NEBOSH International Diploma Examiners Guidance - Unit D

Leicester LE19 1QW tel: 0116 263 4700 fax: 0116 282 4000 email:’ Report Guidance NEBOSH NATIONAL DIPLOMA IN OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY NEBOSH INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMA IN OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY Unit D and ID Assignments CONTENTS Introduction 2 Unit D and ID Assignments 3  2011 Dominus website: The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health is a registered charity. Meridian Business Park.nebosh. number 1010444 T(s):exreps/UnitD/UnitD EXTERNAL JP/DA/REW .

ofqual. This report provides information on the performance of candidates which it is hoped will be useful to candidates and tutors in preparation for future submissions. Our qualifications are recognised by the relevant professional membership bodies including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM). which is overseen by the NEBOSH Council comprising nominees from. the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The standard of the qualification is determined by NEBOSH. It is intended to be constructive and informative and to promote better understanding of the syllabus content and the application of assessment criteria. GCE. Education. Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) in Wales The Council for the vocationally-related qualifications designed to meet the health. amongst Unit D & ID Examiners’ Report Guidance 2/9 . While not obliged to adhere to this code. Candidates’ scripts are marked by a team of Examiners appointed by NEBOSH on the basis of their qualifications and experience.Introduction NEBOSH (The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) was formed in 1979 as an independent examining board and awarding body with charitable status. Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) in Scotland NEBOSH follows the latest version of “GCSE. environmental and risk management needs of all places of work in both the private and public sectors. NEBOSH is an awarding body to be recognised and regulated by the UK regulatory authorities:     The Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England The Department for Children. are elected to the NEBOSH Council. Courses leading to NEBOSH qualifications attract over 25. the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). principal learning and project code of practice” published by the regulatory authorities in relation to examination setting and marking (available at the Ofqual website the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). © NEBOSH 2011 Any enquiries about this report publication should be addressed to: NEBOSH Dominus Way Meridian Business Park Leicester LE10 1QW Tel: 0116 263 4700 Fax: 0116 282 4000 Email: info@nebosh. safety. from both the public and private sectors. Representatives of course providers. NEBOSH regards it as best practice to do so. We offer a comprehensive range of globally-recognised.000 candidates annually and are offered by over 400 course providers in 65 countries around the

The workplace should be large enough to provide both an opportunity for the review of the health and safety management system and a sufficiently large range of significant hazards in the areas covered by Units B. Unit D & ID Examiners’ Report Guidance 3/9 . a description of the chosen workplace/organisation to set a context for the assignment. a costed and prioritised action plan for implementation of the candidate’s recommendations in each of the two areas. IB. C and IC in a practical environment and to carry out critical analysis and evaluation of information gathered during the review. depending on the nature and extent of identified hazards or activities. one physical and one appropriate to health and welfare. an overview of the current health and safety management arrangements in which the candidate should critically review the health and safety management system.      It is important that a suitable workplace upon which the assignment research will be based is chosen. a survey of a wide range of significant hazards or activities within the workplace. conclusions which summarise the main issues identified in the candidate’s work together with justified recommendations for improvement. carry out a risk assessment. The candidate will need to consider the legal framework within which the workplace/organisation operates. Candidates who have difficulty identifying a suitable workplace should ask their tutor for advice. for each of two of the hazards. an executive summary of the report. B. The report should include:   an introduction that sets the scene by stating clear aims and objectives and a description of the methodology employed to carry out the assignment. The assignment will require the candidate to apply the knowledge and understanding gained from their studies of elements of Units A. IB.Guidance Assignment Brief Candidates are required to carry out a detailed review of the health and safety performance of a workplace or organisation and to produce a justified action plan to improve performance. The candidate should prioritise the identified hazards or activities and. The level of work should be that expected of a competent occupational health and safety practitioner working within any organisation. C and IC to provide an adequate range for identification and prioritisation. IA. This should include an evaluation of the effectiveness of the organisation in controlling the risk arising from the hazards or activities identified and proposals to further control the hazard(s) and reduce risks.

although obviously. which are available from the NEBOSH website. Candidates who complete their Assignment Log retrospectively at the end of their studies will obtain little or no benefit. B. To facilitate this learning process it is essential that candidates hold regular discussions with their tutor(s) throughout the period of their studies. Course providers are requested to ensure that candidates use their Assignment Logs accordingly. IB. In such circumstances it might be more appropriate to consider a department or division of the organisation rather than the organisation as a whole. Unit D & ID Examiners’ Report Guidance 4/9 . the health and safety management system will probably be that adopted by the whole organisation. While it would not be appropriate for tutors to give specific information on content. in order that the assignment is manageable the candidate should limit the area considered. and complete the Assignment Log provided in the NEBOSH Unit D and ID Candidate Guidance. C and IC.If the organisation is very large. Before attempting the Unit D and ID assignment it is necessary for candidates to be fully conversant with key elements of the syllabus for Units A. their role is to ensure that the candidate is ‘heading in the right direction’ – for example. and at appropriate points on their learning journey. and may well struggle to perform well in Unit D and ID. Candidates should ensure that they understand fully the requirements of the brief and are recommended to prepare an outline plan of their approach that can be discussed with a tutor. There is strong evidence to suggest that candidates who perform better in Unit D and ID use the Assignment Log from the very beginning of their studies. they may comment on whether the candidate has chosen a suitable workplace or situation that satisfies the brief and will give sufficient scope to achieve the necessary breadth and depth of content required at Diploma level. IA.

which will lead to maximum marks not being awarded for this section of the report. what more needs to be done and why it is so important to take action. The following additional information includes many of the most common (and most easily avoided) problems being continually repeated by some candidates. Executive Summary The executive summary should provide a clear and concise overview of the important points arising from the work contained within the main body of the report and summarise the main conclusions and recommendations arising. In contrast some candidates try to include more content by reducing the font size. It is important that the executive summary is written in a style and format which will allow it to be read quickly and easily by the intended audience – senior managers and executives. They also developed a set of meaningful objectives for the report. using a single-spaced Arial 11 font size (or similar) and 2cm print margins. Properly written aims. This section should ‘grab the attention’ of the reader and provide them with a clear sense of what is happening in terms of health and safety management. Better submissions show evidence of candidates putting a lot of thought into developing a clear and concise aim – explaining and justifying the purpose of the report. It is disappointing. often using the guidance content to produce section headings in their work. which could be used throughout the writing / preparation of the report to ‘sense check’ their own progress. Exemplary reports often include a well structured executive summary. objectives and methodology sections are the key to producing a good assignment. The aims and objectives should also be checked on completion of writing the report to ensure that the candidate has done what they intended to do at the outset.What Examiners are looking for Those candidates who perform well in Unit D and ID evidently follow the detailed guidance mentioned above very closely. and the highest marks are given to candidates who clearly and concisely gave an overview of the report and its conclusions and recommendations. Some candidates provide half page executive summaries which fail to cover the content required. Candidates should stick to the allowed one side of A4 paper. It is clear that they understand and apply the requirements of the said guidance to structure their report. At least one full page is required to do justice to the summary. There is a particular need for candidates to demonstrate their ability to write in a concise and persuasive manner when composing their executive summaries. Unit D & ID Examiners’ Report Guidance 5/9 . Most candidates provide a good or satisfactory introductory section. Introduction The introduction provides a foundation for the report and enables the reader to place the following information and judgements in context. though. Executive summaries are often well done. that far too many candidates fail to follow the guidance provided by NEBOSH. however. Valuable marks can easily be obtained in this section by candidates properly outlining what they intend to do and how they are going to do it. some omit clearly stated aims and objectives and provide limited information on methodology.

Unit D & ID Examiners’ Report Guidance 6/9 . arrangements. Candidates who do this are generally unable to produce an adequate critical review of the organisation’s health and safety management system. Candidates are required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the relevant legal framework and most importantly the ability to put these in the context of the development of an effective health and safety management programme. Better submissions paint a balanced picture of the criminal and civil organisational context. and there is definitely no need for copious amounts of information on the chosen workplace. work environment. giving clear and accurate references to carefully selected case law. It is important that working arrangements. etc. are most useful and are usually evident in better reports. explaining and justifying basic principles as they did so. achieve good marks in this area. regulations. Many candidates outline or describe a generic health and safety model (such as HSG65) without making clear reference to their own management system. In this section Examiners are looking for a description of the chosen workplace/organisation and an outline of the essential features of the legal environment within which the workplace/organisation operates. Better submissions keep the general description of the chosen workplace relatively short and concise and relevant to the assignment brief. Candidates submitting Unit ID assignments are required to outline the legal framework (governmental and non-governmental) requirements within which the organisation operates. The brief requires candidates to compare their current system with a recognised model and provide a clear systematic description of gaps and where no gaps exist. common. which models have been chosen and why. Clear statements of what research has been carried out. but only the better submissions attempt to apply these legislative requirements to their workplace as required. for all areas of the management system. regulations and case law is not expected. Review of the Health and Safety Management System Candidates are required to give an overview of the current health and safety management system in their chosen workplace/organisation. identify priorities for improvement. shift patterns and peripatetic worker activities are covered in this section. Some candidates produce a list of the various laws and regulations. For Unit D submissions an outline of the principal legal (statute. Better reports outline the selected model before explaining the relevance of the models’ elements to existing policy. An exhaustive list of statutes. A good working knowledge of HSG65 (or a similar model) is essential for those candidates wishing to perform well. and cannot therefore be awarded maximum marks.Those candidates who then go on to explain their chosen methods. Those candidates who score particularly well in this section ensure that they give time and effort to identifying and explaining the relevant civil cases. standards and guidance and outline these in the context of the development of an effective health and safety management programme. its history or its management systems to be included in the appendices. Reports awarded the highest marks usually include sections which clearly demonstrate the writer’s understanding of chosen models for health and safety management systems. with the better submissions explaining the organisational context and the relevance of such acts and regulations to the chosen organisation’s activities. civil and criminal) and other requirements within which the organisation operates should be included. ACoPs. Candidates are required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of relevant statutes. There is no need for candidates to spend vast amounts of effort on describing their chosen workplace in minute detail. Many candidates outline criminal law issues in the introduction.

detailing how any ranking or scoring systems are used for comparison. It is essential that candidates ensure that they select one ‘Physical hazard’ and one ‘Health hazard’ for closer assessment using a recognised risk assessment approach. Better submissions often summarise the gaps identified in tabular format. using the Unit B. Those candidates who recognise the requirement to use the correct risk assessment tool for the task in hand. Risk quantification models are sometimes included without adequate explanation of their meaning or the interpretation of their relevance. Candidates must be able to demonstrate their understanding of risk assessment principles – they should clearly explain the risk assessment process being used. Again candidates should use the Unit B. Better submissions take a methodical approach to breaking down and differentiating between work activities. and. contractors and visitors”. C and IC syllabus content as a way of correctly categorising their hazards and associated risk assessments. Hazards and Risk Assessments Candidates need to identify 15 different hazards or more across the areas of ‘Physical’ hazards and ‘Health and Welfare’ hazards. C and IC syllabus content as a way of correctly categorising their hazards. The classic examples include the failure by some to use specific risk assessment tools for manual handling. risks and possible outcomes. which may be appropriate in many circumstances. but some candidates fail to describe their chosen risk assessment process or methodology. Many candidates adopt an approach to risk assessment based on the HSE’s 5 steps to risk assessment. Better submissions clearly identify shortcomings in the chosen health and safety management systems against such a standard. as a result. demonstrate the required level of depth. prioritisation and consideration of improvements required. carrying forward these identified gaps into the recommendations and action plans required later in the report. Risk assessments are usually found to be satisfactory.The gap analysis section requires candidates to assess their chosen organisation’s health and safety management systems against a recognised model such as HSG65. The ‘5 Steps’ approach is not appropriate when carrying out a CoSHH assessment. IB. rather than including generic headings of groups of people or blandly stating “staff. but it cannot be stressed enough that in some situations this approach is not appropriate. achieve good scores in this area. Candidates often take great care to ensure that they have clearly differentiated between ‘Physical’ and ‘Health and Welfare’ hazards. hazards. Some candidates fail to discuss the implications of those hazards identified. required improvements and priorities in a clear and concise manner. When using the ‘5 Steps’ approach candidates must ensure that they place sufficient emphasis and detail when identifying who might be harmed and how. IB. Unit D & ID Examiners’ Report Guidance 7/9 . Some candidates fail to score marks due to the selection of two Physical or two Health hazards rather than one of each. The content of the diploma syllabus outlines more detailed and technical approaches to assessing risks that should be considered where an initial appraisal suggests risk may be significant. which is a useful technique and allows candidates to display the gaps. noise or hazardous substance assessments. Higher scoring reports are those where candidates demonstrate a clear understanding of the difference between the terms ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’.

Planning and Presentation Although the standard of presentation of many reports is generally fair. Risk assessments submitted for this assignment should be the candidate’s own original work. Candidates should carry out ‘Quality’ checks on the work done. headers and footers. Recommendations and Action Plans Recommendations sections should follow on from main conclusions in a logical manner. and must provide the information in a tabulated format with all of the relevant headings included. Inclusion of risk assessments completed many months prior to the relevant submission date is not acceptable. In some instances the reports are difficult to read and use too many unnecessary tables or images. as such. The conclusions should refer to things identified in the main body. and. with pagination. and need to provide any indication of prioritisation. justification and ‘Cost Benefit Analysis’ in relation to the recommendations. Reports need to be properly formatted. Good submissions ensure that gaps and areas for improvement from the main body of the report are carried forward into the final part of the report. where consideration should also be given to priorities. Many do not include their findings and fail to summarise them. Recommendations should then be carried forward into the respective action plans. The two action plans required should be separate from each other.Candidates should avoid using their company’s risk assessment templates. time scale and how and when progress against the plans will be reviewed. Actions plans must also include some information relating to how and when progress against the recommendations will be reviewed. should be clear. Unit D & ID Examiners’ Report Guidance 8/9 . It is important to remember that the intended audience for this type of report is senior managers. costs. without checking them for completeness and adequacy beforehand. particularly if there is evidence that such templates were not completed by the candidate themselves. and recommendations should be similarly rooted in things discussed earlier in the report. and refer back to their aims and objectives. section headings being included. The inclusion of scanned copies of handwritten work or flip charts should be avoided. Conclusions Some candidates do not refer back to aims and objectives when writing their conclusions. critically assessing in their conclusion whether they have met their own aims and objectives. concise and well structured throughout. Some reports are far too long with unnecessary or unrelated information included. Candidates should run a spelling check on their reports and ask an independent ‘lay person’ to read the report before submission. whilst many others include recommendations and other suggestions for improvements in their conclusions. some candidates’ reports are ‘let down’ by some simple omissions and mistakes.

date of publication. Diploma Accredited Course Providers Providers should ensure that candidates carry out the required level of planning and preparation for the completion of their assignment reports. which may have been gleaned from course notes. This information complements other published guidance from NEBOSH. ISBN number. The main points to remember are:             Write the reports in a clear and concise manner Use the mark scheme to help structure reports In the introduction state what is to be done and how Be clear about the differences between hazards and risk Check that at least 15 hazards are identified Check that two ‘highest priority’ hazards are identified Ensure that two selected hazards are not both ‘Physical’ or both ‘Health and Welfare’ Use the most appropriate risk assessment tool for the two chosen hazards Include information on review periodicity and mechanisms Include cost benefit justifications for recommendations Support main recommendations with a persuasive argument for implementation Check accuracy and clarity of references. It is not appropriate to just include a long and generic list of legislation or texts.References and Research Some reference sections are poorly produced and many reports do no give any indication or evidence of research done. There is clear advice on the use of suitable referencing systems in the NEBOSH Guide. and that candidates complete their assignment logs’ at relevant points during their studies. ACoPs or Guidance Notes used in their reports.) at the appropriate point in their reports. Providers should also ensure that candidates who do not speak English as their first language are given a sufficient level of additional support in the production of their assignments. Providers should provide a ‘critical review’ of the work being done by their respective candidates and should ensure that information available from NEBOSH relating to Unit D and ID reports is brought to the attention of all candidates. etc. publisher. Better submissions make clear reference to text books. Unit D & ID Examiners’ Report Guidance 9/9 . and candidates should ensure that they are capable of using a tried and tested referencing convention. Concluding Comments The information above should give some clear pointers to candidates and course providers regarding the successful completion of Unit D and ID assignments. clearly citing the details of the reference (full title.

The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health Dominus Way Meridian Business Park Leicester LE19 1QW telephone +44 (0)116 2634700 fax +44 (0)116 2824000 email www.

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