Changes to NEBOSH Courses – What this means for learners

Industry News By Matthew Coombes

Changes to the NEBOSH Certificate courses

In the past 2 years, NEBOSH have updated six of their qualifications; not just in terms of their content but also the way that learners undertake their assessments. The following qualifications now assessed using an open book exam (OBE):

  • NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety
  • NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety
  • NEBOSH Certificate in Fire Safety
  • NEBOSH Health and Safety Management for Construction (UK)
  • NEBOSH Health and Safety Management for Construction (International)
  • NEBOSH Environmental Management Certificate

What is an Open Book Examination?

The OBE is an online exam paper that is accessed on the date set for your examination, downloaded and worked through at home (or in another suitable environment), and submitted online. As the name suggests, when you are taking an open book exam, you’re allowed to refer to any materials that you think are relevant, including your study book, notes from your training, and websites relevant to your course, like the Health and Safety Executive and relevant government websites and legislation.

Is the open book exam easier?

No. The open book exam may seem like an easier task when compared to a three-hour, in-person, invigilated exam, but the reality is that the open book exam is just more accessible. You don’t have the added stress of travelling to the examination venue, and the new exam papers are not based on recall or NEBOSH command words.

The new papers provide a scenario that you will have to read, understand and apply your learning to. The scenario is based on a real-life workplace, and you will have to refer to the scenario while answering the questions and include external sources to back up your answers (such as the HSE website). As such, the new papers are more like a written project than a traditional exam.

NEBOSH have suggested that the 24-hour open book exams should take you around 5 hours to complete. However, after the first round of assessments, many learners (from various course providers) reported that it took them 7-11 hours to properly read, plan, research, write and check their papers.

Changes to course content:

NEBOSH regularly review their courses to ensure that they are relevant to the modern professional, and the latest updates to the certificate courses have seen more development to include up to date legislation, best practice, and to reflect changes in the workplace that have come into being since the courses were last reviewed.

The NEBOSH National and International Diplomas in Occupational Health and Safety have also changed significantly. They are now called the NEBOSH National Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals and the NEBOSH International Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals.

The assessment for the diploma has also changed:

  • Unit A & Unit DNI -> ND1/ID1 – Know – Workplace health and safety principles
    A workplace-based assignment which includes workplace simulations, workplace-based activities, reflective tasks and a research topic.

  • Unit B -> ND2/ID2 – Do – Controlling workplace health issues
    Includes a scenario-based case study online assessment.
  • Unit C -> ND3/ID3 – Do – Controlling workplace safety issues
    Includes a scenario-based case study online assessment.

If you would like to know anything more about these courses, or the changes to the syllabus please feel free to get in touch with our NEBOSH course advisors via:
01384 447915
nebosh@actassociates.co.uk


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