Is the NEBOSH NG2 Practical Project HARDER than the Open Book Exam for the General Certificate?

Learn why the NEBOSH NG2 Practical Project HARDER to pass than the Open Book Exam for the General Certificate?

Date Posted: 13th April 2021

So, today is NEBOSH exam day, and most people get stressed about the NEBOSH exam, and they don’t worry too much about the NEBOSH NG2 Practical Project, and I think that’s a big mistake.

In my opinion, the NEBOSH NG2 Practical Project is a lot harder to pass than the exam.

Why is the NEBOSH NG2 Practical Project harder than the open book exam to pass? 

Well, the pass mark for the exam is 45%, which means you can get 55% of it wrong and still pass.

The NG2 doesn’t have a pass mark, it’s ‘PASS’ or ‘FAIL’. 

There’s a long list of criteria you have to meet on the NG2, everything from: you’ve covered enough hazards, the hazards are varied, you’ve got a good introduction, good methodology, your report has to meet certain criteria…if any one of those criteria are not met, the whole thing fails. You literally have to get all of it right in order to pass.

It’s an incredibly harsh system. 

It didn’t used to be that way. The old NEBOSH GC3 Practical was a 60% pass mark. You could make the odd mistake here or there and still get through it quite easily, it was actually incredibly easy to pass.

But the new NG2 is much more difficult.

I learnt first hand how difficult it is

Out of the very first group of students that I put through the NG2, (12 students), 11 of them passed the exam, but then 11 of them failed the NG2.

I was absolutely distraught. 

My pass marks are usually 90%-100%. And here I was, with only 1 person out of 12 that passed the NG2, but funnily enough, (or horribly enough), that was the same person who failed their exam, so my pass rate for that cohort was zero. NONE of them passed the qualification!

I think there was a lack of clarity maybe on my part. And I think there was a lack of clarity on the examiner’s part as well, because some of them got failed for such minor, petty little things at the time.

And I think that’s improved and changed since. I think the people marking these have probably gotten better, and been given a bit more clarity over how the NG2 is marked, so hopefully, the marking won’t be quite as harsh. 

But the reality is, if you miss something off your NG2, something small like: shift patterns, if you miss out the shift patterns in the introduction; fail!

If you miss out the working activities in your introduction; fail!

If the examiner disagrees with your review date, (and I’ve seen this happen before), if you put down a review date of 6 months and the examiner says: no, 12 months will be more appropriate; fail!

And that’s the reality of it. 

And the downside to that is, when you get your feedback, (and thankfully at least now we get feedback), and you make the required changes, you update the whole report and then resubmit it at the next submission date (which may not be for a few more months), and then you wait another 10 to 12 weeks to get your results, you’re looking at potentially something like a 6 month delay in getting your final result.

So don’t underestimate the NG2 Practical Project

My advice is: make sure you work hard on a practical project because the NEBOSH NG2 Practical Project is harder to pass than the exam.

Be very, very thorough. 

NEBOSH have put together a great template for you to use. The template is literally a checklist. It tells you exactly everything you have to write down on there, so make sure you follow that to the letter and hopefully you’ll get through it on the first attempt.

Best of luck on your exam!