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Jason Mordecai

What to expect from your NEBOSH Diploma exams

If you're thinking about taking the NEBOSH Diploma but are worried about the exams, take a look at our blog. It tells you just what to expect.

June 2019

To achieve your full NEBOSH Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety qualification, you'll need to pass 4 assessments. 3 x written examinations and 1 x 8000 word project. Don't worry - you'll get lots of exam preparation and support throughout your course, and here we've gone through everything you need to know about the NEBOSH Diploma exams so you know just what to expect. 

What exams are there for the NEBOSH Diploma?

Units A, B and C are each assessed with a 3-hour written exam. Each exam paper is split into two sections; A and B.

Section A contains six ‘short-answer’ questions, each worth 10 marks. You must answer ALL questions in this section. Section B contains five ‘long-answer’ questions each worth 20 marks, but you only need to answer THREE of these questions. The questions in each section will cover the entire Unit.

Written exams are taken at NEBOSH approved exam centres all over the world. You’ll sit your paper under strict exam conditions which are monitored by an exam invigilator.

Unit DNI is a written assignment set by NEBOSH. You’ll be required to write an 8000 word report which demonstrates your knowledge of all other units; A, B and C.

Sitting your NEBOSH Diploma exam

Your course provider will have given you all the details of your exam such as location, time and date. It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to arrive before your exam starts, you don’t want to turn up all flustered minutes before the exam starts.

You’ll sit your exam under exam conditions. You’ll be asked to present photographic ID (passport or driving licence) which the exam invigilator will check against your candidate number and then give you your answer book.

Your answer book simply contains lined paper with a square in the top of each corner where you write the number of the question you’re answering. You won’t need to fill anything in on the front; it’ll already be pre-printed with your name and candidate number.

The invigilator will then hand out the exam question papers and give you 10 minutes reading time. You won’t be able to write anything in your answer book during this time, instead you should use this time to read all of the questions and begin making notes to plan your answers.

Once your 10 minutes reading time is up, the invigilator will let you know that the exam has started. You’ll have exactly 3 hours. They’ll also let you know when the exam will finish, usually by writing the exam finish time on a board or flip chart. There’ll be a clock in the room for you to keep an eye on the time and the invigilator will also give you reminders at key times to help keep you on track, like when an hour has passed and when you have 30 minutes remaining.  

What marks do I need to pass my NEBOSH Diploma?

You have to pass all 3 written exams and the assignment to achieve your full NEBOSH Diploma qualification.

The actual pass mark can vary, but it’s usually set at 45% for written exams (Units A, B and C) and 50% for the assignment (Unit DNI). Once you’ve passed all four units, your marks will be added together and you’ll be awarded your final qualification grade:

  • Pass 185 – 239 marks
  • Credit 240 - 279 marks
  • Distinction 280+ marks

NEBOSH Diploma Exam Centres

Accredited course providers have their own venues which they use for holding NEBOSH Diploma exams, and with over 600 course providers across the world, there’s plenty to choose from.

Astutis holds NEBOSH Diploma exams in over 170 countries in the U.K, Middle East, U.S, Canada, Europe and Asia.

NEBOSH Diploma Exam Dates

NEBOSH Diploma written exams are held in the 3rd full week of January and July every year. Whether you’re taking your course in a classroom or online, you’ll still take your exams on these dates.

Written exams are held in the mornings at 9:30am on Tuesday (Unit A), Wednesday (B) and Thursday (C). For Unit DNI, there are four submission deadlines spread out throughout the year in February, May, August and November.

You’ll have 5 years to sit your exams and submit your assignment, so you don’t have to take them all at the same time. You can split your exams and assignment out across different months or even different years, providing you pass them all within the 5 year time frame.

Registering for your NEBOSH Diploma Exam

Once you’ve chosen your exam or submission date, you’ll need to let your course provider know in plenty of time so that they register you with NEBOSH. You’re usually required to give 12 weeks notice, but it’s always a good idea to check these fine details at the time you book your course.

NEBOSH will also send you regular reminders throughout your course of exam and assignment registration deadlines. 

When will I get my NEBOSH Diploma exam results?

NEBOSH will email you your results within 12-14 weeks of sitting your exam. They’ll use the email address that you put on your booking form, so make sure you double check it’s typed correctly. If you haven’t received your results in that time then contact your course provider and they’ll be able to help.

Your hard copy certificate will be sent out shortly after you receive your results and will display your final qualification grade; pass, credit or distinction.

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