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NEBOSH GC - Absolute Beginner

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:05 pm
by GaddyDaddy
Hi all.

Just as an introduction, I've been lurking these forums for quite some time now, just picking up bits of knowledge.
I really like the community atmosphere, it seems like there are a lot more experienced users with common sense approaches on here when compared to some of the other forums. So I feel comfortable to post here, although I do understand that most users have limited time, so I'll try to keep my questions easy to answer and I'll be happy doing the leg work, I don't want stuff handed on a plate etc.

My situation is this - MY LIFE IS A MESS!!!
I'm averagely intelligent. I left school with OK GCSEs, but wasted some time doing a few daft higher education courses that were never going to help in the job market. I bumbled from job to job, mostly based in customer service, but I was lucky to get involved with a union, so I've had a fair bit of H+S experience from that side (I understand that it can be one-sided).
I got in with a recycling company and my H+S experience helped there, but I never built on it. I should have really pushed to get a qualification.

I'm now mid 30s, with my first child on the way and I feel a lot of pressure. I need a real career.

TL;DR - I'm an unqualified mid 30s father to be who needs advice on an H+S qualification in order to find a stable job


I'm looking to complete a NEBOSH General Certificate via distance learning.
I have quite a bit of free time in my current role, and I am able to fit things in outside of work although that will all be changing soon :-( / :-)
I don't have any experience at all of distance learning, and the last 'test' I did was probably around 20yrs ago!
I have friends who have completed distance learning, so there's support ther, but I have concerns that even after paying course fees, there'll be hidden costs.
Is everything required provided in the paid course fees when distance/E-learning?

I've read a few things about course providers. I feel that 'pass guarantees' are sales tools which would just leave you paying for the test fees anyway.
I like the look of SHEilds. The layout of their site and course materials seems user friendly, and for distance learning, I think that's going to be the most important element.
Does anyone have any other recommendations for course providers?

I'm hoping to attain a qualification ASAP.
I have seen that test dates are limited to DEC/MAR/JUN etc. Is this always the case, or is it possible to pass units outside of this time?

GC1 and GC2. These are both 'written' units. I've attended job interviews in the past where a 'written' interview takes place first. 80/20 these tend to be computer based typing into word. Are the GC 1/2 modules actually physically hand written? My hand-writing is horrendous!!!

This is all in effort of getting a better job. Obviously I enjoy H+S, but I can't shy away from the fact that I'm undergoing this process in order to open some career doors.
I've seen lots of job ads for people with H+S experience (I feel I can currently tick that box), but also with a NEBOSH GC. Diplomas only seem important for H+S Directors, or management level within larger corporations.
However, I have seen a few decent looking jobs which require the NEBOSH Fire Safety Certificate.
From my research, it appears possible to 'top up'/attain the Fire Cert by simply completing the FC1/FC1 as the NGC1 is part of the Genral Cert course. Is this the case?

Finally, I feel my current employer would permit me to complete the GC3 - Practical with my current workplace.
I've read (on this forum just recently) that the practical doesn't always (ever?) take place in the field, more you use your workplace as a basis for a risk assessment.
Is it possible to use a theoretical workplace to base the practical test on, perhaps a previous workplace that you're familiar with?


Massive long post and I apologise for any obvious questions.
Any other advice would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks.
Gary.

Re: NEBOSH GC - Absolute Beginner

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:25 pm
by rocketman
Hi Gary

I'm no H&S expert but I'm a similar age (turned 38 two weeks ago) and have recently come into H&S just 6 months ago. I didn't leave school with any GCSEs but did go back to college in my early 30s and got an A and B in my English and Maths GCSEs. I've bummed around a few jobs myself from bus driver to pat tester, I've luckily landed on my feet a bit and now have a role where my company is willing to train me up.

I have just completed my NEBOSH GC, although my GC3 has been called in by NEBOSH for moderation, as did all the group who I did the course with. I do think absolutely that experience is the main quality that employers look for. The general certificate makes a good introduction to H&S but I wouldn't be confident in a H&S role without the experience as well. I, myself am pushing to do the NCRQ Diploma instead of the NEBOSH diploma as it looks more like a better way of learning, take a look at it.

I didn't do my GC through distance learning, so I can only recommend that you go on a course. I am sure plenty of people have passed through distance learning but I found it very helpful to be able to ask question, listen to other peoples questions, ask for clarification on subjects etc. It was a class of 12 people and we all passed the exams first time. So, if you can afford it I recommend the classroom learning route.

To try and answer a couple of your questions -

Usually all fees are included put you'd have to check with your training provider to be sure
Some training providers have on demand exam dates
Yes you do have to hand write the exams
Yes you could use a hypothetical workplace for your GC3, who'd know?
If you have passed the NGC1 in the last 5 years then you just have to do the FC1 & FC2 to gain the NEBOSH fire cert

Hope that helps a bit.

Re: NEBOSH GC - Absolute Beginner

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:46 am
by wendolene26
Hello and welcome to the forums.

I was pretty much going to say what rocketman has said, so I will only add that from my personal experience I first attempted NEBOSH GC via distance learning and then decided that actually classroom based was better for me. It all really depends which style of learning suits you best. Certainly part 1 I think is better being classroom based, as this is all the legislation side of things. With my provider, there was a charge to register on the course, get your materials and be given the assignments by the tutor, there was then a separate charge for attending study days and then there was the exam fee. Different providers may structure their pricing differently though.

Now, similar situation to yourself, NEBOSH being the first exams in *cough* years since leaving high school, so I will advise you, even after you've done mock exams in exam conditions, nothing quite prepares you for that first "eeks I'm in an exam and it's real" feeling. I'm not trying to scare you off, far from it. I just want to give you the benefit of my experiences.

I think it's a very worthwhile (and interesting) course to study so would encourage anyone who wants to do it, to go for it.

There's a wealth of reference material in our downloads section which will be very useful when you are studying.

Hope this helps,

Wendo .salut

Re: NEBOSH GC - Absolute Beginner

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:13 am
by Alexis
Hello Daddy-to-be and a very warm welcome to HSfB. :hello2: As you mention, we do try to keep our friendly family feel ethos, so please don't hesitate to ask any H&S related question as................. There is no such thing as a "stupid" or "daft" health and safety question!


I am in agreement with the advice given by rocketman and Wendo above. .salut
GaddyDaddy wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:05 pm

Does anyone have any other recommendations for course providers?
We have lots of past posts on recommendations for Providers GD. I'll see if I can find some for you and post in here.

GC1 and GC2. These are both 'written' units. I've attended job interviews in the past where a 'written' interview takes place first. 80/20 these tend to be computer based typing into word. Are the GC 1/2 modules actually physically hand written? My hand-writing is horrendous!!!
As rocketman says....yes they are hand written, however, if you have a medical problem, you can apply to do the exams (they aren't just test) on a laptop.

This is all in effort of getting a better job. Obviously I enjoy H+S, but I can't shy away from the fact that I'm undergoing this process in order to open some career doors.
As long as you have the passion and the commitment, you will be able to do this. .salut

I've seen lots of job ads for people with H+S experience (I feel I can currently tick that box), but also with a NEBOSH GC. Diplomas only seem important for H+S Directors, or management level within larger corporations.
Like Wendo, I don't want to throw water on your fire, but the Diploma is the preferred requirement for many many H&S jobs and you would generally have to continue your H&S professional development by eventually going down the Diploma (or similar) route at some point.

However, I have seen a few decent looking jobs which require the NEBOSH Fire Safety Certificate.
From my research, it appears possible to 'top up'/attain the Fire Cert by simply completing the FC1/FC1 as the NGC1 is part of the Genral Cert course. Is this the case?
Rocketman has answered this one. ./thumbsup.. I do wonder why you have chosen the Fire route? Is this your preference to work in that specific field? If you are only looking at this area of expertise because you think there would be more jobs in fire, then I would suggest you don't limit yourself to one area of expertise (fire, construction) right away and go for the General first, followed by your preferred speciality.
As also mentioned by rocketman, have a look at the NCRQ route of Applied H&S before committing to one Provider. 'Phone lots of Providers, ask questions and make sure you are happy with what they offer that will fit in with your life before making up your mind and read all of their reviews. The cost is not small, so you have to have the best thing suitable for your own type of learning.
./thumbsup..
To access our main site pages, click on the logo at the top of this page and it will take you there. https://www.healthandsafetytips.co.uk/

Look forward to watching your new career grow and be fruitful for you and your wee family. :D

Keying in the word Providers in the Search function at the top right hand corner of this page brings up all these.
search.php?keywords=providers

Re: NEBOSH GC - Absolute Beginner

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:08 pm
by Peridot
Congrats on the baby - good motivation for powering through some exams!

In terms of fees, both the course providers I've used have been 'all in' and I've not been hit by hidden fees. The only times I've heard about people getting stung with extra fees is when they want papers re-marked, or want to re-sit an exam, which can be pretty pricey.

Yes, the exams are generally handwritten and if you struggle to write legibly for long periods then it'll be worth considering if they can make any adjustments for you. In all the exams I've sat, I've been writing until the last possible minute.

And, yes, you can 'top up' to the Fire cert after the General cert, as the first unit is shared. I got my current job before I had either cert, just on the basis that I was halfway through the general one.

NEBOSH say that workplaces and scenarios cannot be fictitious for the practical units. The workplace will be completely anonymous in the finished report, however, so none of mine have minded.