What is the new NEBOSH Open Book Exam?

The new NEBOSH Open Book Exam is a remote online exam that opens up a world of opportunity for those looking to get NEBOSH qualified. The OBE allows you to sit for NEBOSH assessment in your own home or another safe and suitable location safely and comfortably.

The NEBOSH General Certificate has 2 assessments:

  1. NG1/IG1: an open-book exam (OBE) and a closing interview.
  2. NG2/IG2: a 3-hour practical assignment in your workplace or any other workplace you have access to.

NEBOSH General Certificate Open Book Exam

Unit NG1/IG1 of the NEBOSH General Certificate will be assessed through an Open Book Exam (OBE). Unlike the old written exam, the new OBE allows you to use textbooks and digital resources to help you answer your questions.

The OBE still assesses your understanding of the first 4 elements of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus:

  • 1: Why we should manage workplace health and safety
  • 2: How health and safety management systems work and what they look like
  • 3: Managing risk – understanding people and processes
  • 4: Health and safety monitoring and measuring

The new OBE assesses the same learning outcomes from elements 1-4, but with scenario-based questions. This helps to test your ability to apply your learning, rather than just reference key bits of information.

The exam will open with a scenario describing a developing situation such as an incident or safety intervention. It’ll outline organisational activities, worker behaviour, and the role you play within the developing situation. You will be asked to imagine that you hold a specific role within the described organisation, like a Safety Advisor. You’ll be asked to complete a series of tasks based on the scenario. Refer to an example below:

Task 1: Discussing moral reasons for managing health and safety

You have been asked to chair the health and safety committee meeting. Before the meeting, you decide that you will open the meeting by reminding everyone of moral expectations of health and safety. Prepare notes of the moral arguments you will use at the meeting. (10 marks)

Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario.

Remember, the aim of the OBE is to test how you apply your knowledge of risk management in the real world. Your answers will need to be relevant to the situation you’re presented with and, in some cases, reference specific evidence from the scenario itself. You can refer to your course materials and digital resources to help support your answer. However, be careful not to copy and paste information directly or you’ll be scrutinised for plagerism.

The paper is worth 100 marks and you need to achieve 45 to pass. The maximum marks available for each task will be specified to help you manage your time and give you an indication of how much information to include. Your answer should be no more than 10% higher than the word count. But remember if it’s too low, it’ll be harder for you to achieve full marks. You’ll be given 24 hours to submit your answers, but it should only take you around 5 hours to complete.

Take a look at the new NEBOSH Certificate Open Book Exam Learner Guide for more information on the Open Book Exam.

When do I sit the NEBOSH General Certificate Open Book Exam?

NEBOSH Certificate open book exam dates are held throughout the year. If you’re taking a NEBOSH General Certificate online course, then you’ll need to register with your chosen provider at least 4 weeks before you want to sit your exam. If you’re taking a NEBOSH General Certificate virtual or classroom course, you’ll automatically be registered against the exam dates that match your course schedule.

NEBOSH General Certificate Open Book Exam pass rates

You have to achieve at least 45% to pass your NEBOSH General Certificate OBE. Remember, you still need to pass your NG2/IG2 practical risk assessment to achieve your full qualification. However, your overall mark (Pass, Merit, Distinction) will be based upon your score in the open book exam.

NEBOSH General Certificate NG2/IG2 Risk Assessment Practical

Unit NG2/IG2 of the NEBOSH General Certificate is a work-based assignment that assesses your practical application of risk assessment and hazard control. You can take as long as you want on your assignment, but it should only take you around 3 hours to complete.

You’ll be asked to carry out a risk assessment of a workplace. We recommend you use your own, but you can use any workplace of your choice.

The assessment is split into 4 sections, each with their own marking criteria which need to be met:

  1. Description of organisation and methodology
  2. Risk assessment
  3. Action plan
  4. Review and communicate

Your risk assessment should identify a range of hazards from different categories, such as workplace, equipment, electrical or fire. For each hazard, it is important to consider who is at risk and how. Also consider existing control measures as well as additional and timescales.

You’ll then need to identify the 3 most significant hazards and present actionable control measures. At this point, you’ll need to express the legal and financial implications of not controlling them, the likelihood and severity of harm, and the specific control measures needed to reduce risk.

Read our guide on how to complete the NG2/IG2 Risk Assessment for more tips and guidance.

NEBOSH General Certificate Pass Marks

You need to get 45 marks in the NG1/IG1 Open Book Exam and 100% marks in NG2/IG2 Practical Risk Assessment. NEBOSH Open Book Exam grade marking:

  • Distinction: 75+
  • Credit: 65-74
  • Pass: 45-64
  • Refer (Fail): 0-44

You have 5 years to pass both units of the NEBOSH Certificate which starts from the moment you pass your first unit.

NEBOSH General Certificate Results

NEBOSH will email you your results within 50 working days of taking your exam and/or submitting your Risk Assessment. They’ll use the email address that you put on your booking form, so always double-check it’s correct.

Then, we will send a hard copy certificate out 6-8 weeks after passing both exams. As of 2019, you’ll only receive one hard-copy Certificate for the whole qualification. The certificate will show your final qualification grade: pass, credit or distinction.

Learn NEBOSH course with us today.

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