GC3 – NEBOSH Certificate Practical Application

GC3 – NEBOSH Certificate Practical Application @ ASHEI

ASHEI Guidance on how to successfully complete GC3: The NEBOSH Certificate Practical Application How to score good Marks

GC3 NEBOSH Purpose? – Is to enable candidates to“apply the knowledge and understanding gained from their studies of elements of units IGC1 and GC2  in a practical environment and to carry out an evaluation of information during the inspection”. 

GC3 requires candidates to do two things:

  1. Carry out an inspection of a workplace (noting their findings on Observation Sheets provided by NEBOSH) 30 Marks
  2. Write a report to management concerning these findings, persuading management to take action. 70 marks – Pass mark for GC 3 is 60 marks

Marking Scheme

Both the inspection and the management report can either be handwritten or word processed. Guidance suggests that the whole exercise should take no longer than 2:30  hour and the management report should be between 700 – 1000 words in length and are recorded on standardised Observation Sheets provided by NEBOSH and the management report must be written using standard headings, again set out by NEBOSH.The guidance also contains the marking scheme, which is used by the approved NEBOSH markers, as below

  Criteria Maximum Marks Available Assessor’s 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    
3.1 Quality of interpretation of findings 15    
3.2 Identification of possible breaches of legislation 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 100    

GC3 Guidance provided by NEBOSH and information :-

Reading guidance is very important for preparation of GC3. The Marking Matrix in the GC3 Guidance, mentioned above, is really important as it will enable candidates to compare what they have written (observation sheets and management report) against descriptions of what the NEBOSH marker is looking for in order to award high marks.

For example, to award a maximum of 5 marks for the Introduction in the management report, the marker is looking for the Introduction to provide a “Clear and appropriate description of the chosen area and of the activities occurring in the area”. Clearly therefore an Introduction which does not contain any or little information about the chosen area that was inspected (it’s approximate size, its location etc) nor the activities that are carried out in the area, is not going to gain many marks.

Important things to remember when completing the Inspection and Management Report

Report can be word processed or handwritten. Hand written project is to be readable

  1. Observations sheets. – 30 Marks  :- The format of the sheets are set by NEBOSH and can be seen in figure 1 below:
Observations Control measures Time scale
Hazards and
Immediate and longer-term actions   
  • Remember : Candidates are required to identify 25 uncontrolled hazards/consequences which cover 4-5 different types of hazards (electricity, machinery, fire etc) (14 Marks). And one or two positive observations (1 mark)  – Total 15 marks. The hazard and consequence to be identified. Marks will not be awarded if hazards are identified but no consequence is given. for example, writing  “Emergency exit locked and blocked by steel bucket – preventing escape in an emergency” would be awarded marks, but just writing “Fire exit locked and blocked” would not gain marks.
  • The recommended control measures not only deal with the identified problems in the short term but also address the underlying problems for the longer term (that is to say the real reasons are dealt with not just the symptoms that are seen in the work place).for example : if a guard is missing on a machine, not only recommend that the machine is not used and the guard is replaced but also recommend what should be done to prevent this from reoccurring in the future.
  • Timescales suggestions for the recommended control measures, make sure they are appropriate i.e. it is physically possible to complete the recommendation in that timescale and it is not too long if the risk from the hazard observed is high. (Controls and time scale 15 Marks)
  • Report to Management (70 Marks)NEBOSH IGC Management Report headings
  • Introduction
  • Executive Summary
  • Main Findings of the Inspection
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations                                                                                            Progression of report- When writing the report it may seem to the candidate that they are repeating themselves i.e. findings and general recommendations are discussed in the Main Findings then they are summarised in the Conclusions, they are then repeated again in more detail in the Recommendations and finally given an overview in the Executive Summary.
    • Introduction (5 Marks) – Make sure this section contains a clear overview of the area that was inspected and a good description of the activities and operations carried out in that area.
    • Executive Summary (5 Marks) – This should be written at the end of the report writing stage but needs to be placed in the report at this point (after the Introduction and before the Main Findings of the Inspection). provide a short overview of the important points in the report and the recommendations suggested to improve what was observed. It should not be vague but should give someone who has not read the report in full an overall picture of what the main problems were and what has been recommended to address them.
    • Main Findings (15 Marks) – A repeat of the observation sheets but a summary of the main findings and areas of concern that were observed during the inspection. Similar hazards observed in the inspection should therefore be grouped together in this section and discussed, making sure that the hazards which present the highest risk are included. Typically this section will discuss around 5 to 6 of the major areas of concern.

  • Legislation (5 Marks) – 5 references to legislation and/or international standards being breached are included, with a statement outlining why they are being breached. Just stating the legislation without the reason why will not gain any marks. For example, a statement such as “the machine does not have a guard fitted – this is in breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 which requires dangerous parts of machinery to be guarded” will be awarded a mark. Just simply stating “this is in breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998”, will not attract a mark.

  • Persuasiveness ( 10 Marks) – When discussing the main findings of the inspection also ensure that the moral, legal and financial arguments are made for taking action and implementing the recommended control measures. A manager, when reading the report, should be persuaded to take action and left in no doubt as to what could be the consequences of not taking action and what could be the benefits when action is taken. A good cost benefit analysis can score better marks
    • Conclusions (15 Marks) – This is the area candidates loose more marks – so please ensure that the conclusions summarise the main points of the issues discussed in the main body and management are persuaded to take action. Conclusions which are vague, do not mention any of the findings discussed in the main report or introduce new issues which are not mentioned in the main findings will not gain marks. All the recommendations on main findings should be mentioned in the conclusion section which is to be make in 6 paragraph minimum with major concerns as headings.
    • Recommendations (15 Marks) – These must follow on from recommendation of the issues summarised in the conclusions. Therefore if the main findings of the report have not been summarised in the conclusions, the candidate will not only get a poor mark for the conclusions but also a poor mark for the recommendations, as the recommendations need to have progression on from the conclusions.
    • The recommendations must be realistic, have an appropriate timescale, prioritised according to their importance in dealing with the level of risk and have an appropriate resource given to them e.g. cost in INR/USD as applicable or man hours to complete. see table 2:
Recommendation Likely resource implications Priority Review date
Rec from conclusions Cost, man hours, etc High,medium, low Date of completion of control

Ensure that the completed Observations Sheets and Management Report of gc3 nebosh duly signed are received by your training provider within five days after the written Exam. Refer Nebosh Guidance  The full guidance for the GC3 practical for candidates can be downloaded from the NEBOSH website


Anil Menon is Fellow Member of IIRSM(UK) and Chartered Health Safety member of IOSH (UK). And Registered OSH Consultant (UK) with 35 years experience in the aviation, smelter, construction, Fire prevention & Rescue operations, OSH training and Elevator industry.  Areas of expertise include Fire prevention & Rescue operations, OSH Auditing, Quality, FSMS, Environment management systems auditing. Anil Menon, presently in to safety awareness delivery in India for Nebosh IGC, British Safety Council International Diploma, IOSH courses, Nebosh Diploma courses, Medic First Aid, IADC Rig Pass trainer in addition to  consultancy, which include, health and safety policy reviews, risk assessment guidance, auditing and designing and delivering bespoke training solutions.