Your Ultimate 2021 Step by Step Guide to the IOSH Managing Safely Test and Practical Project

We share all the information you need to SMASH your IOSH Managing Safely assessments AND we'll even let you sit an exam readiness test before you do so.

Date Posted: 18th March 2021

To pass the IOSH Managing Safely course, you must pass two assessments: a test or exam, and a project.

  1. A written assessment (also called the IOSH Managing Safely test or exam) of 30 questions. 60 points are available, and you need at least 36 points to pass (60%).
  2. A practical project, consisting of a short risk assessment of 4 hazards in your workplace. 38 points are available, and you need at least 23 points to pass (60%).

Both of these IOSH assessments have a pass mark of 60%.

BUT, you need a minimum of 60 points across both assessments to pass the course. In rare cases, it is possible to pass each IOSH Managing Safely assessment with 60% but still fail the course. In this situation, the best thing to do is resit the practical project as this can easily be amended to get extra points. Your tutor should be able to explain what improvements you can make to your IOSH project.

The IOSH Managing Safely Test (also known as the IOSH Managing Safely Exam)

Compared to NEBOSH exams, this is a relatively easy test. But you must read the questions very carefully. Sometimes, one word in the question changes the whole meaning.

You get two attempts to pass the test included in our interactive video version of the IOSH Managing Safely course.

Key Points about the Test:

  • There are 30 questions with 60 points available. You need 36 points to pass.
  •  The time limit is 45 minutes. On Compassa’s IOSH Managing Safely test, the online learning will save your answers and automatically submit your attempt at the end of the 45 minute period.
  • Most questions are multiple choice questions, with either one or two answers required out of four possible options. Read these carefully.
  • A small number of questions are drag and drop exercises.
  • There are one or two essay questions where you must write your own answers. These are normally simple one or two word answers, in a list. No need to write a full essay!
  • There is no negative marking. This means if you get an answer wrong, you do NOT lose points. Points can only be awarded, not withdrawn. So, if you can’t remember the answer to a question, just guess! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
  • If you sit the test through Compassa’s online system, you will receive your result immediately.

Whilst all IOSH Managing Safely exam questions are confidential and we can’t share them, we can provide you with a short quiz to test your readiness to do the test. If you can pass this, then you have a good chance of being ready to pass the real test!

The IOSH Managing Safely Practical Project

This is a short risk assessment using the standard IOSH template. The template is based on the 5 Steps to Risk Assessment.

It must be submitted within two weeks of passing the test. Otherwise, you will be required to sit the test again.

You get two attempts to pass the project included in our interactive video version of the IOSH Managing Safely course.

Key Points About the IOSH Managing Safely Project

  • There are 38 points. You need 23 to pass (60%).
  • Nearly every box on the risk assessment form has a point available. So fill in every single box.
  • You must base your risk assessment on a REAL workplace. Not on a fictional workplace.
    • You must choose an area and risk assess an activity in that area. It could be something really specific, like Loading/Unloading of Trucks in the Warehouse Yard. Or something really general, like General Office Activities in the Main Office.
    • You can even do your risk assessment on your own home office if you are working from home. Even your home office has hazards!
  • Fill in the initial risk assessment information: your name, the date, the time, the work location, and the task being risk assessed. There is 1 point available for all of this.
  • You must choose four hazards to risk assess. Please note, these four hazards must be DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER (not all the same type) and UNCONTROLLED.
    • For example, you might risk assess a manual handling hazard, a chemical hazard, a working at height hazard, and a slip/trip hazard. These are all very different types of hazards. What you must NOT do, is risk assess more than one slip/trip hazard. Or more than one manual handing hazard. This is duplicating hazards. IOSH want you to demonstrate your awareness of a variety of hazards.
    • The hazards you choose must be uncontrolled. This means the risk has some room to be reduced. The risk ratings you apply must be medium to high at first, and you will then reduce these by introducing additional risk controls.
    • Hazards must be SPECIFIC. Just saying “Manual Handling” is not specific enough. We can’t picture what the hazard is, because there are many types of manual handling. Describe what the problem is. e.g. “Manual handling of heavy boxes off pallets and onto shelving.”
  • List WHO might be harmed by these hazards. This could include contractors, visitors, staff, customers, etc. Also note any vulnerable people at particular risk, such as those with disabilities.
  • Describe HOW these people might be harmed. This means you must state the Hazardous Event + An injury/disease. For example, “Frequent skin exposure” (that’s the hazardous event) could lead to Occupational Dermatitis (that’s the injury or disease).
  • List the existing risk controls. Again, be specific. Don’t just write PPE. State what type of PPE you mean e.g. goggles, safety shoes, etc.
  • Give it a risk rating by assinging a Likelihood x Consequence Score. Remember, this is a MULTIPLICATION, not an addition. e.g. 3 x 3 = 9.
    • It is CRUCIAL on the 1st risk rating that the risk is at least an 8 or higher. This is a medium risk, which you will reduce with additional controls.
  • List additional risk controls. Try to demonstrate your knowledge of the hierarchy of controls. Don’t fix every problem with PPE and monitoring.
  • Give the hazard a new risk rating. Adjust the L x C score to reduce the risk to at least 6 or lower.
    • In most cases, the Consequence will remain the same and only the Likelihood will be reduced. There are exceptions to this, but it’s a good general rule.
  • Write down the job titles of the people whose job it is to implement these new risk controls. No further explanation is required.
  • Write down the deadline by which the risk control should be in place. Avoid writing immediately or weekly. What we want is a date or timeframe (within 1 week, or 30th March 2021). Although an inspection might be weekly, you are specifying when these will begin to happen.

Repeat the above process for all 4 hazards.

IOSH Managing Safely Project Template

Don’t forget to put a Review Date at the end on page two of the IOSH project. This date must be after all the new risk controls have been introduced. Often, you can just put down a date that is 12 months in the future and that is usually acceptable.

And finally, a SIGNATURE. This must be a real signature and not just typing your name. Unfortunately, this means you will need to either:

  1. Print the document, sign it, scan it, and submit it.
  2. Insert a scanned electronic signature.

Most people pass the IOSH Managing Safely project on the 1st submission. Occasionally, someone submits a project with duplicated hazards, or hazards that are too vague to pass. In which case, the tutor should give you thorough feedback on where you went wrong. With this information, you can make the required improvements and submit a corrected version. Almost certainly, people pass on the 2nd attempt.

If you have any questions about the IOSH Managing Safely test/exam, or the project, please contact your course tutor.

To get access to a series of free IOSH Managing Safely study materials, please visit this page and sign up for a free trial: The World’s First Interactive Video Course for IOSH Managing Safely.