DOs and DON’Ts for the NEBOSH Practical

As the name implies, Unit NGC3: Health and Safety Practical Application allows you to demonstrate your NEBOSH NGC1 and NGC2 accumulated knowledge by applying it to real examples from within your place of work. It’s where the theory becomes a reality, and where you get to see what risk reductions your knowledge can bring about.

So, if you’re currently working towards the NEBOSH Certificate, these DOs and DON’Ts are for you. And who better to have put them together than Sharan, our NEBOSH approved internal assessor, who in addition to being CMIOSH herself is also experienced in marking NEBOSH practical assessments and is a Unit D NEBOSH Diploma mentor. Read on for maximum marks…Before you start

Do read NEBOSH’s very comprehensive guide –  NGC3: Health and safety Practical Application which will be issued to you by your training course provider

Don’t forget that the overall aim of the report is to persuade management; therefore you must consider the cost of remedial action vs. the cost of failure to act

Do pay attention to the marking scheme and plan accordingly

Don’t scrimp on the high mark percentage areas – namely the observation sheets which account for 30 of the 100 marks available and the conclusions and recommendations section of the report, again worth 30 marks

Do utilise your knowledge from NGC1 and 2 – including relevant safety legislation.

Observation sheet 

Do identify more than 20 uncontrolled hazards

Don’t exceed 30 though

Do include at least four different types of hazard, such as fire, electrical, manual handling, noise etc. etc.

Don’t repeat a hazard as you will only be credited once for it – go for a broad spread instead

Do include a couple of hazards where the existing controls are sufficient

Don’t neglect to consider the measures needed to retain control though

Do list the immediate controls for each hazard listed

Don’t forget to add medium and long term actions too

Do distinguish between the symptoms and the root causes of hazards

Don’t rely on general recommendations – for example, if ‘safety training’ is required you must specify  the type of training.


Do follow the recommended report structure: introduction, executive summary, main findings and conclusion/recommendations

Don’t fall below 500, or go above 750 words in total

Do write your  Executive Summary last and be sure to include all key points and findings

Don’t feel that you have to know, or even guess, the actual costs associated with your recommendations. It is sufficient to make it clear that you are aware that there are cost implications

Do back up your recommendations with facts and base them on your conclusions – it’s the only way you’ll get management buy in to your report

Don’t repeat information from your observation sheets without contextualising it

Do record your recommendations in the recommendations table provided

Don’t mention anything in your conclusion that you’ve not mentioned previously. A conclusion is for summing up, in a thorough yet concise fashion, what has gone before.

And finally

Do check back through the marking scheme to satisfy yourself that you’ve done all that has been asked of you

Don’t forget to sign the declaration that your submission is all your own work – your signature can be electronic or even faxed if it’s easier

Do be sure to get your completed assignment in on time.

Good luck!

What next?

RoSPA have produced a FREE NEBOSH ebook providing tips and advice for maximum success! Sign up to SafetyMatters newsletter to receive your copy.

Follow RoSPA’s brand new Twitter feed dedicated to workplace safety, @RoSPAWorkplace for all the latest NEBOSH revision guides, hints and tips!

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