If you have decided the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is the best qualification for you to develop professionally, the method you choose to study is the next important decision.
Typically the learning options available to study the NEBOSH Certificate are online (also known as e-learning) and classroom. Your circumstances such as availability and budget, preferred approach to learning and motivation will determine your choice of method. Read the features of the methods available and decide which is best for you. Our introduction to the NEBOSH General Certificate also covers these points.
Duration of an Online NEBOSH Certificate
Online learning has become a much more popular method to study the NEBOSH Certificate offering the benefits of convenience: you choose when and where you study without any time and place limitations.
If you are unable to take time off work to attend a course, you prefer a flexible learning option and you have a limited budget, the online NEBOSH General Certificate is a perfect solution. It is recommended that you dedicate around 113 hours to completing the course plus additional hours for exam preparation.
All you need is a reliable internet connection and a laptop, computer, tablet or a mobile phone and you are set to study! You access the course online, hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS - software that delivers your NEBOSH Certificate training course).
What's Involved in Online Learning?
Online learning presents the NEBOSH General Certificate as content that you can engage with, using diverse media in addition to text, such as audio, videos, animations and plenty of interactive activities to use. Key health and safety concepts are presented using multimedia and interactive activities to develop your understanding of the topic and make it more interesting rather than just passively reading.
When you are choosing which course provider to study with, find out exactly what the online NEBOSH General Certificate course offers you throughout your learning experience. Here are some essential elements that can make the difference between a motivating and negative experience.
Quality Features of an Online NEBOSH General Certificate Course
Ongoing tutor support: being able to access your tutor via email or phone to answer any of your course questions is essential. In addition, if you have any IT issues when you are starting the online course or for practical information about booking exams etc., there should be a helpdesk to support you.
Sharing your learning: nobody wants to feel isolated when they are studying. Webinars are a very useful tool to have live tutor guidance on any specific areas and interaction with other students. Online discussion forums with other NEBOSH Certificate learners and tutors are important to discuss ideas and share experiences to help your understanding.
Effective exam preparation: your online course should have plenty of opportunities to practise exam questions with feedback on how to answer questions and suggested answers. Ideally, a good online NEBOSH Certificate course provider will also offer mock exams that are marked with feedback. It is a perfect chance to really test how well prepared you for the exams.
An Interesting and easy-to-use online course: an online NEBOSH Certificate course that is well presented and easy to navigate is essential when you have to spend around 113 hours of studying! Interactive media such as videos, audio, typical workplace scenarios, quizzes to check your progress are essential components of a NEBOSH Certificate you can engage with and really develop your understanding of concepts.
An alternative to online learning (face-to-face learning) is a class-based course led by a NEBOSH Certificate tutor. A classroom course offered by a training provider is usually held at venues across the UK at specific dates. You choose the most convenient location and date for you.
Duration of a Class NEBOSH Certificate
It is typically a 10-day class course not including the exams. The duration of the course will depend on the course provider but by far the most popular is splitting the course into 2 weeks with a gap in between. There are however some other approaches to organising the pace of the class based NEBOSH Certificate such as 1 day a week over 10 weeks or as an intensive course of two consecutive weeks.
What's Involved in Class Course?
A class-based NEBOSH Certificate is led by a tutor who directs the training of the students. You also benefit from sharing knowledge and experiences with others with the opportunity to refer to an experienced tutor on hand to answer questions, explain ideas and to structure the pace of the learning. Classroom learning demands at least a 10-day commitment of attending the course for a fixed time and this means you need to take time away from your job. You need to be prepared to dedicating these few weeks to studying without any compromise. It is not recommended to miss any days of a classroom course.
Quality Features of a Class-based NEBOSH General Certificate Course
Tutor(s)’ experience and qualifications: an effective NEBOSH Certificate tutor should have had a number of years’ experience training learners but also a background of working as a Health and Safety Practitioner in a workplace so they can draw on this real life scenarios when teaching concepts. A well-organised and interesting tutor that engage the learners using well-presented materials is the most important criterion of a successful class course.
Interactive learning using diverse activities: tutors should use a range of activities to engage learners and help them understand new information and concepts; this can include problem-solving, discussions, group exercises based on real workplace scenarios so you develop a clear understanding and know how to practically apply ideas to typical workplace situations.
Right number of students on the NEBOSH Certificate: ideally you need enough students for lively interaction but not too many to limit everyone’s chance to contribute. The NEBOSH caps the total number of learners on any NEBOSH Certificate classroom course at 20.
Choose the Right Learning Method for You
Most people already have a clear idea of the best learning method for the NEBOSH Certificate and it is often dictated by your circumstances but these points will clarify key features you should expect from both methods. If you are still unsure, find out more to help you choose.
This blog post was updated in September 2019 to reflect the changes in the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus.