What to Expect from the NEBOSH General Certificate Exams

5 minute read | Jun 28 2018

NEBOSH General Certificate examTo achieve your NEBOSH General Certificate qualification, you need to pass 3 assessments - 2 x written exams and 1 workplace assignment. Don't worry - you'll get lots of exam preparation and support throughout your course, and in this post we've gone through everything you need to know about the NEBOSH General Certificate exams so you know just what to expect.  For more general information on the NGC take a look here.

What exams are there for the NEBOSH General Certificate?

Unit NGC1 and GC2 are both assessed with a 2-hour written exam; each exam paper is split into two sections.

Section one contains 1 long-answer question worth 20 marks which you’re advised to spend approximately 30 minutes on.

Section two contains 10 short-answer questions worth 8 marks each. You won’t get a set of questions to choose from like other exams you may have taken in the past; you have to answer ALL questions from both sections
GC3 is a work-based assessment consisting of a health and safety inspection and written report, which you must complete within 2 weeks of taking your written exams.

What can I expect on the day?

Sitting the NEBOSH General Certificate examsYour course provider will have given you all the details of your exam such as location, time and date. It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to arrive before your exam starts, you don’t want to turn up all flustered minutes before the exam starts.

You’ll sit your exam under exam conditions. You’ll be asked to present photographic ID (passport or driving licence) which the exam invigilator will check against your candidate number and then give you your answer book.

Your answer book simply contains lined paper with a square in the top of each corner where you write the number of the question you’re answering. You won’t need to fill anything in on the front; it’ll already be pre-printed with your name and candidate number.

The invigilator will then hand out the exam question papers, and let you know that the exam has started; you’ll have exactly 2 hours. They’ll also let you know when the exam will finish, usually by writing the exam finish time on a board or flip chart. There’ll be a clock in the room for you to keep an eye on the time and the invigilator will also give you reminders at key times to help keep you on track, i.e. when an hour has passed and when you have 30 minutes remaining.

Pass rates

To achieve your NEBOSH General Certificate qualification you have to pass all three assessments.
The actual pass mark can vary, but it’s usually set at 45% for NGC1 and GC2 and 60% for GC3. Once you’ve passed all three assessments, your marks will be added together and you’ll be awarded your final qualification grade:

  • Pass: 150 – 179 marks
  • Credit: 180 – 209 marks
  • Distinction: 210+ marks

NEBOSH General Certificate Exam Centres

Accredited course providers have their own venues which they use for holding NEBOSH General Certificate courses and exams, and with over 600 course providers across the world, there’s plenty to choose from.

Astutis holds exams at 17 training centres in the UK; you can see all of our NEBOSH General Certificate exam centres here.

NEBOSH General Certificate Exam Dates

If you’re taking a classroom course, you will usually sit your exams a week or so after you finish the course. However if you’re taking your course online, you have the flexibility to choose when you want to sit your exam.
Standard NEBOSH General Certificate exams are held 4 times a year in March, June, September and December; all course providers will hold these exams. Some course providers will also put on additional exams throughout the year, these exams are still set and marked by NEBOSH, but are held on a date chosen by the provider. You can see the full list of Astutis NEBOSH General Certificate exam dates here.

Usually, you’ll sit your NGC1 exam in the morning (9:30am) and GC2 exam in the afternoon (2pm) on the same day, however you can take your exams on different days if you wish; your course provider will be able to arrange this for you. You must submit your GC3 assessment within 2 weeks of sitting your second written exam.

When will I get my exam results?

NGC certificateNEBOSH will email you your results within 10-12 weeks of sitting your exam. They’ll use the email address that you put on your booking form, so make sure you double check it’s typed correctly. If you haven’t received your results in that time then contact your course provider and they’ll be able to help.

Your hard copy certificate will be sent out shortly after you receive your results and will display your final qualification grade; pass, credit or distinction.

Working outside the UK?

If you are not based in the UK, learn more about the NEBOSH International General Certificate and the exams.

Want to know more? Get Your Free NEBOSH Certificate Taster Pack

Tags: NEBOSH General Certificate

Jason Mordecai

Jason is Exams Co-ordinator at Astutis.