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NEBOSH Certificate


The NEBOSH General Certificate Course

NEBOSH accredited centre 807 logoThe first step in building your health & safety career! This course is the latest NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus update.

What is the NEBOSH General Certificate?

The NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety is one of the most widely held health and safety qualifications in the world. It will give you the skills and knowledge to create a safe and healthy place for people to work and visit. 

The course is available in two versions - national (for UK based learners) and international (for learners based outside of the UK). 

The NEBOSH General Certificate is NEBOSH's most popular level 3 qualification.  Both the national and international version of the qualification are recognised worldwide by employers and professional memberships

NEBOSH Certificate Course Key Facts
Learning Methods Online, Virtual, In-companyOnlinePlus+ and Classroom
Units 2 units: NG1 and NG2
Assessments  Assessments: An online open-book exam
Entry Requirements Literate in the English language

Why take the NEBOSH General Certificate course?

The NEBOSH General Certificate is the most widely recognised and requested qualification in health and safety by employers. 

Taking the NEBOSH General Certificate will provide you with the key knowledge to provide a safe working environment for you and your colleagues, which in turn promotes efficiency and productivity within the workplace. This can make you incredibly attractive to employers, particularly as 90% of health and safety roles specify one or more NEBOSH qualifications are required.

If you would like more information on the benefits of taking the NEBOSH General Certificate, take a look at this blog!

How to take the NEBOSH General Certificate

Online Learning: You can take the NEBOSH General Certificate online for a more flexible approach to training. This allows you to work at your own pace in your own time and is ideal for those who are self-motivated.

Online learning requires approximately 80-120 hours. Find out more.

If you would like to know more about how to take your NEBOSH General Certificate qualification, take a look at this post.

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Who is the NEBOSH General Certificate for?

The NEBOSH General Certificate is a great starting point when it comes to health and safety and doesn't necessarily need to be taken by those already in health and safety roles. In fact, 70% of people who take the course are in roles outside of health and safety

NEBOSH General Certificate Syllabus

The NEBOSH Certificate is divided into two units NG1 and NG2 which are assessed separately:

NG1 is broken down into four elements made up of:

  • Element 1: Why we should manage workplace health and safety
  • Element 2: How health and safety management systems work and what they look like
  • Element 3: Managing risk - understanding people and processes
  • Element 4: Health and safety monitoring and measuring

NG2 is a practical risk assessment exercise demonstrating an understanding of elements 5 - 11 including:

  • Element 5: Physical and psychological health
  • Element 6: Musculoskeletal health
  • Element 7: Chemical and biological agents
  • Element 8: General workplace issues
  • Element 9: Work equipment
  • Element 10: Fire
  • Element 11: Electricity

See the full NEBOSH Certificate syllabus here.

How is the NEBOSH Certificate assessed?

There are two assessments for the NEBOSH General Certificate:

  • An online open-book assessment
  • A 3-hour practical risk assessment carried out in the workplace to demonstrate the knowledge learned in elements 5-11.

You need to pass both assessments to achieve your NEBOSH General Certificate.  Further information about open book exams as well as frequently asked questions, is available in the Learner Guide.

How long does it take to complete the NEBOSH General Certificate?

The length of time it takes to pass the NEBOSH General Certificate qualification depends on which type of training method you chose.

Online CourseThis usually takes around 80 – 120 hours to complete but is flexible and can be worked around you and your commitments.  You will have access to the e-learning resources and online tutor support for 12 months from the start of the course date.

Remember to register your place for the exams 8 weeks before the exam date to ensure you get a space!

Take a look here for more information on how long it takes to complete the NEBOSH General Certificate course.

How hard is the NEBOSH General Certificate?

The NEBOSH General Certificate is a level-3 qualification, equivalent to a UK A-level. Those who pass the course are qualified to manage health and safety and protect people from illness and serious injuries – that’s a serious job, they don’t just hand it out to anyone!

That said, over 175,000 people have gained the NEBOSH General Certificate qualification since it was launched. So, providing you put in plenty of study time and prepare well in advance for your exams, there is no reason why you would not be able to pass.

Once you have successfully passed both units of the qualification it’s yours forever. However if you’re hoping to progress onto other NEBOSH qualifications, you’ll need to do so within 5 years.See more about how hard the NEBOSH General Certificate is here.

How much does the NEBOSH General Certificate cost?

The cost of your course can depend on a number of things including the learning method you choose and your course provider. Usually, an online NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety costs from £450 (excl VAT and exams) with classroom learning often being slightly more expensive.

Learn more about the NEBOSH Certificate course prices in our How Much Does it Cost to Take a NEBOSH General Certificate Course blog.

Is there funding for the NEBOSH General Certificate?

There are funding options available in the UK for the NEBOSH General Certificate, however access to this funding is dependent on individual circumstances. For example, NEBOSH have teamed up with the Charities Safety Group to help qualify those who work at charities and voluntary sector groups.

ELC logo - Get ELC funding to take this courseIf you have served in the armed forces, you can also apply for funding through Ministry of Defence Enhanced Learning Credits. The amount of assistance received will depend on how long you were in the military for, but you can get up to 80% of your course paid for through Ministry of Defence Enhanced Learning Credits. 

Personal loans and CITB funding are also available for those eligible. Find out more about funding for the NEBOSH General Certificate here.

Studying for the NEBOSH General Certificate

Planning how to study for your NEBOSH General Certificate before you start is an important factor and can significantly impact the results you get. At Astutis we recommend starting by creating a revision timetable to ensure you are able to cover each element within the course in a timely and organised way. Think about when your exam is and work backwards to create a timetable to ensure you are able to work your study time around your existing commitments.

Study sessions should be kept to no longer than 20 minutes to 1 hour to ensure your concentration is maintained and using study cards can be a great way of memorising the tricky details in bite sized chunks.

Answering past exam questions is also a great way to familiarise yourself with the types of questions you will be asked and gives you a chance to try answering questions under a time constraint.

For tips on how to study for the NEBOSH General Certificate take a look at this helpful article.

How to start your NEBOSH Certificate course?

Get in touch with Astutis today to find out all you need to know about starting your course.

  Download course info pack or Buy now

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"Well paced presentation where the tutor is always energetic and friendly. A very positive experience that will hopefully lead to a career in health and safety."

Health and Safety Assistant at Carter Lauren Construction
NEBOSH National Certificate at Cardiff


How long does it take to complete the NEBOSH General Certificate?

The NEBOSH Certificate takes approximately 113 hours to complete. The classroom course runs over 2 split weeks.

Who can take the NEBOSH General Certificate and does it expire?

Taking on a new course can be a daunting prospect and one that takes a lot of thinking about. The amount of time and money invested in getting the best result possible is significant so it is crucial you understand what to expect. As a result of this there are a number of commonly asked questions which we have aimed to answer as best as possible on this page and below:

  • Who is the NEBOSH General Certificate for? The NEBOSH General Certificate is aimed at people who are just starting their role or career in health and safety. There are two versions - national and international. 
  • Can anyone take the NEBOSH certificate? As the NEBOSH Certificate is a foundation level qualification there is no prior knowledge required in order to take it. So, yes anyone is able to take this course!
  • Does a NEBOSH certificate expire? Once you have completed the 2 units there is no need to retake any of them again. However you will need to complete both units within 5 years to pass successfully.  

If you would like to take a look at more commonly asked questions around the NEBOSH Certificate please take a look here.

How much does the NEBOSH General Certificate cost?

The NEBOSH Certificate classroom course costs £1,800 + VAT, including all exams. The NEBOSH Certificate online course costs £650 + VAT, including all exams.

Are there courses similar to the NEBOSH General Certificate?

There are three main players when it comes to foundation level health and safety qualifications including the NEBOSH General Certificate, the NVQ Level 3 Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety and the new NCFE IOSH Level 3 Certificate in Safety and Health for Business.

While these courses qualify someone to the same level, they differ greatly when it comes to learning method:

  • NEBOSH General Certificate: The NEBOSH General Certificate provides an understanding of HSE regulations, hazards and risk assessments, acting as a foundation for a career in health and safety.
  • NVQ Level 3 Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety:  This qualification is a worked-related competency based qualification and concentrates more on assessing current skills instead of teaching new knowledge. This course is aimed more towards those who are already in a health and safety role.
  • NCFE IOSH Level 3 Certificate in Safety and Health for Business: This course focuses on providing a business and technical focus towards health and safety, allowing for a more strategic approach.  Again, this course is aimed towards those already in a health and safety role and is a portfolio based qualification.

Learn more about these similar courses in this article.

What's the difference between the International and National NEBOSH General Certificates?

The NEBOSH National General Certificate and NEBOSH International General Certificate are both versions of the NEBOSH General Certificate. The National General Certificate couse is available in the UK only and the International General Certificate is available to all countries outside of the UK.

They’re the same level, have the same units, elements and learning outcomes and they both follow the same exam structure and grading system.

The course content isn’t that much different either. They both teach you how to manage health and safety based on the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” management system. But they reference different legislation and regulation in the finer details. Find out more about the difference in versions here.

How to choose a NEBOSH General Certificate Provider?

Choosing a provider for a course like the NEBOSH General Certificate can be really difficult for 2 reasons.

  1. Because there are so many providers
  2. Because you want to ensure you get the best value for money

There are many ways to help you choose which provider is best for you. We always recommend looking at online reviews and testimonials to understand things such as course quality and level of customer service. However, it is also important to consider things like the types of learning they provide, what course material you will be provided with and how much tutor support you'll get.

Finally, pass marks are also important to consider. You need to have confidence that your provider will help you gain that all important pass mark so ensure you check out what their pass rates are and how students are prepared for their exams at the end of the course.

See more on choosing a NEBOSH General Certificate provider here.

Should I go straight for the NEBOSH National Diploma, or start with the National General Certificate?

The NEBOSH NGC course is an ideal place to start as it gives a broad grounding in the field of health and safety. The NEBOSH National Diploma course will build on knowledge gained at this level. Whilst it is not necessary to have a pre-qualification to take the NEBOSH National Diploma, we would highly recommend it.