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
Units
  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: bookings@goldcross-training.com or book directly at: https://goldcross-training.co.uk/nebosh-courses/

 

 

It is vitally important when undertaking any type of training course to ensure that you learn the course content to the best of your ability in order to give yourself the best possible chance of successfully completing any form of assessment – NEBOSH examinations are no different.

There is however another important aspect to consider when undertaking NEBOSH examinations and that is the use of ‘command words’ by the examining body.

Understanding NEBOSH ‘command’ words and what they mean can be the difference between a ‘pass or fail’ and delegates often have problems in determining what is meant by them – in short they are ‘action verbs’ and they provide an indicator with regard to how the examining body expect the question to be answered.

This is a short guide based on five examples contained in current NEBOSH Resources on how to recognise the ‘command words’ that you are likely to come across when undertaking the NEBOSH National General Certificate.

Command Word One:-   Identify

Meaning:  To give to reference to an item, which could be its name or title.

Type of answer required:  Normally a single word or short phrase answer is enough provided it is clear and concise.

Example Question:  Identify FOUR hazards associated with excavations?

Answer:

  • Underground Services
  • Collapse of the sides
  • Falling materials
  • Water ingress

Command Word Two:-   Give

Meaning:  To provide factual, short answers, such as an example or the meaning of something.

Type of answer required:  Normally a single word, phrase or sentence is sufficient.

Example Question:  Identify FOUR types of safety sign AND give an example in EACH case?

Answer:

  • Mandatory Signs – e.g. Wear Ear Protection
  • Warning signs – e.g. Caution Hot Surface
  • Prohibition signs – e.g. no smoking
  • Emergency or Safe Condition Signs – e.g. first-aid box

Command Word Three:-  Outline

Meaning:  To provide a short summary of the principal (important) features or different parts

Type of answer required:  Note an exhaustive description is not required, just a brief summary of the major aspects of whatever is stated in the question

Example QuestionOutline FOUR hazards associated with excavations?

Answer:

  • Underground Services – Contact with or rupturing of electricity, gas or water utilities
  • Collapse of the sides – Unsupported trench or incorrect angle of the sides
  • Falling materials – Spoil dug from excavation or materials and tools stored at ground level could fall in
  • Water ingress – Through heavy rain or burst water main

Command Word Four:-  Describe

Meaning:  To give a detailed information about the primary features of something or a subject, without trying to fully explain its operation or purpose. 

Type of answer required:  A description that is sufficient to allow an individual (in this case the examiner) to visualise what you are describing without attempting to explain.

Example Question:  Describe the mechanical hazards associated with a bench grinder?

Answer:
An entanglement hazard would be associated with the rotating spindle that the abrasive wheel is mounted on. Drawing in and trapping is associated with the gap between the tool rest and the rotating abrasive wheel. Friction or abrasion hazards would be associated with the surface of the rotating abrasive wheel and stabbing or puncture hazards could be created by flying fragments or pieces of ejected broken wheel.

Command Word Five:-  Explain

Meaning:  To give the reader an understanding and or make an idea/relationship clear to them

Type of answer required:  An explanation that sufficiently demonstrates a delegates knowledge or understanding with regard to ‘why or how’ something happens. The appropriate use of examples may be useful in answering such questions.

Example QuestionExplain how sensitive protective equipment (trip device) can reduce the risk of contact with moving parts of machinery?

Answer:
Sensitive protective equipment is designed to identify the presence of a person or body part within the danger zone of machinery. Examples of such devices include pressure mats and light beams which are connected to the machine controls and would stop the machine rapidly should a person or body part be detected.

General

Command words are specifically associated with the learning outcomes and assessment objectives of a qualification.  Knowledge of them is not only beneficial in answering exam questions but they can also be a very useful revision aid in confirming your knowledge and understanding of a specific topic.

Delegates should not let command words confuse them and they should not lose sight of what the question is asking them.  Delegates need to consider the following factors for each question posed:

  • What is the command word?
  • What do I need to say to gain marks?
  • What is or is not relevant to the question?

Use command words as a guide when answering questions which will enable you to demonstrate in your exams the level of knowledge and understanding you have regarding a topic.

The simplified guide above will help you understand what is required by each command word but better still review the NEBOSH guide in full alongside the specific course learning outcomes and assessment objectives.

When booking onto our NEBOSH Courses, our instructors will set delegates homework to help prepare them for the examination and this will include the use and understanding of ‘command words’.  Additionally Goldcross runs specific NEBOSH revision days for the benefit of all its delegates at very competitive prices.

Fell free to give us a call on: 0203 633 5505 or send us an email to discuss your NEBOSH training needs in more detail at: training@goldcross-training.com.

 

Government policies, austerity measures and even Brexit are having a continuing impact upon business and with budgets becoming stretched it is without doubt becoming more difficult to ensure that your organisation is not only capable of delivering success today but is also prepared for the future – NEBOSH training can have an impact here.

Most large businesses have grasped the impact that a good health and safety management strategy has upon their ‘bottom line’ and in assisting them in meeting their corporate social responsibilities, even if they are found wanting on occasion.

However, sadly there are still many (particularly small and medium sized organisations) that fail to understand the importance of such a strategy and the benefits it can bring.

Developing a good health and safety strategy and effectively managing workplace risk not only demonstrates to your employees that their well-being and welfare is of importance to you. It also highlights to potential customers that as an organisation you take your responsibilities to the community in which you operate and the greater environment seriously.

It should of course also be remembered that many organisations will now only contract with other like-minded organisations i.e those that can demonstrate that they follow specific standards, of which Health and safety is generally of key importance.

A poorly managed company that is willing to take risks in such an area is not generally considered to make for a good business partner and puts you at risk both financially and reputationally.

As you move forward and implement your strategy you will begin to realise the benefits generated from implementing best practices not only in reducing accidents but also in; developing your employees, engendering trust, building in both efficiency and accountability, all of which will support your drive to increase productivity.  Additionally, it will aid to build your reputation within the industry/business sector in which you operate, not only earning you the respect of your peers but more importantly potential customers.

Selecting the correct training framework for your; line managers, team leaders, supervisors and staff with health and safety related responsibilities, will be key to your success in this regard and there is no better place to start than with NEBOSH training qualifications.

The National Examination Board for Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) is recognised globally and is the most frequently demanded qualification by employers seeking to employ individuals with health and safety responsibilities.  NEBOSH qualifications are also recognised professionally by a number of institutes such as: the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM).

The NEBOSH organisation does not in itself deliver training but focuses on the development of appropriate course content/syllabuses and assessment methods.  The actual training courses are delivered by organisations such as Goldcross Training who have been fully accredited by NEBOSH to deliver the courses they provide giving assurance to organisations and individuals that they have met specific criteria.

An effective starting point is to determine who within your organisation fulfils health and safety responsibilities (not forgetting yourself of course) and booking them on a NEBOSH General Certificate training course.

This will enable you to begin building your own internal network of health and safety specialists who can then in turn provide you with the advice and support you require to drive your strategy forward.

If you think NEBOSH is the route for you in developing your organisation strategy or you are seeking to develop your own career, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We understand that training of any form comes at a cost and we will happily discuss our commitment to you in order to ensure that you receive value as a result of your commitment.