Changes to NEBOSH Certificate in Construction Health and Safety


What’s changed and why?

Why has the syllabus been updated?

NEBOSH has reviewed the syllabus in line with the normal qualification development cycle. The syllabus content, following extensive research, has been updated to provide learners with the knowledge, skills and understanding required in the modern workplace.

The syllabus has been developed following wide consultation with key stakeholders, including Learning Partners, employers and past and present learners.

What are the differences between the November 2014 and December 2019 specifications?

The biggest changes to the specifications are:

  • New style syllabus guide that has been designed specifically for you;
  • The syllabus wording is easier to understand, more direct and less formal;
  • The assessment criteria has been separated from the learning outcomes;
  • Reduction of 20 hours overall (see below table);
  • There will no longer be any shared units between the NC and IC. Each qualification will be standalone;
  • The content from the previous seventeen elements of Units NGC1 and NCC2 has now been combined into thirteen elements.

As the structure of the qualification has changed, there has been a change in the hours. The total qualification hours have decreased by 20. The November 2014 specification has a total qualification hours of 133.

A break-down of the recommended taught, self-study and assessment hours is as follows:

Taught hours: 68 Private study: 40 Assessment: 5 Total hours: 113

How long can learners take to complete the qualification?

Learners will have five years to complete their qualification.

Has the grading structure for the qualification changed?

The grading has changed.

  • Unit NC1: Pass/Refer. The pass mark is 60%
  • Unit NC2: Pass/Refer

A ‘Pass’ must be achieved in both units to achieve the NEBOSH Health and Safety Management for Construction


Has the assessment structure of the 2019 specification changed?

Yes – elements 1 – 3 will be assessed by a multiple-choice examination. This consists of 20 questions; 15 short-answer questions and 5 extended scenario questions. Example examination questions can be found in the “Resources” section of the following webpage:

Elements 1 – 13 of the new syllabus will be assessed in its entirety by a case study-based practical project, the full details of which can also be found on the above webpage. This will be marked by Examiners appointed by NEBOSH.

When is the first date that my learners will be allowed to sit the December 2019 specification?

The official public launch date will be confirmed as soon as possible.

Are qualifications gained under previous specifications of the NCC still valid?

All qualifications gained under former specifications of the National Construction Certificates are still valid; there are no expiry dates for NEBOSH qualifications.

Transitional arrangements

What are the timeframes?

The date the qualification will be publicly launched will be confirmed as soon as possible.

We hope to deliver our first course under the new syllabus in line with the December 2020 examinations.

Can learners already registered to sit certificate exams (2014 specification) be transferred to the new specification?

Learners cannot be transferred between the old and new qualifications. Learners will therefore remain on the November 2014 specification and can continue to sit assessments until the deadline date that will be set soon.

Can learners that have already achieved one unit from the National Construction Certificate (November 2014 specification) still complete the qualification under the November 2014 specification?

Yes –learners will have until 31 December 2022 to complete their NCC qualification. If they have not completed their qualification by this time, they will need to take units NC1 & NC2 of the new December 2019 specification if they still want to obtain the NCC qualification.



Can learners take the 2019 specification assessments instead of the 2014 assessments?

Yes – but only if learners have not already registered for an NCC assessment (November 2014 specification). If they have they will not be able to transfer to the new specification.

Learners that have started their studies but have not been registered for an assessment can choose to take the assessments for the new qualification. You may need to supply additional support to these learners to ensure that they have covered the whole syllabus for the December 2019 specification.

Can learners transfer unit passes over from the November 2014 to the December 2019 specification?

No – we will not be transferring learners between the old and new qualifications.

Can learners use their successful NC1 unit towards the IC?

No – In the new NC (December 2019 specification) there will no longer be any shared units between NC and IC. Each qualification will be standalone.

Qualification level and recognition

Will the December 2019 specification of the Health and Safety Management for Construction (UK) be accredited by SQA?

Yes, it will be accredited and credit rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA – for delivery across the UK. We anticipate it will be rated within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF – at SCQF Level 6 with 11 SCQF credit points.

In England the comparable to this is a Vocationally-Related Qualification (VRQ) at level 3 within the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), or an A-Level standard.

Will learners still be eligible for professional membership?

Professional bodies (such as IOSH) will continue to recognise the current specification of the National Construction Certificate for membership. We also anticipate that the new qualification will be accepted for Associate or Technical membership of IOSH.

If you require further information please contact our admin team at or call 0151 480 8968

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