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How to Pass the NEBOSH Diploma Exam: Completing the ND2 / ID2 and ND3 / ID3 Assessments

The NEBOSH Diploma ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 exam assessments are scenario based case studies. Find out how to confidently confront them and maximise your chances of success. Read more here, with Astutis' updated 2023 guide!

September 2023


  1. The NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals Assessment is split into three phases.
  2. If you would like information on the first phase, check out this blog for the ND1/ID1 Assessment.
  3. ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 are very similar: using the same preparation method for both would prove incredibly useful.
  4. Both assessments are scenario-based case studies. NEBOSH allows you 4 weeks to complete each assessment and we recommend to commit at least 40 hours for each paper.

This blog is the updated 2023 guide, covering the ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 assessment stages of the NEBOSH Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals and the NEBOSH International Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals. The assessments are similar in both the National and International versions of the NEBOSH Diploma. If you want more information regarding the ND1/ID1 assessments, you can do so by reading our How to Pass the NEBOSH Diploma: Completing the ND1 Assessment guide. 

The NEBOSH Diploma is split into three assessment stages:

  • ND1/ID1 Assignment: Approximately 60-hours to complete
  • ND2/ID2 Case Study: Approximately 40-hours to complete
  • ND3/ID3 Case Study: Approximately 40-hours to complete

This blog will focus on the stages of ND2/ID2, and ND3/ID3, which are assessed through two case studies. NEBOSH suggest you commit approximately 40 hours to complete each case study.

Introducing the NEBOSH Diploma Unit ND2 / ID2 and ND3 / ID3 Assessments: What is Included in the Case Study?

Learners must submit a case study for each stage of the assessment. The case studies are designed for the learner to showcase how they can implement the knowledge gained from their NEBOSH Diploma training and put it to practical use in their workplace. Despite being titled ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3, the scenario-based case studies are very similar in structure, the question types and answering requirements.

When handed the paper, learners will be given a scenario. The scenario will more often than not put the learner in the position of authority overseeing a job. During the job, you will be confronted with a hypothetical problem that will require you to resolve it. For example, you could be placed in the position of a Health and Safety manager for a construction company. The company could be phased with a risk. In this example, maybe one of your colleagues suggests a particular way to resolve or correct that risk. The question itself could ask whether you think your colleague is right. You may be asked to weigh the pros and cons of referring to your colleague's advice or follow the latest Health and Safety legislations. There are plenty of different ways you could approach the assessment and interact with the scenario presented.

Similar to the ND1/ID1 assessment, learners need to get a minimum of 50% of the marks to achieve a pass. 

Exam Preparation: How Can I Pass my ND2 / ID2 and ND3 / ID3 Assessment?

We strongly advise learners to use all the resources available to them. This includes past papers and exam revision webinars. Astutis offers support through the course duration to ensure learners are best prepared for each assessment. 

Some of our ND2, ID2 and ND3, ID3 assessment techniques, are to incorporate the revision of any example assessments, on the official NEBOSH website. These are a fantastic resource to help you be better prepared for the actual assessment. However, you must remember that they are only sample assessments and are not complete. The significant takeaway learners have told us, is that they can acclimatise to the exam question length and structure. This is vitally important because these questions can be wordy and put some learners off when noticing key details embedded in the questions. 

Therefore, it's imperative that you read through the question at least twice, trying to take note of the essential bits of information and ensure you highlight all the key points you have to address when crafting your answer. It can be easy to be distracted by heavy text. The scenario can sometimes be packaged to feature unnecessary details about fictional characters or companies which could take your attention away from the task at hand. Along with the scenario, you will be provided with an abundance of supporting items that you can use to assist your answer. 

It may seem obvious, but pay special attention to the information NEBOSH provides at the assessment's start. On each assessment, you will be presented with several questions, understanding if you should answer all or just some is pivotal to your success. They will clarify this at the start of each assessment.

Exam Techniques: How Do I Answer My ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 Case Study?

When answering, it is crucial to understand the duality of what you are saying. How you phrase your answer must relate back to your task. For example, suppose you are tasked with understanding whether a company is doing enough for the health and safety of their employees. In that case, you should know that you are looking to list reasons demonstrating how the company is failing or succeeding. 

Ensure that you do not begin with unnecessary introductory paragraphs when you answer. If you are not directly answering the question, you will not gain marks. For example, if you are asked if a company is sufficiently protecting its employees from fire hazards, you do not need to spend time discussing the intricacies of fire risks. Focus on the case study's details that paint a safe or unsafe picture. Relate this information to your understanding gained from the NEBOSH Diploma training and begin your analysis. 

When constructing your answer, it can be invaluable to write succinctly. Avoid long, breathless paragraphs to maximise the success of your arguments. It's important to remember that you will have another person marking your answers, give them something easy to read. Think of your answers as mini-essays. The end of each paragraph should look to lead into the next, adding a sense of flow to your answer. This should come as a last step, only after you are convinced and happy with your general answer. Once you are happy, look at the structure of your answer. Some of the questions you could ask yourself are:

  1. Does my answer make coherent sense?
  2. Does my answer, answer the question that I have been asked?
  3. Does my answer have a structure that flows?
  4. Is there any portion of the text that doesn't directly answer the question? If so, is it necessary?
  5. Have I read my answer (post structural edits) numerous times, to check for errors?

Remember that you will have time on your side. You have lots of time to strategize your answer once it's begun: that can help add structure and flow. From beginning to end, learners have 20 working days for each case study. Make the most of it.

What is the Difference Between ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3?

There isn't a difference between ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3. The most significant difference is the jump from the first stage of the ND1/ID1 assessment, to this stage. Whereas learners have 6 weeks to complete ND1/ID1, learners have a combined 8 weeks to complete ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3. The assessment process is split into four separate sections during the ND1/ID1 phase, however, the ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 assessments only feature case studies. 

ND2/ID2 is titled: "Do – controlling workplace health issues", whilst ND3/ID3 is titled: "Do – controlling workplace safety issues." In turn, the former focuses more on the side of health, while the latter questions how to maximise safety. 

NEBOSH will not allow learners to sit their ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 assessments simultaneously because they believe this would not benefit learners. 

Completing Your NEBOSH Diploma Assessments: What Happens Next?

You will receive your results, within 50 working days after the submission date of your assessment. A unit certificate will be issued 20 working days after each successful unit's completion deadline. Once you have passed all three unit assessments, your combined percentage mark will give you your overall grade for the NEBOSH Diploma qualification.

Successful learners will be invited to attend the NEBOSH Graduation and Awards Ceremony after completing their NEBOSH Diploma. 

 Final Takeaways:

  1. ND2/ID2 and ND3/ID3 will present long, possibly overwhelming detailed text explaining a scenario. The assessment will ask for your input at the end of the scenario. Simply put, it is your job to resolve any problems or questions NEBOSH present you with, while using the knowledge you have attained from the NEBOSH Diploma.
  2. You must read through the scenarios numerous times, underlining or noting crucial information you have to address. Remember, there is no reason to rush or think that you must immediately make progress: you have 4 weeks to complete each case study. 
  3. Aim to write succinctly. Focus on only answering the question directly. Avoid writing unnecessary paragraphs that don’t relate to any argument you are making. Go through your answers to pinpoint errors and avoid waffle!

You can find even more information regarding the NEBOSH Diploma assessments by accessing the Astutis Exam Centre. Click the button below or more!


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