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UNIT GC3: HEALTH AND SAFETY PRACTICAL

APPLICATION


For NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety
and NEBOSH International Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety


Guidance and information for
accredited course providers and candidates

This document provides comprehensive guidance on the presentation and submission of the
Unit GC3 practical application. It includes guidance on the structure and style of the report.
Candidates should study this document carefully before submitting their practical application.

The guidance should be read carefully in conjunction with the practical application mark
scheme, which is included in this guidance document, to provide a clear guide to the
requirements of the practical application.








Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information: v1 (Aug 2013)
Introduction

The aim of this unit is to assess a candidates ability to complete successfully two activities:

To carry out, unaided, a safety inspection of a workplace, identifying the more
common hazards, deciding whether they are adequately controlled and, where
necessary, suggesting appropriate and cost effective control measures.

To prepare a report that persuasively urges management to take appropriate action,
explaining why such action is needed (including reference to possible breaches of
standards and identifying practical legislation and control measures that should be
implemented.

This will require candidates to apply the knowledge and understanding gained from their studies
of elements of Units NGC1 and GC2 or Units IGC1 and GC2 in a practical environment and to
carry out an evaluation of information gathered during the inspection. The time allowed to
complete the assessment is not restricted but candidates should aim to complete the inspection
and the report in two hours. The practical application may be submitted in the candidates own
handwriting or be word processed.

The submission must include:

completed observation sheets covering a number and range of hazards and good
practice, identifying suitable control measures and timescales;

an introduction and executive summary;

main findings of the completed inspection;

conclusions which summarise the main issues identified in the candidates
workplace;

completed recommendations table.

The practical application must be carried out in the candidates own workplace. The workplace
should be large enough to provide a sufficient range of hazards in the areas covered to provide
an adequate range for identification. If the workplace is very large, in order that the practical
application is manageable the candidate should limit the area considered.

Where the candidate does not have access to a workplace, the course provider should be
consulted to help in making arrangements for the candidate to carry out the practical application
at suitable premises. Providers seeking to run the practical in this way should contact NEBOSH
for advice and approval.

Management at the premises should be consulted to ensure the candidate can carry out the
inspection without endangering their own health and safety.

Where confidentiality requires, locations and company names may be omitted from the report,
or alternatively guidance should be sought from NEBOSH.




Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 2 of 21
Candidates do not require supervision when carrying out the practical application but the
candidate must sign a declaration that the submission is their own work (Appendix 1). If this
declaration is not submitted the candidates result may be declared void. A signature can be
electronic or can be faxed.

Candidates must note that accredited course providers cannot comment on practical
applications before submission or marking.

Candidates, employers and internal assessors should be aware that the status of the inspection
undertaken to fulfil the requirements of Unit GC3 is for educational purposes only.


Date of Assessment

Assessment of the practical unit (GC3) must normally take place within 10 working days of
(before or after) the date of the NGC1/IGC1 and/or GC2 written papers (the date of the
examination). The results sheet completed by the accredited course provider must reach
NEBOSH by no later than 15 working days after the date of the examination (Appendix 2).

If a candidate is absent from the written papers because of illness corroborated by a doctors
note, but successfully completes the GC3 unit within the 10 working day deadline, the result
will stand. If a candidate is unable to complete the GC3 unit under similar circumstances,
NEBOSH may allow it to be taken at a later date beyond the normal 10 working day
deadline.

The accredited course provider should advise the candidate of the latest date by which the
completed report and observation sheets must be received by the course provider for
marking. It is the responsibility of the course provider to ensure that the results of the
practical (GC3) are available to NEBOSH by no later than 15 working days after the date of
the examination for NGC1/IGC1 and/or GC2.

Completion of study for both NGC1 and GC2 or IGC1 and GC2 is recommended in order to
undertake the practical application unit GC3.

Candidates planning to post their reports to the course provider should be reminded of the
need to guard against loss in the post by sending their work by trackable delivery.
Candidates are therefore advised to retain copies of both their completed observation sheets
and report.


Marking

Practical applications will be marked by an internal assessor a person proposed to
NEBOSH by an accredited course provider and approved by NEBOSH. Internal assessors
will be at least Grad IOSH of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health or equivalent
and working towards chartered membership, CMIOSH, (or similar).

A marking sheet (Appendix 3) will be completed by the internal assessor for each candidate
and attached to the candidates report. The total percentage mark for each candidate will be
transferred to a results sheet (Appendix 2) and returned to NEBOSH by no later than 15
working days after the examination date of NGC1/ICG1 and/or GC2.

Candidates must achieve the pass standard (60%) in this unit in order to satisfy the criteria
for the qualification.

Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 3 of 21
Moderation

Marked GC3 assessments are subject to external moderation by NEBOSH to monitor the
standard being set and marks awarded by the internal assessor may be adjusted
accordingly.

The observation sheets and report should not be sent to NEBOSH unless they are called in.
However, the observation sheet and report should be retained with the mark sheet for each
candidate for at least six weeks following the date of issue by NEBOSH of the examination
results to which they relate. Practical applications may be called in at any time from the
date of examination until six weeks after the issue of results.

Candidates may lodge an EAR (enquiry about result) within the timeframe as advised on
their URN (unit result notification).


Retention of practical samples by accredited course providers

NEBOSH monitors the consistency of internal assessment by accredited course providers
(eg practicals marked by the course provider) over time. Accredited course providers are
therefore required to retain representative samples of practical applications (eg high pass,
low pass, refer) for each standard sitting or cohort for a rolling three year period.

The sample of practicals to be retained by accredited course providers will be no more than
24 scripts per year per qualification, but providers may choose to retain more for internal
quality assurance purposes. Providers should retain the archived sample for three years in a
manner that makes them easily retrievable. This is intended to enable course provider staff
to monitor the standards of candidate performance in the practical application over time, and
make improvements to their delivery when necessary. Additionally, the samples will serve as
exemplar materials for practical application assessors appointed by accredited course
providers to use as guidance in their assessment decisions.

Sampling of accredited course provider-marked scripts enables NEBOSH to ensure that the
standard of marking for internal assessment remains consistent over time both within and
between accredited course providers. Using archived materials in this way is intended to
maintain marking standards and enhance parity between the marks before and after
moderation.

Other scripts should be disposed of as confidential waste.


Completion of observation sheets

Candidates will be supplied with a sufficient number of observation sheets from a course
provider which may be photocopied for the purpose. An example observation sheet is given at
Appendix 4. The observation sheets must be completed during the inspection. Only brief details
of each hazard are required including where the hazard was located and the consequences of
the hazard. For example, housekeeping could be better does not give enough information
about the particular hazard.


The observation sheets should be completed by:

Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 4 of 21
identifying, in the left hand column, any hazards, unsafe work practices and examples of
good practice observed during the inspection;

commenting in the next column, on the adequacy of existing controls and identifying any
immediate and longer term remedial actions needed;

stating, in the right hand column a reasonable timescale for the actions identified.

There should be sufficient information on the observation sheets to enable the candidate to
complete a report to management on their findings. Candidates are also advised to make notes
on the area inspected, including activities taking place, in order to complete the introduction to
their report. Whilst poor spelling and grammar will not be marked or penalised, if the assessor is
unable to read or to understand the notes made by candidates during their inspection then
invariably fewer marks will be awarded than would otherwise have been the case. The practical
application may be submitted in the candidates own handwriting or word processed.


Marking of observation sheets

Candidates are advised to refer to the marking sheet given at Appendix 3 and the marking
matrix given at Appendix 6.

Range and outline of hazards and consequences (15 marks)

Candidates should outline 20 uncontrolled hazards to gain maximum marks, but are strongly
recommended to outline more than 20 (but no more than 30) in case of duplication or
inappropriate hazards being outlined. Candidates must demonstrate their understanding of how
identified hazards have the potential to cause harm, for example, boxes stored on the floor may
cause obstruction of access, egress routes and / or a potential of musculoskeletal injury if lifted.
This information must be recorded in the Hazards and consequences column. Candidates are
expected to outline different types of hazards such as hazardous substances, fire, electrical,
work equipment, ergonomic, housekeeping, noise, vibration, transport, manual handling and
health hazards and should also consider if there are any welfare and environmental problems.
At least five different types of hazard must be included for maximum marks. In addition
candidates are expected to comment on situations where there is adequate control of hazards
and where good practice is being observed, although candidates should place the emphasis on
uncontrolled hazards. A maximum of 1 mark is available for good practice.

Candidates who repeat identical hazards will only be awarded ONE mark for that hazard (eg
inadequate labelling of an unknown chemical substance). Candidates should focus on physical
conditions and not on poor policies and procedures.

It is important to note that credit can only be gained in this section for clearly outlined
hazards.

Identification of suitable control measures and timescales (15 marks)

Candidates are expected to give thought to what is required to immediately control the risk from
each outlined hazard AND to identify the need for long term actions to control the risk.

This requires candidates to distinguish between the symptoms and the root causes of hazards.


For example, the immediate action on a spillage may be clean up spillage and inform
supervisor whereas longer term actions might include appropriate supervisor training, regular
Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 5 of 21
inspections, and investigation of the source of the leak. A further longer term action may be to
modify the work process to tackle the root cause. The proposed control measures must not
only remove or control the hazard but must also be realistic in terms of timescales. Candidates
should indicate a measure of time eg supervisor training to be completed within three months.

If existing controls are in place and considered adequate, candidates should consider any
measures required to maintain this level of control.

Candidates should avoid generic phrases being repeatedly used eg monitor and train staff.
Candidates should give appropriate clarification by giving examples of appropriate monitoring
and the type of training required.

Candidates should be aware that if unsuitable control measures are suggested full marks
cannot be awarded. Short term measures to improve housekeeping will do little to improve the
lack of safety management systems and procedures evidenced by materials and equipment left
lying around.

Candidates should also note that where the hazard is not clearly outlined full credit cannot be
gained for control measures as assessors will be unable to determine appropriateness of the
measures proposed.


Completion of report

Candidates should use the Candidate report template given at Appendix 5 to structure their
report. The length of the report should be between 700 and 1000 words and should not
simply duplicate the observation sheets. Candidates can consult reference books when
preparing the report, but plagiarism will be dealt with as malpractice.

The report should not contain photographs, printed text or any other extraneous material.

The report should be written in such terms that a manager would be able to take reasonable
action based on facts. Reports based on unsupported generalities and those that simply
reiterate the contents of the observation sheets will be awarded low marks.

Candidates should aim to complete their report in one hour.

If none of the criteria to award marks is met, then zero marks will be awarded.


Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 6 of 21
Marking of report

Candidates are advised to refer to the marking sheet given at Appendix 3 and the marking
matrix given at Appendix 6.


Report Introduction and Executive Summary

Introduction providing an overview of the chosen area (5 marks)

Candidates should start with the details of the inspection, stating where and when the
inspection took place. A clear and appropriate description of the chosen area and of the
activities occurring in the area should be given.

Executive summary (5 marks)

The executive summary should be written after the candidate has completed the rest of the
report but it should be inserted at the beginning of the report. The purpose of the executive
summary is to provide a concise overview of the important points arising from the work and
summarise the main conclusions and recommendations arising from it.

An executive summary should provide sufficient information to enable a busy manager to make
a decision as to whether or not to read the full report and to provide a persuasive case for
implementation of recommendations made.


Report Main findings of the inspection

The main findings of the inspection should form the main body of the report and include the
following aspects:

The report should be well structured, the appropriate length and not duplicate observation
sheets. The report should be concise, readable and highly selective in terms of action
required by management. Candidates should include balanced arguments on why action is
needed and explain the effect it would have on the standards of health and safety at the
workplace and the possible effects on the business overall.

Quality of interpretation of findings (15 marks)

There should be a logical progression from the hazards outlined on the observation sheets.
The key issues should be appropriately selected and discussed, and should not include any
hazards not outlined on the observation sheets and does not duplicate the observation
sheets.

Identification of possible breaches of legislation and standards (5 marks)

Candidates should be able to identify legislation eg Manual Handling Operations
Regulations, standards and conventions listed in the syllabus that may have been infringed
eg Guidelines on Occupational Safety and Health Management Systems (ILO-OSH) 2001.
Credit will also be given for reference to appropriate local standards.

Candidates must ensure that any legislation, standards or convention referred to is relevant
to the area/location inspected and hazards outlined and must demonstrate a clear
Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 7 of 21
understanding of the reasons for the breaches. Candidates should identify a minimum of
five breaches.

Persuasiveness / conciseness / technical content (10 marks)

The candidate must explain why management need to take action including clear legal,
moral and financial arguments. Issues requiring urgent action by management with
associated explanations containing convincing arguments why such action is needed should
be included. Reference can be made to the list of observations and recommended actions,
calling particular attention to any recommendations which could have a high cost in terms of
finance, inconvenience or time.

Financial benefits, such as increased productivity, may also accrue from making appropriate
changes to safety systems. The possible costs of not taking action should be included.


Report Conclusions and Recommendations

Clear and concise conclusions which are clearly related to report findings and are effective in
convincing management to take action (15 marks)

This section should provide a concise summary of the findings identified in the main body of
the candidates report to persuade management to take action. The conclusions should not
introduce new issues or additional factors.

Recommendations which present realistic actions to improve health and safety in the chosen
area (15 marks)

Candidates must include recommendations based upon their conclusions.
Recommendations must be presented using the recommendations table included at
Appendix 5. The recommendations must be realistic, appropriately prioritised and have
appropriate resource implications. Candidates are not expected either to know or to estimate
actual costs but should demonstrate that they are aware of cost implications. For example,
candidates recommending the complete resurfacing of a site roadway because of a small
pothole, without commenting on its overall condition, will receive low marks. If training is
recommended as a solution to a problem, candidates should indicate if this is likely to
require a few hours of work-based instruction or several days of more costly off-the-job
training. It is the assessment of magnitude of the cost that is important, rather than precise
figures, eg candidates may refer to the number of worker hours as a measure of cost.

Recommendations must be prioritised. The most pressing issues, those which present the
highest risk levels and those that can be done immediately at little or no cost, should be
addressed first. Target date should be included, for example, plus one week or plus three
months.

If none of the criteria to award marks is met, then zero marks will be awarded.






Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 8 of 21
APPENDIX 1

GC3 The Health and Safety Practical Application

Candidate and course provider declarations:

For completion by the candidate:

I declare that the work submitted for this practical application assessment ie. the completed observation sheets
and the report to management, is my own work. I recognise that contravention of this statement constitutes
malpractice and may result in my being subject to the penalties set out in the NEBOSH Malpractice policy.

Name (Print) _______________________________

Signature _______________________________

Date _______________________________

For completion by a course provider representative (eg internal practical assessor):

I declare that the work marked is identical to that received from the candidate. I recognise that contravention of
this statement constitutes malpractice and may result in my being subject to the penalties set out in the NEBOSH
Malpractice policy.

Name (Print) _______________________________

Signature _______________________________

Date _______________________________

For completion by the course providers internal practical assessor:

I declare that I have marked this work and am both qualified and approved by NEBOSH to do so. I recognise
that contravention of this statement constitutes malpractice and may result in my being subject to the penalties
set out in the NEBOSH Malpractice policy.

Name (Print) _______________________________

Signature _______________________________

Date _______________________________



NB: This declaration must be completed in full, submitted and retained with the
candidates script. If this declaration is not submitted the candidates result may be
declared void.


Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 9 of 21
APPENDIX 2

Practical unit results list (for return to NEBOSH)



Unit GC3 Health and Safety Practical unit
practical application results list




NB: To be returned to NEBOSH by the course provider within 15 working days of the
examination.

GC3 [DATE]
Course provider: XXX [COURSE PROVIDER NAME]

Student no. Student Name GC3
practical
Mark REMARKS
X
X
X
X
X
X





















Total candidates = X
Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 10 of 21

APPENDIX 3





GC3 THE HEALTH AND Assessors marking sheet
SAFETY PRACTICAL APPLICATION


Date of practical application Name of assessor

Course provider
number

Course provider
name


Student number Student name


Criteria
Maximum
marks
available
Assessors
marks awarded
NEBOSH
moderated
marks
(if different)
1 Completion of observation sheets


1.1 Range and outline of hazards and consequences 15


1.2
Identification of suitable control measures and
timescales
15


2 Report - Introduction and Executive Summary


2.1
Introduction providing an overview of the chosen
area
5


2.2 Executive summary 5


3 Report - Main findings of the inspection


3.1 Quality of interpretation of findings 15


3.2
Identification of possible breaches of legislation
and/or standards
5


3.3 Persuasiveness / conciseness / technical content 10
4 Report - Conclusions and Recommendations
4.1
Clear and concise conclusions which are clearly
related to report findings and are effective in
convincing management to take action
15
4.2
Recommendations which present realistic actions to
improve health and safety in the chosen area
15


TOTAL MARKS


100
Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 11 of 21


Outcome: PASS (60% or more) REFER (less than 60%)


Date assessed ____ / ____ / ____

Assessors signature ______________________

Date received by course provider ____ / ____ / ____
Date received by NEBOSH
(if applicable) _____ / _____ / _____


Assessor s additional comments on the practical application:















ASSESSED BY (name in block letters) ________________________________________________

The mark sheet must be retained by the Course Provider and sent to NEBOSH onl y if requested.


NEBOSH USE ONLY


NEBOSH Moderators comments:






Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 12 of 21

APPENDIX 4

GC3 THE HEALTH AND Candidates observation
SAFETY PRACTICAL APPLICATION sheet


Sheet number of _____


Student name _______________________________________ Student number _________________

Place inspected _____________________________________ Date of inspection ___ / _____ / _____

Observations Control measures Timescale
Hazards and consequences Immediate and longer term actions









































Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 13 of 21

APPENDIX 5



UNIT GC3 THE HEALTH AND Candidate report template
SAFETY PRACTICAL APPLICATION



Student number ________________________________

Location ______________________________________ Date of review / /


Structure report under the following headings:



Introduction including overview of area inspected and activities taking place



Executive Summary



Main findings of the inspection



Conclusions





Recommendations incl ude as a table in the following format:

Recommendation Likel y resource implicati ons Priority Target date



















Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 14 of 21

APPENDIX 6
GC3 Marking Matrix

For each element, 0 marks should be awarded if that aspect of the report fails to meet the criteria for 1
mark.



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g

m
a
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k
s
.

Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 15 of 21




M
a
r
k
s

t
o

b
e

a
w
a
r
d
e
d



4

-

5

2

-

3

1

2

M
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R
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2
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1


I
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v
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v
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w


Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 16 of 21




M
a
r
k
s

t
o

b
e

a
w
a
r
d
e
d



1
1
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5

6
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R
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d
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Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 17 of 21







5

4

3

2

1

3
.
2

I
d
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d



Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 18 of 21




M
a
r
k
s

t
o

b
e

a
w
a
r
d
e
d



8
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1
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4
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c
t
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e
d


Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 19 of 21


M
a
r
k
s

t
o

b
e

a
w
a
r
d
e
d



1
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Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 20 of 21







T
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Unit GC3: Health and Safety Practical Application - Guidance and Information v1 (Aug 2013) 21 of 21