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  9. NEBOSH General Certificate Courses Provide a Strong Health and Safety Foundation

NEBOSH General Certificate Courses Provide a Strong Health and Safety Foundation

A Strong Foundation is Needed for Development

As anybody in the construction trade will know, and most people for that matter, a solid foundation is essential for any structure to be built. Without a firm and suitable foundation, it will be impossible to build anything substantial or long-lasting. The same is true for the subject of health and safety, as without a thorough understanding of the foundations and basic principles of health and safety, an individual will not be able to progress to a more comprehensive level of knowledge. Fortunately though, the NEBOSH General Certificate qualification provides a wealth of general health and safety knowledge and awareness of typical workplace hazards.

A Comprehensive Course which Requires the Time

A NEBOSH General Certificate is longer in duration than many other health and safety courses. Unlike a 2-day CITB Site Supervisors SSSTS course, or a 3-day IOSH Managing Safely course for instance, a NEBOSH General Certificate course is normally conducted over ten full-time days in a classroom. Although many providers try and cut the price by offering the NEBOSH General as an online or distance learning option, or even as a day release one-day-per-week option, pass rates are far higher when the General is taken as a full-time classroom course, which is why we only offer the course in this format. Caring more about pass rates than taking customers money is also why we pay NEBOSH for the privilege of running our own NEBOSH exams immediately at the conclusion of every course, rather than candidates having to wait up to three months to attend a NEBOSH standard exam sitting, by which time they are likely to have forgotten much of the information taught.

Despite the NEBOSH General Certificate being taught over ten full days, the subject of health and safety in the workplace is so broad, with so many different risks and potential dangers to health which exist in the wide variety of industries means that even the vast amount of information imparted by the tutor on the course will only be able to cover a limited amount.

This means that the scope of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus focuses only on providing a general introduction and overview of common hazards which are likely to be present in the majority of workplaces and industries, as opposed to highly specific information or even an introduction to every possible danger in every single industry. Examples of these common dangers include:

  • Hazardous substances (COSHH)
  • Electricity and electrical hazards
  • Tools, machinery and equipment
  • Fire
  • Psychological and mental health issues
  • Movement of people and goods around the workplace or site

There are also many other hazards covered during the course along with those listed above, as well as looking at relevant topics such as applicable legislation, health and safety management systems, risk assessments, audits and environmental considerations amongst others.

The NEBOSH General Certificate is Suitable for All

The fact that the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus provides a good foundation and introduction to topics is also the reason why it can be taken by anyone, including those who have had little or no health and safety training in the past. Unlike a NEBOSH Diploma qualification for instance which builds upon existing levels of health and safety knowledge, the fact that the General Certificate provides an introduction and foundational overview for hazards means that no prior knowledge is required.

Just because a NEBOSH General Certificate provides an overview or introduction, that does not mean however that the information taught is basic or not detailed enough to be of any value; far from it. Even though there is a lot of subject matter to get through, ten full-time days of training still allows for topics to be covered in a lot of depth, and to a level of detail which will be more than suitable for the majority of them in terms of their current job role. A small number will require further, more specialised training courses depending upon their job role, but for most the NEBOSH General Certificate qualification will more than suffice.

What do People do After the NEBOSH General Certificate?

Whilst for many the NEBOSH General Certificate will provide them with enough information for their job role, others may use this qualification as a foundation upon which to progress further with their health and safety education. A number of individuals will choose to progress up to the NEBOSH National Diploma which is a higher level qualification than the General Certificate. A NEBOSH Diploma builds upon the information taught during the NEBOSH General Certificate, which is why it is highly advisable and often a pre-requisite of most reputable health and safety training providers to only accept enrolment upon a NEBOSH Diploma course from those delegates who have already successfully achieved the General Certificate.

The NEBOSH National Diploma is an extremely time-consuming course due to the sheer amount of work and self-study which needs to be undertaken. It is one of the most highly-respected health and safety qualifications in the world because of the discipline required and knowledge required to be able to complete it. For this reason, a far smaller number attempt the Diploma in comparison to the Certificate, and of those who do enrol pass rate percentages are much lower than they are for the NEBOSH General Certificate.

For those who do not want to move up to the Diploma level health and safety qualification, there is also the opportunity to take a Fire or Construction Certificate and specialise in one of these areas without needing to re-do the common NGC1 unit. At the time of writing (September 2016), as long as the NGC1 unit was passed within the previous five years it does not need repeating.


Ultimately, even if the NEBOSH General Certificate is the final destination for an individual in terms of their health and safety education, either because they do not want to achieve a higher qualification or are in a job role which does not require anything higher or more specific, then the NEBOSH General Certificate will have provided them with a tremendous overview of common workplace dangers, which will not only serve them well in terms of helping to keep their own person free from harm, but will also lessen the likelihood of them causing an incident which endangers others. Either way, having workers who hold a NEBOSH General Certificate qualification will result in a much safer place of work for all.

NEBOSH General Certificate Articles

Please see below for some articles related to the NEBOSH General Certificate qualification which you may be interested in:

Articles related to the NEBOSH General Certificate course

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