Important changes to the NEBOSH General Certificate

6 minute read | 04 September 2019 09:30:06 BST

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Breaking news - NEBOSH have just announced updates to the world's most trusted qualifications.

The NEBOSH General Certificate (National and International) has a fresh new syllabus to teach you all about health and safety in the modern workplace. It's been updated with the help of over 3,000 leading experts, organisations, learners and learning partners. 

I’m sure you’ll have lots of questions as to how these updates affect you. So whether you're 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?

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/IG1 - a taught unit with a written exam to assess what you know
  • NG1/IG2 - a practical unit with an assignment to assess what you can do 

You can find out more about the new exams in our blog post here. 

Is the updated course longer?

No – it’s shorter! The 2018 specification recommends 113 hours of learning compared to 133 on the 2014 specification. If you’re studying in a classroom, the course will still run across 2 weeks as before. If you're studying online, you'll have the same amount of access to resources, tutor support and webinars. 

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?

Nope, 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 Course Advisors for more information on this. 

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/IG1 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/IGC1 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/IG1 questions paper while studying the 2014 specification.

Practical assessment

NG2/IG2 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. 

Our NEBOSH exams advisors can offer you more advice on this. Get in touch with them here. 

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

We'll be running exams for the 2014 specification up until March 2022. But there's a few things you need to know about registration deadlines:

Online learners

If you haven't already registered for your exam as a first time sitter, you need to register with us by 14th July 2020 to sit your exam on 9th September 2020. After that, we won't accept new registrations for the 2014 specification. We'll only accept registrations for resits. 

If you've already registered for your exam - great! Now you can focus on your revision. 

Classroom learners

As of September, all of our classroom courses will be teaching the 2018 specification. You'll be registered for your exam at the time of your booking, so you don't have to do anything. 

If you've sat a classroom course with us before September and failed your exams, then you'll have until March 2022 to resit. You'll just need to get in touch with us 8 weeks before your chosen date to register.  

How do I register for my exam?

To register for your NEBOSH General Certificate exam, just contact our NEBOSH Exams Advisors. They're on hand to help you through this process. 

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. Remember, 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, IIRSM and SAIOSH. 

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

Tags: NEBOSH General Certificate

Rosie Thomas

Rosie is the International Marketing Executive at Astutis. After graduating with a degree in Business and Management from Aberystwyth University, she joined the Astutis team to work closely with our learning development team and health and safety consultants to create useful content for our readers. Since taking her Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing online, Rosie particularly enjoys writing how-to-guides and career posts, using her own experience of online learning and professional development to offer advice to those thinking of taking a health and safety career. Rosie has also taken her NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.