with an Ofqual logo on it, therefore ensuring learners pass under the May 2023 specification.

We urge current NEBOSH Diplomas to contact us or NEBOSH to clarify their understanding and confront any concerns.

What Is the NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals?

The NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals is widely recognised as the gold standard health, safety and environmental training course. The course provides a comprehensive overview over fundamental health and safety management philosophies and practices. 

The syllabus encompasses every facet of health and safety management, applicable to every industry and trade. The entire course syllabus covers:

Unit ND1/DI1:

1.1 Health and safety regulations • 1.2 Prosecutions • 1.3 Enforcement • 1.4 Civil law • 1.5 Damages and liabilities • 1.6 Occupiers liability • 1.7 Lawful discrimination • 1.8 Insurers • 2.1 Organisational structures • 2.2 Leadership • 2.3 Consultation • 2.4 Health and safety cultures • 2.5 Traditional and proactive safety management • 2.6 Risk perception • 2.7 Human failures and factors • 3.1 Competence, training, information and supervision • 3.2 High-reliability organisations • 4.1 Hazard identification and techniques • 4.2 Managing health and safety risks • 4.3 Risk management • 5.1 Loss causation and quantitative analysis of data • 5.2 Measuring and monitoring • 6.1 Professional skills • 7.1 Societal factors • 7.2 Corporate social responsibility • 7.3 Organisation change • 8.1 Civil proceedings • 8.2 Coroners inquest • 8.3 Criminal proceedings • 8.4 Ethical issues • 9.1 Contractors supply chains.

Unit ND2/DI2:

10.1 Occupational health and safety services and equality in the workplace • 10.2 Mental ill-health, wellbeing, workplace violence, lone working • 10.3 Health surveillance and medical surveillance • 10.4 Hazardous substances • 10.5 Health risks from hazardous substances • 10.6 Epidemiology and toxicology • 10.7 Asbestos • 10.8 Ventilation and PPE • 10.9 Hazardous substance monitoring • 10.10 Biological agents • 10.11 Noise • 10.12 Vibration • 10.13 Radiation • 10.14 Musculoskeletal issues and manual handling • 10.15 Workplace Temperature and welfare arrangements

Unit ND3/DI3

11.1 Safe working environment • 11.2 Confined spaces • 11.3 Fire and explosion • 11.4 Fire • 11.5 Dangerous substances • 11.6 Work equipment and machinery maintenance • 11.7 Work equipment • 11.8 Machinery • 11.9 Mobile work equipment and lifting equipment • 11.10 Electricity • 11.11 Construction, work at height, demolition, excavation • 11.12 Workplace transport, work-related driving

For more information and analysis on the course syllabus, take a look at our NEBOSH Level 6 Diploma course guide. For a comprehensive run down of the changes and what they could mean for you, read NEBOSH's learner guide here. 


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