Why You Should Take The NEBOSH General Certificate In Occupational Health And Safety

Nebosh By Matthew Coombes

The NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is the ideal qualification for those with responsibilities to manage health and safety at work. This includes managers, supervisors, team leaders, and those looking to develop a career in health and safety.

Why you should take the General Certificate?

The NEBOSH General Certificate is based on an extensive history of health and safety training. The course is accredited by NEBOSH, the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health, who set the syllabus specifications and provide the assessments and marking criteria. ACT have been delivering the course since 1991, and the course is constantly evolving to match the pace of the changing workplace.

Health and safety will never be a static topic, and the legislation, guidance and training that is provided to professionals in all industries frequently changes in relation to scientific evidence, trends in health and the needs of the workplace. When significant changes are made, this is reflected in the General Certificate syllabus and our delivery of the course, helping us to ensure that all of our learners are fully up to date.

Course content

One of the best things about the general certificate course is the scope of the course content; it has been designed to cover the main requirements and understanding that are needed to manage health and safety in any sector across the UK. The syllabus has been specifically designed to be applicable to as many workplaces and industries as possible, and as such it has been widely adopted across the UK.

Unit NG1: Management of health and safety

  • Element 1: Why should we 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

Unit NG2: Risk assessment

  • 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

The course also breaks down key legislation that you will need to be aware of in order to manage health and safety effectively, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The scope of the skills

The General Certificate isn’t just about legislation, it also helps you to understand common workplace hazards and identify suitable control measures to reduce risk. This is a great skill to start developing, and you may find that you’re able to apply your learning to your own workplace as you progress through your studies.

There is also an emphasis on effectively conducting risk assessments, which is a crucial part of ensuring that your workplace is complying with legal duties and regulations.

Three ways to learn with ACT

We provide the NEBOSH National General Certificate in three different ways.

Online, as a self-directed e-learning course Our e-learning course is a great option for those that want to learn in their own time and at their own pace. Our course license includes everything that you will need in order to complete your studies, available 24/7 online and at a reduced cost when compared to our classroom and virtual classroom courses. Our support staff will also work with you to create a study plan and book you on your exam when the time comes.

Online, as a live tutor-led course – Since the beginning of the pandemic, our tutors have been working hard to keep delivering health and safety training online through the use of video conferencing software. This allows us to provide a convenient and effective means of training that has the interactivity of a classroom course, but without the need to travel to a venue or stay overnight. We’ve broken our General Certificate course into three study periods, with a break in between them to allow you to self-study and digest all of the course content. Our General Certificate virtual course also includes full access to our e-learning platform, meaning that you can revise any areas you feel you would like to cover again in the run up to your exam.

In the classroom – With the easing of lockdown restrictions and covid-secure measures put in place such as social distancing and reduced class sizes, we have been able to keep delivering our vital health and safety training throughout the last year. If you prefer in-person training, the General Certificate classroom course is still available in our West Midlands venue. We have found that classroom training is often best for those that have been out of education for a while, or those who feel they may need extra guidance for their exam.

Online Exams

The NG1 module of the course is assessed with an open book exam, which is completed fully online. You’ll be provided with a scenario describing a fictional workplace, and will be asked to complete tasks relating to this scenario using details provided and your underpinning knowledge – for example, drafting a memo to send to the company director to convince him to investigate a recent incident.

You will have set period of 24 hours to access your exam paper, plan, answer, check and submit answers back to NEBOSH. The open book exam encourages you to use study materials including notes, textbooks, legislation and any other relevant literature to help you to answer the questions.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking that this exam will be a piece of cake though! I can tell you from experience that the NEBOSH General Certificate open book exam is still a tough nut to crack, and proper revision is essential.

In addition to the open book exam for NG1, you will also have to submit a risk assessment for the NG2 module. This risk assessment is completed using a template provided by NEBOSH and is a great opportunity for those that have never completed a risk assessment before to complete one in their current workplace. This assessment helps you to understand the learning throughout the course in the context of your own workplace, and can help you to identify issues that may need to be resolved before you’ve even finished your training.

If you are already familiar with risk assessments, the NEBOSH risk assessment template is a good refresher on what sort of things you should be looking to include in a general risk assessment.

If you’re thinking about taking the NEBOSH General Certificate, you can find out more about the course by talking to one of our NEBOSH course advisors. We’re happy to answer any questions that you may have, and will make sure that the course is suitable to your needs.

Email: nebosh@actassociates.co.uk
Telephone: 01384 447915


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