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What to Expect from the NEBOSH General Certificate Exams

What to Expect from the NEBOSH General Certificate Exams

28 May 2020

In this post we've gone through everything you need to know about the NEBOSH General Certificate exams so you know just what to expect. For more in-depth information on the NEBOSH General Certificate take a look here.

What exams are there for the NEBOSH General Certificate?

Unit NG1 (IG1 for the NEBOSH International Certificate) is assessed though an online Open Book Exam (OBE). The exam is designed to test what you know, and that you can apply this knowledge to real world scenarios.

Unit NG2 (IG2 for the NEBOSH International Certificate) is an assignment to assess your practical risk assessment and hazard control skills. For this, you’ll be required to complete a workplace risk assessment and follow up report with recommendations for improvement.

What can I expect from the NEBOSH General Certificate Open Book Exam?

NEBOSH Certificate Open Book Exam dates are held throughout the year. You’ll need to register with your chosen provider at least 4 weeks before you want to sit your exam. if you're taking a virtual or classroom course, you'll automatically be registered against the exam dates that match your course schedule. 

NEBOSH will email you login details 3-5 days before your exam date. You should take this time to look around the portal and flag up any challenges. The portal allows you to change the font size and colour of text to help with accessibility.  

Your NG1/IG1 exam paper and answer sheet will be available at 9am UK-time. At this point, you should download both files and save them to your computer.

You’ll have 24 hours to complete and submit your answers, but it should only take you 3-4 hours. ​We recommend you choose an environment with lots of light, fresh air, and a well set-up work station. You don’t have to complete the exam all in one go. Take your time and review your resources as you work through the paper.

When you’re finished, save your answer sheet with the file name format: last name, first name, NEBOSH student number, Learning provider name. Head to the page on the portal where you downloaded your exam paper and click ‘add submission’. Then simply upload your files and click save.

The NEBOSH Certificate Open Book Exam Paper

The NEBOSH Certificate NG1/IG1 exam paper will open with real workplace scenario. It’ll describe a developing situation, such as an incident or safety intervention. You may be asked to imagine that you hold a specific role within the described organisation, like a Safety Manager.

You’ll be asked to carry out a series of tasks which relate back to elements 1-4 of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus. Remember, the aim of the exam is to test your ability to apply your learning to the workplace. Your answers should be relevant to the given situation and, when appropriate, reference evidence from it directly.

The overall paper is worth a total of 100 marks. The maximum marks available for each task will be specified to help you manage your time.

The NEBOSH Certificate Practical Assessment

NEBOSH General Certificate practical submission dates are throughout the year. As with the open book exam, you’ll need to register for your exam 4 weeks before your chosen date unless you are taking a classroom or virtual course.

The aim of this assessment is to test your skills in action. You need to show that you can confidently identify hazards and take appropriate action to keep your workplace safe.

The assignment is split into 4 sections:
  1. Introduction and organisation overview
  2. Risk assessment and hazard identification
  3. Top 3 justified actions
  4. Review and check

Your learning provider will email you your practical assignment answer sheet. You can submit your practical at any time, but no later than your chosen submission deadline. 

Take a look at our guide to completing your NEBOSH General Certificate Unit NG2/IG2 risk assessment

Pass rates

To achieve at least 45% in both exams to pass your NEBOSH General Certificate. Your overall mark (Pass, Merit, Distinction) will be based upon your score in the open book exam. You simply need to achieve a pass in the practical assignment. 

When will I get my exam results?

NEBOSH will email you your results within 12 weeks of your open book exam date or practical submission date. 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.


Felix Adu Gyamfi 12:55 Mon Dec 2020
When can you write nebosh occasional health and safety examination

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