The BCF Group

The NEBOSH General Certificate for a Health and Safety Overview


For those thinking about enrolling upon a NEBOSH General Certificate course, there are often two primary reasons for doing so...

1) Recognition and Respect for the Qualification

One is to achieve such a highly recognised qualification. NEBOSH stands for the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health and is one of the best known and respected health and safety awarding bodies in both the United Kingdom and indeed worldwide.

Potential employers looking to fill vacant health and safety positions will typically require potential applicants to hold a NEBOSH qualification such as the General Certificate. For supervisory positions with health and safety responsibility in the construction industry, this may be a NEBOSH Construction Certificate. Therefore, any individuals considering applying for such job roles will stand out prominently against other candidates also being considered for the vacancy, vastly increasing their chances of success.

Potential employers value the NEBOSH General Certificate for a number of different reasons:

  • The syllabus of the NEBOSH General Certificate covers such a wide variety of health and safety risks, and in a respectable amount of detail thanks to the ten full days of teaching, that those who successfully pass the assessments and achieve the qualification will undoubtedly be highly knowledgeable about safety, health and well-being as a consequence. This is discussed in more detail in the second section further down this page.

  • Whilst there is no denying that a Certificate-level qualification such as the General (or the Construction, Fire or Environmental Certificate for that matter) is easier to achieve than a NEBOSH Diploma, it still takes a significant amount of effort, discipline and dedication to achieve, which are exactly the traits that an employer will want to see from their workers. So not only does holding such a health and safety qualification put a candidate ahead of their rivals for the position, but the very act of achieving it goes a long way towards proving and showing the individual's commitment and work-ethic to their potential boss.

  • Those employers who desire that their employees in certain positions hold a NEBOSH General Certificate or similar will usually pay for these individuals to attend the course out of the company's health and safety training budget. This means that people who already hold the qualification, either paid for by a previous employer or by themselves personally, will seem a much more attractive proposition than those without the qualification as they will not require money spending on them to be trained.

2) The Amount of Information Taught on NEBOSH General Certificate Courses

The NEBOSH General Certificate qualification, although not as comprehensive or substantial as the NEBOSH Diploma as mentioned in the bullet points above, still covers a heck of a lot of information. Whilst innumerable individual dangers threaten the health and safety of employees, which are particularly dependent upon the industry and specific nature of the work being undertaken on the premises, there are some which are present in virtually every place of work. These include:

  • Hazardous substances
  • Fire
  • Electricity; namely electrocution and fire risks
  • The psychological health and well-being of employees
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Working at height and the dangers of falling from that height
  • Manual handling
  • Dangers from using tools, machines and equipment

The NEBOSH General syllabus also covers many other aspects of health and safety relating to a workplace including applicable laws and legislation, environmental considerations and how activities impact the surrounding environment, permits to work, risk assessments, plans and procedures, health and safety policies, communication of safety information, plus much more.

As is evident from the above, the NEBOSH General Certificate training course provides a fantastic overview of so many different dangers and risks. Those who attend the course will learn a tremendous amount of beneficial information which can then be taken back and put to effective use in the workplace, for both keeping themselves safe as well as those round about them.

The knowledge acquired by attending the General Certificate is not only useful, it can potentially be the difference between life and death, or at the very least preventing an accident or illness befalling the individual or their colleagues. It is for this reason, combined with the status and recognition associated with being awarded and accredited by NEBOSH, that the NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular health and safety courses available today, and demanded so much by employers.

NEBOSH Courses

Please see below for some NEBOSH courses and qualifications which you may be interested in:

NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety is the flagship NEBOSH qualification, and is the first UK vocational qualification to be developed specifically for health and safety professionals.

The NEBOSH National Diploma provides the core health and safety knowledge (transferable across industry, commerce and the public sector) which, combined with understanding and appropriate application, underpins the competent performance of an occupational health and safety practitioner.

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NEBOSH National Diploma in Environmental Management

The NEBOSH Environmental Diploma is intended for safety professionals and managers who are taking on environmental responsibilities. It is designed for individuals with responsibilities for the management of environmental risk in relation to the damage caused by work activities.

Holders of the NEBOSH Environmental Diploma will be able to advise their organisation on the environmental impacts of their activities, on their legal obligations and the means of continuously improving their environmental performance as part of an integrated management approach.

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NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

The NEBOSH General Certificate is one of the most popular and widely-held health and safety qualifications in the UK. It is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who require an understanding of general health and safety issues.

The NEBOSH General Certificate covers the main legal requirements for health and safety in the UK, along with the identification and control of workplace hazards, and the practical application of this knowledge. The general content of the NEBOSH General Certificate syllabus means it is suitable and relevant for those working in virtually any industry, and is often used as a solid foundation for those going on to further study and specialising in a particular area such as construction site health and safety or fire safety.

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NEBOSH National Certificate in Fire Safety and Risk Management

The NEBOSH Fire Certificate is aimed primarily at managers and supervisors who are responsible for fire safety within their organisation and compliance with applicable fire safety legislation.

The course aims to give delegates the knowledge to conduct and review fire risk assessments, along with fire prevention and protective measures within most workplaces.

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NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health and Safety

The NEBOSH Construction Certificate, or NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health & Safety to give it its full title, is one of the most recognised health and safety qualificatons in the construction industry.

It is aimed primarily at managers, supervisers, CDM co-ordinators and anyone else who is responsible for making sure that construction activities under their control are undertaken safely.

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NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate, or NEBOSH National Certificate in Environmental Management to give it its full title, is an environmental health and safety course which is intended to be taken by managers, supervisors and any other employees who are responsible for managing environmental issues at their workplace.

The NEBOSH Environmental Certificate qualification focuses on UK law, so is really only suitable for those who are based and operate within the UK.

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