Important changes to NEBOSH General Certificate

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The NEBOSH National General Certificate  has a fresh new syllabus. 

If you are a current learner or you’re just thinking about taking the course, here’s everything you need to know about the updates. 

Why have NEBOSH changed the course?

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 new syllabus has been developed following wide consultation with key stakeholders, including Learning Partners, employers, Trade Unions, standard setting organisations, past and present learners.

What’s changed about the course?

The updated syllabus reflects the needs of today’s workplaces even better.

NEBOSH have listened to what businesses said they needed their managers to do and know and they’ve streamlined that into new content that represents the role of a real-life health and safety professional. 

They’ve also listened to their learners. They’ve updated the language to make it easier for people to understand and they’ve changed the structure so there’s less exams and a bigger focus on practical application.

The 2018 specification covers 2 units:

  • NG1 – a taught unit with a written exam to assess what you know
  • NG2 – a practical unit with an assignment to assess what you can do  

Is the updated course longer?

No – it’s shorter!

The 2018 specification recommends 113 hours of learning compared to 133 on the 2014 specification.

The course will still run across 2 weeks as before.

You’ll have 5 years to complete your NEBOSH General Certificate. This time frame starts from when you pass your first exam. 

I’m already studying the 2014 specification, do I have to transfer to the latest course?

No, you can finish the course you’ve started.

But you’re more than welcome to transfer to the new version if you want to. Get in touch with our admin team for more information. 

Can I take the 2018 specification exams while studying the 2014 specification course?

Well, there aren’t any rules saying that you can’t. But there are some things you should consider about each exam:

Written exam

The NG1 question paper will assess your knowledge of elements 1-4.

This focuses on the health and safety management aspect of the course including legislation, policy and management systems.

This is currently taught and assessed in NGC1 of the 2014 specification. 

Providing you’ve put the work in, there’s no reason you wouldn’t be able to confidently sit the NG1 question paper while studying the 2014 specification.

Practical assessment

NG2 is the practical risk assessment. It has a different marking criteria to the current practical assessment of the 2014 specification – Unit GC3.

So even though the structure of the assessment is similar, you’ll need to follow the new NEBOSH guidance to be able to pass. 

Get in touch with our admin team for more information. 

How long do I have left to complete my current course?

Exams will be run for the 2014 specification up until March 2022.

How do I register for my exam?

Get in touch with our admin team for more information. 

If I fail my exams, will I still be able to resit?

Of course! You can resit your exams as many times as you need. However, the last exam date is March 2022.

I’ve already passed the NEBOSH General Certificate, is my qualification still valid?

Absolutely! Once you’ve passed the NEBOSH General Certificate, it can’t be taken away from you.

It will still be relevant for health and safety job applications and you can still use it to apply for membership of professional membership organisations like IOSH and IIRSM. 

In fact, you don’t even need to say which specification you studied. All that matters is that you’ve achieved your qualification.

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