New NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus

NEBOSH has launched a new syllabus for the National General Certificate making it better for learners and employers. They listened to leading experts and organisations to find out what they need their managers to know and do. It now better reflects the role of modern health and safety professionals and places a greater emphasis on risk management.

Here is everything you need to know about how the new syllabus and assessment helps provide even better preparation for managers.

What’s changed about the course?

Emerging topics that are impacting the workplace have now been included. They have also changed the assessment structure so there is now one exam (previously two exams) and one workplace-based assignment.

The updated syllabus covers two units:

NG1:  Management of health and safety – a taught unit with a written examination


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

NG2: Risk assessment – a practical unit with a workplace-based assignment.


  • Physical and psychological health
  • Musculoskeletal health
  • Chemical and biological agents
  • General workplace issues
  • Work equipment
  • Fire

The language is now plain English to make it easier for learners to understand and use of command words in the assessment has been removed. See the full syllabus outline here.

The assessment:

Unit 1 (NG1) exam

The assessment for NG1 is now the only timed and invigilated written exam for the updated General Certificate designed to assess what the learner knows.

The assessment is a 2-hour written exam comprising 11 questions.

The qualification grade is based on the result of the exam as the Risk Assessment Assignment (assessing NG2) is a pass/refer grade. Learners need to pass both units (NG1 and NG2) before the qualification can be awarded.

Unit 2 (NG2) Practical Risk Assessment

The second assessment is a workplace-based assignment aimed at assessing what the learner can do. It is where the learner can practically apply what they have learnt from the whole course.

Making the assignment ‘workplace-based’ means that the risk assessment will be realistic and provides added value for you and your employer.

The assessment is made up of four stages:

  1. Description of the organisation and methodology used
  2. Risk assessment – 10 hazards from at least 5 different hazard categories
  3. Prioritise three actions of the highest importance and include your reasonings
  4. Review, communicate and check.


Frequently asked questions


How long is the new course?

The course is now 9 days instead of 10.  The NG1 exam will take place on the morning of Day 10.

Online learners have the same access to tutorial videos, interactive scenarios, forums, tutor support and examination prep as before.

Learners have five years to complete the qualification from the date they pass the first unit. 


I’ve already started studying the National General Certificate?  Will I need to transfer to the new syllabus and start again?

No, you can continue studying the course you’ve started.

Online learners are welcome to request access and study the updated version. Classroom training sessions for the new syllabus started in November 2019.


Can I take the new assessments having studied the old syllabus?

NEBOSH does not allow students to switch from the old syllabus to the new.     


How do I register for my exam?

Assessments are booked and paid for via your British Safety Council Account Manager. To change an assessment booking, please contact your Account Manager on 020 8741 1231.

Examination transfers are subject to availability and may incur additional fees.

To book a resit

Book a resit (NGC1 exam) >

Book a resit (GC2 exam) >

Book a resit (GC3 practical assessment) >


How can I book the course?

To book, just visit the NEBOSH General Certificate page.