This blog is for those who are looking to pursue a career as a safety engineer by choosing NEBOSH IGC.
In this blog, I will discuss the assessment changes NEBOSH has made under the recent Pandemic. The changes are only made for paper one of the both NEBOSH IGC (International General certification) and NEBOSH NGC (National General certification) in new and old syllabus. Paper on is generally referred as IG 1, NG 1, IGC 1 & NGC 1 and is not related or is the extent to next paper. So for those who have failed or going to take Paper 2 (GC2) may not have any relevance in this video as NEBOSH has not hinted or announced any revised policy for them.
As you all know that NEBOSH exam used to be invigilated, handwritten and time-constrained on the decided venue (more often at British Council). NEBOSH recent changes in the exam policies are due to current COVID-19 pandemic to make it more accessible and create a safe environment for the candidates, as many other companies around, GC1 exam to be submitted online and has been divided into two parts
- Home-based open-book assessment
- Closing interview
Here we will provide you with the tips and suggestions on the following
First, how we have to prepare ourselves for this exam and for closing interview. Second, what NEBOSH expect from you and thirdly how can you perform in the best manner in your exam now considering the first part that how to prepare for an open book exam.
I need to inform you that this proposal has been approved by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) and UK regulators have accepted the proposal and treat it on the same level so quality will not be affected.
Now how this paper will be conducted,
Of course, it will be at home and to be completed in a time frame of 24 hours and you can have access to your textbook, notes and digital resources (online and offline). You should complete it in your own wording, it will be research-oriented paper and if you are copying from any source you have to write it in the proper reference list.
I will also explain about closing interview at the end of this video they have given tentative dates and planning to take first open book exam in July 2020 but they are working on it and will produce more details which I will surely communicate with you paper.
Format will be almost same as before like 11 questions and no choice but the changes is that now paper will be scenario based in which any safety incident or intervention will be discussed, you will be given some role like safety manager or supervisor and then you will be given series of task and sub-task to perform keeping the scenario in mind questions, understanding and level of information will remain same as before.
Shortly we will discuss NEBOSH expectations from students Now also remember memorizing without concept will not help you at all you should have clear idea of all parts and concepts of course with their position in book again your answer should be in your own wording and reference of any copy paste must be mentioned if you did so As you know, before this duration of paper was as you know before this duration of paper was 2 hours (half hour more if your mother tongue is not English)but now they have given you 24 hours in which you have to sleep eat and take rest as well but if you will give focused time then new paper will take 3 to 4 and maximum 5 hours for completion.
You have option to make it handwritten or to type your answer but keep in mind it has to be submitted within 24 hours and after that you will be marked absent as they will not accept it you can give examples related to given scenario in support of your answer NEBOSH expect that students should be aware of all learning outcomes and that the same what trainer teaches you they expect subject knowledge at the same level as before and they also ensure they will not give any part of paper out of course in order to give best performance you need to do is Reading, Reading, Reading and Revision to understand the context instead of memorizing it all.
The maximum study related to real world examples and specially textbook with the position of topics so that time will not be wasted in searching tips for this exam include you should have quite room with table and chair with no distractions snacks should be available to maintain energy level and complete focus will help to finish it in 3 to 5 hours be relax and take care of your sleep, meals and rest.
NEBOSH also give criteria for acceptable behavior they are expecting you to be responsible person they give you some permissions like access to open resources and preparing your own work and where it is not then referring the source as you know NEBOSH deals mal-practices very seriously that include plagiarism, collusion or impersonation plagiarism is to copy content from somewhere and representing it your own work Collusion is also kind of plagiarism of two or more students worked together and give some portion identical where impersonation is to hire someone else and purchase services to perform your examination.
NEBOSH will not accept These mal-practices and NEBOSH will also give you learner declaration as ethical agreement that you are aware of all policies and rules regarding Mal practices and will abide by the decision. NEBOSH will check exam itself and trainers will only make you prepare and will make your concept grades will be as before 45-64(pass), 65-74(credit) and 75+(distinction)one good news is that they announced they will not do strict Marking and also follow the ‘no detriment’ policy and also give allowance in marking in other words soft marking considering many students will be giving it first time in such a way now coming towards closing interview you will be form about date and time and it will be conducted through video link using tab, mobile or laptops.
Step 1 will be the introduction given by the interviewer (nominated by learning provider or center) then he will ask your identity and you have to show either ID card passport or driving licence if someone doesn’t have internet or other facilities he can give face to face interview and if there will be no transportation available to go then interview will be postponed but it will be must after checking your identity he will ask you to show your entire room and no one should be there & camera position will be set in such a way that entrance door will remain in view of interviewer.
In case if you are taking care of kids or another vulnerable person then you should inform in advance if there is no other way of their care and also inform interviewer of their presence in room in case of any infirmity or any other issue reasonable adjustment can be asked for but obviously before interview now the viva or questions will be asked but will be obviously based on your exams you will be asked to explain your work and way you did your work in general terms then he may also ask specific questions.
But remember he is not there to mark you He only need to be satisfied that you did it on your own and if he will be satisfied with you then your result will be announced in given time he will not inform you regarding his satisfaction but he will inform the Bosch only and directly NEBOSH can also ask evidence of satisfaction from him so he will not allowed to cheat if he will be satisfied from all then it can be considered as malpractice from him but obviously if and only.
If NEBOSH will find some evidence and only one who attempted paper on his own he can easily satisfy him-if he is not satisfied then the NEBOSH may take second interview or they can conduct investigation considering malpractice again reminding you if you will do your paper on your own you will surely satisfy him easily and all the students should not be brought in dangerous zone by giving satisfaction report for all interviewer should not give any unethical favor tips for interview include.
You should have downloaded software for video link and practice with friend to avoid camera shyness and practice with him explaining how you completed the exam keep your identity with you You should be comfortable and in quite room with glass of water and last but not least be relax these are good changes and will surely increase passing chances as there are many people that have issue in memorizing but with clear concepts one can easily pass this exam.
I will update you will more information once it is released from NEBOSH. Stay safe during these times and I will you all the best of luck.
NEBOSH Open Book Examination Learner Guide
NEBOSH are committed to supporting our learners to complete their qualifications and continue their learning journey while staying safe. We are therefore introducing an open book examination that can be taken at home as a replacement for the invigilated paper-based examinations for Unit 1 of our National and International General Certificates.
Open book examinations are commonly used and are as valid and reliable as other forms of assessment. Their introduction will ensure NEBOSH General Certificate learners can continue their learning journey without further delay but with the assurance that the quality and standards NEBOSH qualifications are known for are not compromised. This will include scrutiny for plagiarism and collusion.
If you are a General Certificate Learner, this document will:
- help you prepare for your open book examination and closing interview
- clarify what to expect
- provide guidance on how to perform at your best.
2. The assessment
What is an open book examination?
An open book examination can test the same learning outcomes and assessment criteria as invigilated paper-based examinations. However, unlike a closed book assessment, you can access textbooks and digital resources when completing an open book examination.
Open book examinations test your ability to extract and apply relevant knowledge and organise it to address the question asked.
When will the open book examination be available?
We are currently finalising the new assessment and will confirm the first assessment date shortly. We will ensure you have enough time to revise and prepare in advance.
How will I access and submit my open book examination?
Our internal processes and infrastructure are being adapted to support this alternative assessment.
Once the details have been finalised, we will explain how to register for an assessment. We will communicate these arrangements via our Learning Partners and through NEBOSH’s website, newsletters and social media channels.
Once you have been registered to an open book examination, you will receive further instructions including timings and how to access and submit your assessment.
What will the format of the open book examination be?
The open book assessment will begin by giving you a scenario. This will typically describe a realistic organisation or workplace with an outline of normal operational activities and worker behaviour. The scenario may go on to outline a developing situation, such as an incident or safety intervention. You may be asked to imagine that you hold a specific role, such as a safety manager, in the workplace described.
You will be asked to carry out a series of tasks, which may be split into several sub-tasks. We will specify the maximum marks available for each to help you manage your time. These tasks will partially or entirely draw on the sign posts and evidence within the scenario. Answers therefore need to be relevant to the scenario and, in some cases, specific evidence will be required to support answers.
As there is an expectation of more detail and reflection, you will be given 24 hours to research and complete the examination. This is a challenge that really tests your ability to interpret the scenario before answering the questions set using the knowledge gained through your General Certificate studies. You will be able to complete the assessment at home wherever you are in the world.
Dependent on the specific scenario, an example question might be:
How could you improve consultation with the workforce in this organisation?
Note: Support your answer using examples from the scenario.
Assess the effectiveness of consultation within this organisation.
Note: Support your answer using examples from the scenario.
Will I still need to revise?
The simple answer is yes! Every assessment in any form is designed to ensure you have met the Unit’s learning outcomes so you should be as prepared as you would be for any other assessment.
You will have the opportunity during the open book examination to look in books and search the web, but this should be supplementary to thorough and robust revision and preparation.
Although this is an open book examination, it is important that you still revise and familiarise yourself with your notes. You will have a limited time to complete and submit your answers and you will be surprised how quickly this time will pass.
How can I best prepare?
Continue to work with your tutor and Learning Partner and take advantage of all teaching and support available.
As part of your preparations complete wider reading so you don’t have to do this during the examination. You want to instead be able to focus on the scenario and the questions being asked and be capable of retrieving relevant information fast. To do this you must be familiar with your notes, organising them in advance so you can find anything you need quickly during the examination.
Make sure you continue to work with your Learning Partner and follow their revision and preparation advice. This will include:
- studying your course materials
- making sure you understand all the learning outcomes (detailed in the qualification specification)
- conducting wider research to understand how your studies relate to the real world.
How long do I have to complete my examination?
You will have 24 hours to complete and submit your answers. You do not have to complete the examination all in one go, take your time to review your resources and to apply your knowledge.
Am I meant to take the full 24 hours?
We give 24 hours to ensure all our learners have time to plan and complete the examination. You are not expected to be working for all that time. The 24 hour window reflects the fact that there are NEBOSH learners in multiple time zones and everyone will have work and family commitments to work round. The 24 hour window takes these factors into account and gives you the option to pace yourself by breaking your work on the examination into smaller ‘chunks’.
How do I plan my 24 hours?
You will have 24 hours to access, complete and submit your open book examination. It is important that you do not leave everything until the last minute to avoid running out of time. Make sure your plans allow you to draft, reflect and amend your answers before the deadline, building in time for breaks.
Build in some time to deal with any unexpected challenges such as slow internet connection or technical issues that may require assistance.
Where do I complete my examination?
You complete your open book examination at home. To allow you to concentrate during your examination it is important that you prepare a comfortable space to work.
We recommend you organise the following before your examination time starts:
- a desk or table that gives you space to refer to reading materials and prepare your answers
- a comfortable chair
- good lighting
- comfortable temperature
- a clock so you can monitor your time to ensure you hit the submission deadline (remember the deadline will be BST time so if you are completing the examination outside of the UK you will need to make sure you consider any time zone differences)
- a supply of refreshments and snacks to maintain your energy levels.
If you can create a space that allows you to focus intently on your paper, you should be able to finish the questions in 4-5 hours.
Please remember to look after yourself making sure you eat, rest and sleep.
Am I allowed to refer to my course books, notes, or any other materials?
You can refer to written and online materials to help you prepare your answers. However, you must ensure that the work you submit is entirely your own, and for the whole time the examination is live you must not:
- communicate with Learning Partner staff on the topic of the assessment
- communicate with other learners on the topic of this assessment
- seek advice or contribution from any third party, including proof-readers, friends, or family members.
During the examination you can use textbooks, learning materials and other resources for reference. Please be careful not to copy directly from the reference books. Use your own words applying the knowledge gained during your training course.
Will I need to reference study material?
It is important to reference any materials used during your examination because your answers will be scrutinised for plagiarism and collusion.
The level of referencing expected will be to simply list the sources of information you have used. This can include textbooks, journals, articles, and online sources, etc.
Making your reference list while you are writing responses will help to ensure you do not miss any references. Your reference list does not count towards the overall word limit.
Is there a word count for my examination?
Your examination will specify a word count, with a 10% tolerance, and you are required to stick to this.
In a traditional examination your answers are mostly limited by the length of time you have in the exam room and how quickly you can hand-write your answers. Without that limit, there is a risk that you might ‘over-answer’ a question (writing a lot more than is necessary to get full marks on the question). We specify word limits to give you a sense of how ‘big’ the Examiner expects the longest good answer to any question to be. The maximum word count will be specified against each question and your answer should not exceed this limit.
Your overall word count must be +/ – 10% of the recommended word count. Examiners will not mark text that exceeds the word count, they will stop marking at the maximum word count. Remember you are being assessed on relevance and quality rather than quantity of words. It is important to stay focused on the subject and context of the question.
Do I need to practice an open book examination?
You do not need to complete a practice or mock examination. However, completing an examination at home is very different from sitting in a room under exam conditions. It is important that you practice completing work in your prepared environment to make sure you can concentrate and are comfortable.
What standards of behaviour do NEBOSH expect during an open book examination?
You are expected to act responsibly and with integrity. In the context of an open book examination, this means you are:
- refer to your own course and revision notes
- look up information in offline or online resources, for example textbooks or online journals.
- indicate clearly the presence of all material you have quoted from other sources by including the source material in a reference list.
Required to confirm:
- that the work that you are submitting for the open book examination is entirely your own work, except where otherwise indicated; and
- that you have not copied from the work of any other learner, nor consulted or colluded with any other learner/ other person during the examination.
What do I need to know about malpractice?
We expect, and trust, that you will seek to maintain the integrity of the assessment, and of the qualification, by ensuring you follow the instructions for the open book examination. Failure to adhere to these requirements will be considered a breach of the Malpractice Policy, where the offences of plagiarism, collusion, impersonation/ commissioning are relevant.
NEBOSH has a clear policy on plagiarism and collusion within assessments: please see the Policy and procedures for suspected malpractice in examinations and assessments for further information.
Suspected plagiarism and/or collusion will be investigated thoroughly with Learning Partners and learners, and the outcome of the investigation will determine the level of the sanction applied.
NEBOSH takes all forms of assessment malpractice seriously, and repeated attempts of plagiarism or collusion may lead to a learner being banned from taking any future NEBOSH assessments.
What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is taking the work of another person or source and claiming it as your own. The following are examples of plagiarism:
- Including paragraphs, sentences, and the ideas (either published or unpublished) of others (including the work of other learners) without acknowledgement of the source through referencing
- Paraphrasing the work and ideas of others without acknowledgement through referencing including material from computer files or downloaded from the internet.
- All work you submit for assessment will be accepted on the understanding that it is the result of your own effort without wrongful appropriation of any kind. You are expected to offer your own analysis and presentation of information gained from research.
Please be aware that highly plagiarised open book examination submissions will be subject to penalty and suspension.
How do I avoid plagiarism?
To avoid plagiarism, you must reference your open book examination submission. This means acknowledging where you have used sources, ideas, or work that is from someone else. You can do this simply by creating a list of sources used.
What is collusion?
Collusion is when two or more learners collaborate to produce work which is submitted by each in an identical, or highly similar, open book examination submission with the claim that the work was completed independently.
Collusion is a form of plagiarism, involving unauthorised co-operation between at least two people, with the intent to deceive. It can take the following forms:
- two or more learners conspiring to produce a piece of work together with the intention that at least one passes it off as their own work.
- the submission by a learner of the work of another, in circumstances where the latter has willingly lent the former the work and where it should be evident to the learner lending the work that by so doing an advantage is conferred on the other learner. In this case, both learners are guilty of collusion.
- unauthorized co-operation between a learner and another person in the preparation and production of work which is presented as the learner’s own.
- the commissioning and submission of work as the learner’s own, where the learner has purchased work, or solicited another individual to produce work on the learner’s behalf.
What is impersonation?
Impersonation is when a learner asks someone else to complete all, or part, of their open book examination submission and then claims the work as their own.
How will NEBOSH deter cheating?
In an open book examination, you must submit your own work, without any help from others. When you take an examination, you will be required to sign up to a ‘Learner Statement’. This will confirm that you have understood and abided by our rules on plagiarism and collusion.
All open book examinations will be marked by NEBOSH Examiners and will be scrutinised for plagiarism and collusion. NEBOSH reserve the right to also make use of plagiarism and collusion checkers.
After your open book examination your Learning Partner will contact you to undertake a closing interview. The purpose of the interview is to confirm that the work you have submitted is your own.
How will the open book exams be marked?
All open book examinations will be marked by NEBOSH Examiners and will be scrutinised for plagiarism and collusion.
How will my grade be determined?
Your open book examination for this Unit will contribute to your overall grade for the qualification as a whole as normal.