E xaminers’ Report
N EBOSH National Diploma in
O ccupational Health and Safety
J anuary 2008 examinations
Unit A – Managing health and safety
Unit B – Hazardous agents in the workplace
Unit C – Workplace and work equipment
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NEBOSH first introduced a National Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health in 1989 but, in response to the emergence of national competency standards in this area, the Diploma was offered in two parts from 1997 – with Diploma Part 2 set at the same level as the previous Diploma. The current version of the NEBOSH Diploma was introduced in 2004 to meet the requirements of the revised national vocational standards in “Occupational Health and Safety Practice”, published by ENTO (formerly the Employment National Training Organisation and now an independent standards setting body working alongside the Sector Skills Councils and other organisations). The relevant standard was published as a level 4 standard within the national framework and the Diploma was therefore designed as a level 4 qualification. However, in 2005, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) changed the national qualifications framework by dividing level 4 into three separate levels – levels 4, 5 and 6 – and the Diploma was placed at the highest of these (ie level 6). This is a level of assessment that is approximately equivalent to that of an honours degree. This does not mean that the Diploma qualification is the equivalent of a degree since most degrees require three years of full-time study; rather, it signifies that the depth of academic skill (but not necessarily the breadth of knowledge) required by the qualification corresponds to a degree level programme. It should be borne in mind, though, that the Diploma is a vocational rather than a purely academic qualification and so such comparisons are not straightforward.
As a QCA-accredited level 6 qualification, the Diploma satisfies the academic requirements for graduate membership of the recognised professional body, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), leading – after satisfying the requirements of two years’ initial professional development and peer review – to Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner (CMIOSH).
The NEBOSH Diploma is divided into four individually assessed Units. The qualification is achieved on successful completion of all four Units, three Units being assessed by means of a 3-hour examination and the fourth Unit being assessed by means of a workplace based assignment (or for pre-2007 enrolments the completion of three 3 hour examinations and three workplace based assignments). Both parts of the assessment must be completed to a satisfactory standard). This Examiners’ Report refers to the examination component only.
The Diploma is a professional level qualification and the requirements are demanding, as befits any qualification that allows entry into a profession, particularly one that has chartered status. The NEBOSH National Diploma syllabus assumes that candidates will have the broad basic knowledge of health and safety that is provided by a level 3 qualification in occupational health and safety, in particular the NEBOSH National General Certificate (NGC). While this is not mandatory, it should be noted that the syllabus content includes both knowledge expected of student’s equivalent to having undertaken such a programme of study, and content that will have been covered in a level 3 course of study. The Diploma...