Major changes are now taking place with the NEBOSH General Certificate, one of the organisations most recognisable and trusted qualifications.  NEBOSH say these changes have been made to make the qualification more ‘learner friendly’ by utilising language that is easier to understand and to make sure it provides immediate benefits to employers.

Both the National and International versions have been revamped with a fresh new syllabus created with the assistance of over 3,000 leading experts, organisations, learners and learning partners in an effort to ensure that it provides for health and safety in the modern workplace.

The Reasons Behind the Change?



How has the Course Changed?

NEBOSH have clearly listened to what businesses have said they need and have designed and streamlined a new syllabus with content that represents the role of a real-life health and safety professional in the modern workplace.  Importantly they have also paid particular attention to their learners and have updated the language to make it easier for people to understand and changed the structure so that there is a greater focus on practical application rather than exams.

The new specification now consists of 2 units, the:

  • NG1 – a taught unit with a written exam to assess what you know
  • NG2 – a practical unit with an assignment to assess what you can do 

A quick comparison highlights that the following changes have taken place:

Current Version New Version
  1.  Management of Health and Safety
  2.  Controlling Workplace Hazards
  3.  A practical workplace inspection and report.
  1.  Management of Health and Safety
  2.  Risk Assessment
Study Time NEBOSH recommend 80 hours of tuition time and 53 hours of private study time. Suggesting a minimum requirement of 133 hours across the whole course. NEBOSH recommends 68 hours of tuition time and 40 hours of private study time.  Suggesting a minimum of 108 hours across the whole course. This is 25 hours less for the new version.
Examinations Unit 1 & 2 both have examinations of a two hour duration. Their will now be one examination of two hours in length covering the unit one content (Management of Health and Safety).

The unit two (Controlling Workplace Hazards) will now be assessed via a practical post-course risk assessment project that the learner carries out at their own workplace (see below).

Practical Assessment A workplace inspection and the production of a written report to management. A risk assessment at your place of work, consisting of four parts:

  1. Description of organisation and risk assessment methodology:
  2. The risk assessment itself:
  3. Prioritisation of the three most serious hazards:
  4. Reviewing, communicating and checking the risk assessment.

Click here to view the new NEBOSH guidance on the requirement.

Command Words The exam questions make use of what NEBOSH call ‘command words’:

  • Identify
  • Outline
  • Describe
  • Explain
  • Give

Requiring individuals to learn what each command word means, as well as many aspects of health and safety!

NEBOSH considers that the new exams use a less formal language that is easier to understand and they have produced an example in the new format.

An example of the new exam paper can be downloaded here.


Is My Current Qualification Still Valid?

If you have previously been awarded the NEBOSH General Certificate it is still valid and can still be used to apply for membership of organisations such as IOSH and the IIRSM.  More importantly however, is your CPD up to date?  If not it wouldn’t hurt to consider undertaking the new syllabus to bring you up to date.

If you are considering undertaking your NEBOSH General Certificate why not give us a call on: 0203 633 5505, email us at: or book directly at: