By: Hammam Elmahi Instructor/Trainer (Bilingual English & Arabic) | MBA | BSc. Electrical Engineering | PMP® | PMI-RMP®| NEBOSH IGC | IOSH MS | FEWA (Elec. Consultant).
We all know that after the COVID-19 pandemic, NEBOSH changed IG1 to an open book exam OBE and merged IG2 & IG3 into a risk assessment known as IG2, and that makes being a NEBOSH IG certificate task much easier for the learner. However, learners keep failing the IG2 risk assessment, at least in their first attempt.
In this article, I will discuss the main reasons why an expert or HSE practitioner can’t write a risk assessment that can fulfill the NEBOSH requirement to pass. I will outline the causes and give some examples to avoid any mistakes.
What is IG2 risk assessment?
It is simply a report form that consists of four parts. The first part is about the company or the location, where you should describe the organization and its approach. The second part is about the hazards and the control measures. The third part is an explanation (justifications) for the main three hazards from the second part. Finally, the fourth part is about the communication of the risk assessment and how often you will review the assessment. So Why do learners fail?
The reasons a candidate may fail in his IG2 risk assessment are but not limited to:
1- ILO convections & recommendations.
The learners must understand that they are sitting for NEBOSH International General Certification IG, which means they should mention the international or ILO for any legal arguments or reasons while they responding and writing their risk assessment. Specifically, in part one in terms of source of information and part three in writing in legal justifications. Not to mention that local legislation will not get marks. Above that, the learner must explain how the selected control measure in part 3 will help in aligning the company with the mentioned legal point from ILO.
2- Company description
Although this point might be simple, many learners do not respond to it successfully, because they didn’t write the things NEBOSH examiners looking for which are:
- Organisation product or service: what the company do as a business
- Day-to-day activities: what activities take place during a working day (ex. excavation welding, painting… etc.)
- Organisation’s working pattern: includes working and off days, morning and night shifts if it their
3- Review date and reasons
At this point in part 4 you must mention the next review date clearly (Ex. 11-02-2022), if you didn’t mention that, you will fail the entire exam. Above that, the learner must mention the occasion that he/she will review the assessment, you can mention that you will review the assessment if there is any change in local legislation, a critical accident, vital change in work-force and even if there is a change in shift pattern.
4- TEN hazards from FIVE different categories.
In part two, the learners must write at least 10 hazards (more than 10 is acceptable) in their workplaces and distribute them among 5 different categories (at least). NEBOSH IG2 contains 20 different categories so learners can cover the 10 hazards easily. The categories are:
- mental ill-health
- Violence at work
- Substance abuse at work
- Work-related upper-limb disorders.
- Manual handling
- Load handling equipment
- Hazardous substances
- Health, welfare and work environment
- working at height
- Confined spaces
- lone working
- slips and trips
- Movement of people and vehicles in the workplace.
- Work-related driving
- Work equipment and machinery
Learners can write as much hazards as they can, but the hazards must be taken from at least from 5 different above 20 categories. Learners must know that if they didn’t follow the terms they were going to fail. For example: a learner identifies 9 hazards in his assessment – he will fail the exam and refer. Another example: a learner identifies and writes 10 hazards from 4 categories – he will also fail and refer.
5- Number of words.
In all four parts of the IG risk assessment, the form shows the required number of words that a learner should write to fulfil the NEBOSH requirement. Some learners may ignore that and that will lead them to refer.
6- Malpractices & plagiarism.
Because NEBOSH has obligations toward ethics, and safeguarding the integrity of its qualifications. NEBOSH therefore takes any allegations of malpractice on the part of learners and/or Learning Partners incredibly seriously (NEBOSH website). NEBOSH carry’s out a search for risk assessments or assignments for sale (model) and compare learners’ assignments against them to discover plagiarism. Learners will be banned from sitting for any assessment (Exam) for time. In addetion, AI tools are under NEBOSH radar, as it used in generating answers and content for IG1 & 2, hence you should be ware when using them as Chat GBT zero softwares used to check answers in avoiding high rate of plagiarism.
My advice to learners is to go through NEBOSH website for all requirements and download the ‘’Guidance and information for learners and Learning Partners’’ and read the entire content. After that, you can confidently write your risk assessment report, keeping in mind ILO conventions and recommendations as basic for your legal arguments, full description for the assessment area, preserve applicable number of words, 10 hazards for 5 different categories, and avoiding malpractice.