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NEBOSH Diploma in Occupational

Health and Safety

Unit D Workbook

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Contents
Unit D Assignment – NEBOSH Guidance, Examiners Feedback and General Advice for
Candidates .............................................................................................................................................................5 
1 Assignment Brief .........................................................................................................................................5 
2 Structure of the Report .............................................................................................................................7 
3 Report Style ................................................................................................................................................ 10 
4 Marking ........................................................................................................................................................ 11 
5 Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................. 12 
6 Introduction ............................................................................................................................................... 13 
7 Review of the Health and Safety Management System ............................................................ 16 
8 Hazards......................................................................................................................................................... 17 
9 Risk Assessments ...................................................................................................................................... 18 
10 Conclusions .............................................................................................................................................. 20 
11 Recommendations ................................................................................................................................ 21 
12 Action Planning ...................................................................................................................................... 22 
13 Bibliography and References ............................................................................................................ 23 
14 Appendices .............................................................................................................................................. 24 
15 Marking Scheme and Grade Indicators ......................................................................................... 25 
16 Quality Standard Checklist ................................................................................................................. 33 
17 Submission of the Report ................................................................................................................... 35 
Powerpoint Presentation – Notes Pages ................................................................................................. 37 
Planned Coursework / Homework ............................................................................................................. 51 
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................... 51 
End of Week 1 ............................................................................................................................................... 51 
End of Week 2 ............................................................................................................................................... 53 
End of Week 3 ............................................................................................................................................... 54 
End of Week 4 ............................................................................................................................................... 55 
End of Week 5 ............................................................................................................................................... 56 
Post Course Support ................................................................................................................................... 57 
NEBOSH Website – How to Find the current Unit D Guides ............................................................ 59 
Unit D Assignment Log .................................................................................................................................. 63 
Unit D Assignment Cover Sheet ................................................................................................................. 65 

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Unit D Assignment – NEBOSH Guidance,
Examiners Feedback and General Advice for
Candidates
This advice is drawn primarily from the NEBOSH Guidance for Candidates and is
supplemented with:

 information drawn from Examiners Feedback on


Unit D (which is presented in grey textboxes Information from NEBOSH
throughout; and Examiners Feedback

 Additional advice from Astutis tutors.


Advice from Astutis tutors
Comprehensive guidance is provided regarding the
presentation, structure, style and submission of the
Unit D assignment report. Candidates should study this document carefully before
submitting their assignment.

NB the most current NEBOSH guidance can be downloaded for free from the NEBOSH
students webpages at https://www.nebosh.org.uk/Students/default.asp?cref=189&ct=2

The guidance should be read carefully in conjunction with the assignment mark scheme,
which is attached at the end of this guidance document, to provide a clear guide to the
requirements of the assignment report.

Candidates who perform well in Unit D evidently follow the detailed guidance
provided very closely.
It is clear that they understand and apply the requirements of the said guidance to
structure their report, often using the guidance content to produce section headings
in their work.
It is disappointing, though, that far too many candidates fail to follow the guidance
provided by NEBOSH.

1 Assignment Brief
The candidate is 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 assignment will require the candidate to apply the knowledge and understanding
gained from their studies of elements of Units A, B and C in a practical environment and to

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carry out critical analysis and evaluation of information gathered during the review. The
level of work should be that expected of a competent occupational health and safety
practitioner working within an organisation.

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;

 a description of the chosen workplace/organisation to set a context for the


assignment. The candidate will need to consider the legal framework within which the
workplace/organisation operates;

 an overview of the current health and safety


management arrangements in which the
candidate should critically review the health and
safety management system; Develop the report
objectives from these
 a survey of a wide range of significant hazards or
specified areas of
activities within the workplace. The candidate
required content.
should prioritise the identified hazards or activities
and, carry out a risk assessment on one physical
An objective should be
(Unit C) and one health and welfare (Unit B) hazard
expressed as
or activity. This should include an evaluation of the
something that the
effectiveness of the organisation in controlling the
report is trying to
risk arising from the hazards or activities identified
achieve and deliver so
and proposals to further control the hazard(s) and
that the reader can
reduce risks;
check whether or not
 conclusions which summarise the main issues the objective has been
identified in the candidate’s work together with fulfilled.
justified recommendations for improvement;

 a costed and prioritised action plan for


implementation of the candidate’s
recommendations in each of the two areas; and

 an executive summary of the report.

The focus of the Unit D assignment should be the application of the knowledge and
understanding developed in Units A, B and C to a real workplace situation. It provides
opportunities for the candidate to carry out research and demonstrate the ability to carry
out a range of activities that would be expected of a health and safety practitioner.

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The aim of the assignment is to produce an overall Consider this and the first
review of the health and safety management system paragraph of the assignment
of an organisation and indicate, using risk brief above to help articulate the
assessment, the priorities for the organisation for aim of the assignment
the future.

It is important that a suitable workplace upon which the assignment research will be
based is chosen.

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 and C to provide an adequate range for
identification and prioritisation. Candidates who have difficulty identifying a suitable
workplace should ask their tutor for advice.

If the organisation is very large, in order that the assignment is manageable the candidate
should limit the area considered. In such circumstances it might be more appropriate to
consider a department or division of the organisation rather than the organisation as a
whole, although obviously, the health and safety management system will probably be
that adopted by the whole organisation.

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. While it would not be appropriate for tutors to read and amend drafts of the report,
their role is to ensure that the candidate is ‘heading in the right direction’– for example,
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. Tutors must not provide a ‘pre-
mark’.

2 Structure of the Report


A good assignment is planned well from the outset. Candidates should read the brief and
the detailed guidance carefully and highlight the key words to make sure it is understood
what is required. An outline plan which includes the main headings for the report and the
topics required in each part should be produced. This can be used as a checklist to make
sure that everything has been included when the report is proof read at the end.

The report should be organised in sections which match those set out in the assignment
mark scheme and contain a contents page. To help the reader, each section should be
headed with the appropriate title. The sections are:

 Executive Summary

 Introduction

 Aims and objectives

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 Methodology

 Description of the organisation

 Legal Environment

 Review of the Health and Safety Management System

 Gap Analysis

 Hazard Identification

 Physical Hazards

 Health and Welfare Hazards

 Risk Assessment

 Physical Hazard

 Health and Welfare Hazard

 Conclusions

 Recommendations

 Action Plan

 Management System

 Hazards and Risk

 References / Bibliography

 Appendices.

The report should be approximately 8,000 words in total, excluding the References/
Bibliography and Appendices. No penalty will be applied to reports which exceed 8,000
words but candidates should aim to keep their word count under 12,000 to avoid the main
requirements of the assignment brief becoming lost and the report losing clarity.
Candidates should also note that irrelevant material included in their reports will not
attract marks. Risk assessments must be included in the main body of the report.
Candidates must note that risk assessments included as appendices cannot be awarded
marks.

Appendices are pieces of work which support the content of the report.

The candidate should include only material which is an essential aid to an understanding
of the content of the report. Each item in the appendices should be referred to in the
report so that the reader can turn directly to it to find the background to the factor

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concerned. Appendices should be kept to the minimum. The reader is not going to spend
time reading through a collection of items which may not be relevant.

Planning and presentation


 Run a spelling check on their reports and ask an independent ‘lay person’ to read
the report before submission.
 Avoid:
 Unnecessary tables or images.
 Scanned copies of handwritten work or flip charts should be avoided.
 Ensure the report is properly formatted, with pagination, headers and footers, and
section headings being included.
 Ensure the report is clear, concise, well-structured and appropriate for an
audience of senior managers

 Assuming that the report is going to be written in around 10 000 word use the
available word count in proportion to the marking scheme
 Executive summary (10%)
 (NB this has to be delivered in single page – around 450 word - see section 5
 Introduction (10% - 1000 words)
8650 words
 SMS Review (12% - 1200 words)
Given the reduced word count
 Hazard identification (16% - 1600 words) for the Exec summary and the
 Risk assessments (2 x 10% - 1000 words each) marks available for planning
etc there are 2000 or so
 Conclusions (6% - 600 words)
additional words available
 Recommendations (6% - 600 words) Ensure the report is balanced
 Action Plans (2 x 6% - 1200 words) and proportionally weighted

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3 Report Style
There are many detailed general guides to
writing reports available on the internet,  Consider advice on how to write
often as part of study guides produced by University or business reports but
university departments. A search under do not deviate from the prescribed
‘writing reports’ will produce links to such Unit D structure
sites. It is strongly recommended that
candidates study such material in order to  Report writing advice that makes
understand how to write a report to the reference to BS 4811:1972
required standard for the assignment. “Specification for the presentation
of research and development
The report should use a formal style as reports” should generally be fine
would be expected for a report to
management. The report should convey  Write in the past tense and be
the information as clearly and concisely as impersonal (e.g. this was done,
possible. However, sets of bullet points are rather than I did this)
unlikely to give sufficient indication that
the writer has a firm understanding of the  Be careful of changing tense mid
subject matter. Some aspects of the report, report. Many candidates begin in
for example the gap analysis of the Health future tense and finish in past
and Safety Management System, might
benefit from a tabular presentation but this  Use plain English and avoid jargon
is not the only effective way of presenting
such material.  Write for an intelligent lay person

The report should be easy to read. The organisation of the report helps this. A good style is
also essential and candidates should structure their report into paragraphs and avoid large
blocks of text. Candidates should try to avoid jargon which is specific to one sort of
organisation such as the armed forces or health service. Sentences should be kept
relatively short and to the point. A good rule is ‘one subject one sentence’. Candidates
should check grammar and spelling and should not use abbreviations without writing
them first in full. Checking the accuracy of references to legislation, Approved Codes of
Practice (ACoPs) etc. is important as there is no excuse for inaccurate citation in an
assignment at this level.

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4 Marking
In each section of the assignment marks are awarded both for the range of factors
considered and the quality of treatment and so candidates need to achieve a balance
between range and depth. Given the level of the Diploma, a large range of factors treated
superficially would not be sufficient to gain a high mark for a particular section.

The marks are allocated by section as indicated below. The full marking scheme table
showing grade indicators is presented in section 15 of this advice.
 Planning and presentation (8)
 Executive Summary (10)
 Introduction (10)
 Review of the Health and Safety Management System
 Description (6)
 Gap Analysis (6)
 Hazard Identification
 Physical Hazards (8)
 Health and Welfare Hazards (8)
 Risk Assessment
 Physical Hazard (10)
 Health and Welfare Hazard (10)
 Conclusions (6)
 Recommendations (6)
 Action Plan
 Management System (6)
 Hazards and Risk (6)

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5 Executive Summary
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. An executive summary
is written for a person who is not necessarily an expert in the field.

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 that can be read in a short time to accommodate the schedule of a busy
reader. It should:

 highlight the important facts and outcomes,

 state the implications for the organisation (including any costs involved); and

 inform the reader of the proposed course of action and the benefits.

An executive summary should provide sufficient information to enable a busy senior


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.

The executive summary is the only part of the report which is length limited. This
must be no longer than one side of A4 using single-spaced Arial font (size 11) and 2cm
print margins (left, right, top and bottom). 10% of the marks available for the executive
summary will be deducted for text covering up to an additional one-quarter of a
page and a further 10% for each additional quarter of a page submitted as part of
the executive summary.

 Write the executive summary in a style and format which will allow it to be read
quickly and easily by the intended audience – senior managers and executives.
 Stick to the allowed one side of A4 paper, using a single-spaced Arial 11 font size
(or similar) and 2cm print margins.
 Write in a concise and persuasive manner
 ‘Grab the attention’ of the reader and provide them with a clear sense of what is
happening in terms of health and safety management, what more needs to be
done and why it is so important to take action.

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6 Introduction
The introduction provides a foundation for the report and enables the reader to place the
following information and judgements in context.

A well written report will have


clear, stated aims and objectives. Properly written aims, objectives and
What does the report writer intend methodology sections are the key to producing
to achieve through undertaking a good assignment.
the assignment? These should be
clearly identified so that the reader Valuable marks can easily be obtained by
is clear as to what they are. They properly outlining what is intended to be done
provide a signpost to the direction and how it is going to be done.
of the candidate’s work, both to Meaningful objectives can be used throughout
help keep on track and to orientate the writing / preparation of the report to ‘sense
the reader. Referring the check’ progress; and checked on completion of
conclusions back to these aims and writing the report to ensure that the candidate
objectives will help the reader to has done what they intended to do at the
decide how well the assignment outset.
has achieved them.

 Accommodate and personalise the information given in the assignment brief to


develop the assignment objective
 Accommodate and personalise the information given in the contents list within
the assignment brief to develop specific objectives

The report should also give a description of the methodology employed in order to carry
out the work for the assignment. This should include what methods of research or
information gathering will be used and what particular methods of presentation and
analysis of findings will be used. This provides the reader with evidence that the work has
been undertaken in a rigorous manner and that the findings are therefore to be relied
upon.

 The methodology section of the report should define the approaches to data
gathering (checklist development, desktop document review, inspections,
interviews etc) and data analysis / evaluation (statistical analysis of accident data,
benchmarking against standards etc)
 The methodology for undertaking the SMS review is likely to be different to that
adopted for the hazard identification and risk assessment

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Candidates who explain and justify the basic principles of their chosen methods tend
to achieve good marks in this area. Clear statements of what research has been carried
out, which models have been chosen and why, are most useful and are usually evident
in better reports.

A description of the chosen workplace/organisation is needed to set the context for


the assignment report. The reader will be unfamiliar with the situation and will need some
background to provide a context for the main body. This should include the size of the
organisation, the nature of work undertaken, and what processes are undertaken, the
employment profile, the work patterns and production schedules employed and if a
department or site has been chosen in a very large organisation, its relationship to the
work of the organisation. Any special situations that are likely to have an impact on health
and safety should also be included.

 Better submissions keep the general description of the chosen workplace


relatively short and concise and relevant to the assignment brief. It is important
that working arrangements, work environment, shift patterns and peripatetic
worker activities are covered in this section.
 There is no need for copious amounts of information on the chosen workplace, its
history or its management systems to be included in the appendices.

 Consider commenting on the organisational structure and culture


 Consider what demographic information about the workers may be useful in the
context of the later hazard discussions – age profile , gender split etc

Candidates are also required to outline legislation and case law relevant to the
organisation. Candidates are required to demonstrate their knowledge and
understanding of the relevant statutes, regulations, ACoPs, standards and guidance and
most importantly the ability to put these in the context of the development of an effective
health and safety management programme. An exhaustive list of statutes, regulations etc
is not expected.

 Remember the target audience – the senior executive – what do they need to
know?
 A simple narrative explaining the two systems of law (civil and criminal – taking
care not to confuse systems and sources)
 An overview of the criminal landscape – HASAWA, Regulations, ACoPs and
Guidance – In the context of the report – related to the following hazard ID and
risk assessment pieces
 The consequences of non-compliance – for the business and the individual

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 An overview of the civil framework – compensation for injury, negligence, duty of
care, employers liability insurance etc
 The business consequences of claims
 Make reference to relevant case law (particularly those specified in the syllabus)
and use the opportunity to comment on the relationship between common and
statute law

 An outline of the principal legal (statute, common, civil and criminal) and other
requirements within which the organisation operates should be included.
 Better submissions attempt to apply these legislative requirements to their
workplace as required.
 Candidates are required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of
relevant statutes, regulations, ACoPs, standards and guidance and outline these in
the context of the development of an effective health and safety management
programme.
 An exhaustive list of statutes, regulations and case law is not expected.
 Candidates who score particularly well in this section ensure that they give time
and effort to identifying and explaining the relevant civil cases, giving clear and
accurate references to carefully selected case law.
 Better submissions paint a balanced picture of the criminal and civil organisational
context.
 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.

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7 Review of the Health and Safety Management System
This is start of the main body of the report which is where the research and analysis that is
undertaken is reported. It is where candidates demonstrate their understanding of health
and safety and their ability to apply it to the situation in the brief.

An overview of the current health and safety management system in the


workplace/organisation should be given, however informal it might be. This should be
compared to a recognised health and safety model e.g. HSG65. Candidates should note
that a detailed description of the recognised model used is not required. The model
should be used to critically review the organisation’s health and safety management
system. Candidates should then provide a clear systematic description of gaps and where
no gaps exist, for all areas of the management system, identify priorities for improvement.

 Candidates outline or describe a generic health and safety model (such as HSG65)
without making clear reference to their own management system cannot
therefore be awarded maximum marks.
 Better reports outline the selected model before explaining the relevance of the
models’ elements to existing policy, arrangements, etc.
 A good working knowledge of HSG65, OHSAS18001 (or a similar model) is
essential for those candidates wishing to perform well.
 Better submissions clearly identify shortcomings in the chosen health and safety
management systems against such a standard, carrying forward these identified
gaps into the recommendations and action plans required later in the report.
 Better submissions often summarise the gaps identified in tabular format, which is
a useful technique and allows candidates to display the gaps, required
improvements and priorities in a clear and concise manner.

 If using HSG65 3rd edition (PDCA model) the guidance will need to be thoroughly
read and a checklist developed to facilitate the benchmarking exercise.
 As OHSAS 18001 was original written as a specification the standard clauses and
sub-clauses can be used to develop a checklist.
 Whichever SMS model is used a significant part of it will relate to hazard
identification, risk assessment and control. It is imperative that any observations or
comments made here are consistent with what is offered in the hazard
identification and risk assessment sections of the report, which must hang
together as a joined up piece of work

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8 Hazards
The assignment requires candidates to identify significant hazards from across a range of
categories and to prioritise them.

Candidates should identify at least 15 relevant hazards using knowledge and


understanding gained in Units B (health and welfare) and C (physical) as a starting point. In
order to cover a sufficient range, the identified hazards should be from across a range of
categories: e.g. chemical, physical, biological, psychosocial, ergonomic, mechanical,
electrical, fire and explosion and transport. Hazards should be identified, relevant to the
chosen organisation and candidates should briefly discuss the likely implications of each.
It is not necessary to identify the same number of hazards from each group. Hazards
identified may include those for which all appropriate control measures have been
implemented.

Candidates must then identify two high priority hazards, one physical hazard or activity
and one health and welfare hazard to be used as part of a suitable and sufficient risk
assessment.

For the purposes of the assignment, hazards associated with health and welfare can
generally be considered to be those covered in Unit B (Hazardous agents). Physical
hazards are covered by the material in Unit C (Workplace and work equipment).

It is recognised that temperature and welfare hazards covered in Unit C may be included
as health and welfare hazards. Candidates must justify the choice of each hazard by
prioritising the hazards identified. Candidates should use a system to assign levels of
importance to each of the hazards identified. A full risk assessment is not needed on each
hazard.

 Do not forget the basics – a hazard is something which has the potential to cause
harm. Do not get this confused with the harm itself.
 Avoid generic topics. It is not useful to identify fire, hazardous substances, work at
height, noise or electricity as hazards.
 The hazards discussed should be specific examples that are relevant in the context
of the particular organisation and ideally task related
 Try to cover each chosen hazard in around half a page.
 Be consistent in approach to each hazard. Explain the hazard; show any local or
national data to indicate the scale of the problem; describe the current controls;
comment on their adequacy with reference to appropriate standards; conclude
with a priority indicator
 Explain the approach to determining priorities
 Indicate which hazards are going to be fully risk assessed in the next section
y

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9 Risk Assessments
The required risk assessments must be completed on the chosen hazards identified and
justified in the preceding section. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the organisation in
controlling the risks arising from the hazards should be included and proposals to further
control the hazards and reduce the risks given.

The methodology adopted in completing each risk assessment should be briefly


described, including reference to relevant publications, legislation, ACOPs, other technical
documents and standards. The risk assessment methodology chosen should be suitable
and sufficient, legally compliant and be appropriate for each hazard identified. High marks
will not be awarded for a generic risk assessment model when a specific risk assessment is
required due to the nature of the hazard e.g. manual handling.

The risk assessment should include a review of the existing control measures and provide
options for further action with reference to a hierarchy of control. The candidate should
make use of any data available for any hazards which have already been quantified e.g.
noise surveys.

Risk assessments must be included in the main body of the report and cannot attract
marks if included as Appendices.

 Describe the chosen risk assessment process or methodology.


 Explain risk quantification models and their relevance.
 Demonstrate a clear understanding of the difference between the terms ‘hazard’
and ‘risk’.
 Take a methodical approach to breaking down and differentiating between work
activities, hazards, risks and possible outcomes.
 Clearly explain the risk assessment process being used, detailing how any ranking
or scoring systems are used for comparison, prioritisation and consideration of
improvements required.
 Select one ‘Physical hazard’ (Unit C) and one ‘Health hazard’ (Unit B) for closer
assessment using a recognised risk assessment approach - Some candidates fail to
score marks due to the selection of two Physical or two Health hazards rather than
one of each.
 The HSE’s 5 steps to risk assessment may be appropriate in many circumstances,
but in some situations this approach is not appropriate.

Continued…

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 Specific risk assessment tools should be used for manual handling, noise or
hazardous substance assessments etc.
 Sufficient emphasis and detail must be given to identifying ‘who might be harmed
and how’. Generic headings of groups of people such as “staff, contractors and
visitors” should be avoided
 Company risk assessment templates should not be used, without being checked
for completeness and adequacy
 Risk assessments submitted for this assignment must be the candidate’s own
original work.
 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.

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10 Conclusions
This section should provide a concise summary of the findings identified in the main body
of the candidate’s report. The conclusions should not introduce new issues or additional
relevant factors.

 To ensure that the reports key findings are properly captured read the SMS review,
hazard ID and risk assessment sections carefully and highlight, underline or
asterisk (and number) the key issues and make sure that these are summarised in
the conclusions section
 NB remove all such marks and annotations from the final – submitted version
 The key findings should be outlined in chronological and/or priority order

The conclusions should start by referring back to the aims and objectives through a brief
discussion of how well they were achieved. The remainder of the conclusions should
follow on logically from the findings in the main body. Candidates should identify the
main findings, possibly by highlighting them on a draft of the main body to make sure
that each of them is referred to in the conclusions.

 The conclusions should refer to things identified in the main body


 Refer back to aims and objectives when writing conclusions.
 Include a summary of key findings
 Do not include recommendations and other suggestions for improvements in the
conclusions.
 Carry out ‘Quality’ checks on the work done, and refer back to the aims and
objectives, critically assessing in their conclusion whether or not the aims and
objectives have been met.

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11 Recommendations
Recommendations should be based upon the points set out in the conclusions and make
reference to the candidate’s gap analysis of the health and safety management system
and assessments of the levels of risk posed by the hazards identified.

The recommendations should lead on from the conclusions and not come as a complete
surprise to the reader. Recommendations should:

 be justified – give a reason why each one of them is included;

 be complete – make sure that each of the main findings is covered;

 be practical – the reader should see that they are a realistic proposal in terms of the
resources required;

 include a cost benefit analysis – in other words what will the organisation gain by
implementing the recommendations set against the costs involved.

Recommendations should 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. Candidates should explain the system of prioritisation used.

 The recommendations section should follow on from the main conclusions in a


logical manner, and need to provide any indication of prioritisation, justification
and ‘Cost Benefit Analysis’ in relation to the recommendations

 Recommendations should be expressed as ‘SMART’ objectives

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12 Action Planning
An action plan is the tool through which the recommendations will be implemented. It is
not a list of recommendations. The action plans in the assignment report should present
actions to improve the health and safety management system and to reduce the risks
associated with the hazards the candidate has identified for the two risk assessments.

The action plans should identify the actions to be taken and for each action, a person with
responsibility for seeing that it is carried out should be indicated. The likely cost should
also be identified and candidates can make reasonable assumptions about costs.
Remember that staff time costs money. Staff involved in carrying out tasks will need time
to do them. Members of staff attending training courses for example are not carrying out
their normal duties. All of this time is paid for through the salaries and on-costs for the
people involved. The timescale in which each action is to be completed should be given.
Finally the plan should include provision for a review of the success of each action. Again
an individual, usually the line manager, should be identified for this and again there will be
a cost implication.

There are a number of suitable formats for action plans but a tabular format is often the
most successful because it is easy to see that all of the requirements have been included

Success Review date


:Recommendations Action(s) Timescale Responsibilities Cost
Criteria / format

1 a

2 a

etc….

 The two action plans required should be separate from each other, and must
provide the information in a tabulated format with all of the relevant headings
included.
 Actions plans must also include some information relating to how and when
progress against the recommendations will be reviewed.

 Any given recommendations may require several actions to be addressed as


‘stepping stones’ to completion
 The action plan has to be able to be implemented. There should be sufficient
detail to enable a third party to pick it up and deliver on it

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13 Bibliography and References
Candidates are required to show evidence of having carried out research in order to
complete the assignment. This is shown through the detailed referencing and the
bibliography and how you refer to the sources within the body of your report. It is no use
putting in a lot of references if you haven’t read them. There are established conventions
for referencing. The two most common methods used in reports are the Harvard system
and the Vancouver system. An explanation of these referencing systems can be found at:

http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/library/using/harvard_system.html

http://www.libweb.anglia.ac.uk/guides/new_harvard.php

http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/authors/reference_text.asp?site=1

The bibliography provides a list of general references to books and other documents
which were used in the preparation of the report.

 Any work that is not the report writers own should be accredited to the
appropriate author and properly referenced
 Make sure that references given are current
 Sources that have been useful in preparing the work but not directly referenced in
the assignment should be listed in a separate bibliography section
 The Harvard system gives the author and year of publication as a reference within
the text, e.g. the current safety management system will be benchmarked against
the requirements of the 3rd edition of HSG65 (HSE, 2013) and then in the reference
section lists the references by author in alphabetical order
 The Vancouver system allocates a numerical reference in the text, e.g. the current
safety management system will be benchmarked against the requirements of the
3rd edition of HSG65 (1) and then in the reference section lists the references in
numerical order
 Pick a University guide to follow (Most University library’s publish referencing
guides – often called “cite’m rite”). Follow the advice diligently
 List the referencing guide followed in the bibliography

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14 Appendices
Appendices are pieces of work which support the content of the report.

The candidate should include only material which is an essential aid to an understanding
of the content of the report. Each item in the appendices should be referred to in the
report so that the reader can turn directly to it to find the background to the factor
concerned. Appendices should be kept to the minimum. The reader is not going to spend
time reading through a collection of items which may not be relevant.

 NB material presented in the appendices cannot attract marks


 Appendices should be kept to a minimum (avoided if possible) and only used
where cross referencing to it from the main report adds value and aids the reader
– e.g. if a detailed checklist was developed to facilitate the SMS review
 Appendices containing HSE publications in whole or in part is unnecessary and
should be avoided

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15 Marking Scheme and Grade Indicators

8-7 6-5 4-3 2-1

Planning and Presentation and Logical structure, fully Structured to meet Confused structure Poor structure with
Presentation organisation meets requirements of requirements of brief with some information much of the
including research brief. Clear and concise, but some sections may included in wrong information included in
bibliography and user friendly writing be combined. Clear sections. Structure and wrong sections.
references style. Evidence of style. Evidence of some language makes it Difficult to read. Little
extensive research with research. References difficult to follow. Little or no evidence of
all references cited cited but some errors in evidence of research research, references
correctly using referencing system. with some references with no accepted
recognised system not cited. system of referencing
used.

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6 5-4 3-2 1

Introduction Aims and Clear, stated aims and Aims and objectives Aims and objectives Aims and objectives
objectives objectives. Description given but not clear. confused. Limited omitted. Methodology
of methodology. Methodology methodology omitted.
incomplete

Description of the Full description of Clear description of Description of Poor description of


organisation organisation with all organisation includes organisation organisation providing
elements clearly most relevant incomplete with some insufficient information
described allowing elements. significant elements to understand the
reader to understand missing. Description content of the report.
the context of the unclear.
report.

Legislation and Outline of principal Partial outline of Limited outline of Little or no outline of
case law relevant legal (statute, common, essential features of essential features of essential features of
to the organisation civil and criminal) and legal environment legal environment legal environment
other requirements. including principal including principal including principal
Reference to statutes legal (statute, common, legal (statute, common, legal (statute, common,
and regulations civil and criminal) and civil and criminal) and civil and criminal) and
together with ACOPs other requirements. other requirements. other requirements.
standards and Partial description of Partial description of Partial description of
guidance described relevant statutory relevant statutory relevant statutory
and justified with provisions. Some may provisions. Little or no provisions. No
relevance to the not be justified. All discussion of relevance. explanation of
organisation. Statutory quoted accurately. Some quoted relevance to
provisions quoted accurately. organisation.
accurately.

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Review of 6-5 4-3 2-1
Health and
Safety Description of Clear overview of current Partial overview, one or two Some aspects of system
Management Health and Safety system linked to recognised elements omitted. Attempts to identified but not linked to
System management Health and Safety model. link to a recognised system. recognised model.
system

6-5 4-3 2-1

Gap analysis Clear systematic description Identifies gaps with clear Identifies major gaps only, some
gaps and areas where no gap description, little or no indication of areas for
exists for all areas of consideration of areas without improvement but not linked to
management system and identified gaps. Some a recognised management
identification of priorities for discussion of improvements system.
improvement linked to a linked to a recognised
recognised management management system.
system.

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8-7 6-5 4-3 2-1

Hazard Identification Full range of hazards / Range of hazards / Restricted range of Very limited range of
Physical Hazards activities identified, activities relevant to hazards / activities and hazards / activities with
relevant to organisation, organisation but restricted range of little attempt to justify
drawn from across the restricted range of categories. Some may be prioritisation, no
range of categories and categories. Includes the irrelevant to organisation. indication of implications.
includes the likely likely implications. Little attempt at
implications. Prioritised Attempt at prioritisation prioritisation.
with justification. not fully justified.

8-7 6-5 4-3 2-1

Hazard Identification Full range of hazards / Range of hazards / Restricted range of Very limited range of
Hazards Appropriate To activities identified, activities relevant to hazards / activities and hazards / activities with
Health And Welfare relevant to organisation, organisation but restricted range of little attempt to justify
drawn from across the restricted range of categories. Some may be prioritisation. No
range of categories and categories. Includes the irrelevant to organisation. indication of health
includes the likely likely implications. Little attempt at implications.
implications. Prioritised Attempt at prioritisation prioritisation.
with justification. not fully justified.

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10-9 8-7 6-5 4-3 2-1

Risk Full risk assessment of Risk assessment on Risk assessment on Risk assessment on Risk assessment
Assessment chosen hazard chosen hazard chosen hazard hazard which may not missing significant
Physical following recognised following recognised following recognised be chosen identified stages, may not be
Hazard / risk assessment risk assessment risk assessment above. Risk carried out on chosen
Activity model. Full model. One or two model. One or two assessment does not hazard or hazards
consideration of all stages omitted. significant stages follow recognised mixed.
factors omitted. model or missing
significant stages.

10-9 8-7 6-5 4-3 2-1

Risk Full risk assessment of Risk assessment on Risk assessment on Risk assessment on Risk assessment
Assessment chosen hazard chosen hazard chosen hazard hazard which may not missing significant
Health And following recognised following recognised following recognised be chosen hazard stages, may not be
Welfare / risk assessment risk assessment risk assessment identified above. Risk carried out on chosen
Activity model. Full model. One or two model. One or two assessment does not hazard or hazards
consideration of all stages omitted. significant stages follow recognised mixed.
factors. omitted. model or missing
significant stages.

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6-5 4-3 2-1

Conclusions Conclusions are complete and Conclusions do not cover all Conclusions do not cover all
summarise all findings in main findings but no new material findings. New material introduced.
body. No new material introduced. introduced.

6-5 4-3 2-1

Recommendations Recommendations are based upon Most recommendations follow on Some recommendations follow on
conclusions, practical, justified and from conclusions with some from conclusions but not all
prioritised. Full cost benefit analysis attempt at justification and justified or prioritised. Limited or no
included. prioritisation. Partial cost benefit cost benefit analysis.
analysis.

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6-5 4-3 2-1

Action Health and Safety Action plan follows from Action plan follows from Action plan follows from
Plan 1 Management recommendations, all actions are recommendations in main but recommendations in main but
System costed, time bound with some new points might be some new points might be
responsibilities identified and introduced, costings time limits introduced. Some key elements
provision for review. and responsibilities partially such as costings, time limits and
identified. Provision for review responsibilities omitted.
may not be adequate. Provision for review omitted.
Action points may not be based
on priorities identified in RAs.

6-5 4-3 2-1

Action Hazards and Risk Action plan follows from Action plan follows from Action plan follows from
Plan 2 recommendations. Actions recommendations in the main recommendations in the main
based on chosen priority areas but some new points might be but some new points might be
from the two RAs. All actions are introduced, Plan includes areas introduced. Some key elements
costed, time bound with from both RAs but does not such as costings, time limits and
responsibilities identified and prioritise them well. Costings, responsibilities omitted.
provision for review. time limits and responsibilities Provision for review omitted.
partially identified. Provision for Action points may not be based
review may not be adequate. on priorities identified in RAs.

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10-9 8-7 6-5 4-3 2-1
Significant omissions,
Executive Includes all Most important Includes some findings. Includes only a few
provides little
summary important findings, conclusions Conclusions and findings. Conclusions
indication of
findings, and recommendations recommendations and recommendations
conclusions,
summarises included. Presents case incomplete with weak not clear. Very weak
recommendations and
conclusions and for implementation. case for case for
benefits of
recommendations Within page limit. implementation. Page implementation.
implementation.
Persuasive case limit may be exceeded Exceeds page count
Exceeds page count
made for by less than 10%. limit by between 10%
limit by more than
implementation. and 20%.
20%.
Within page limit.

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16 Quality Standard Checklist
Check
Have you recorded and signed your tutor/student contact sheet?
The report begins with an Executive Summary
The Executive Summary does not exceed one page of Arial 11 font
The report has an introduction (starting on a new page)
The aims of the project are clearly stated. (sub-headed)
The objectives of the report are clearly stated. (sub-headed)
The study methodology is clearly described. (sub-headed)
The introduction provides a description of the organisation. (sub-headed)
The introduction includes a description of the Legal Environment. (sub-headed)
The report has a main body (starting on a new page) (headed findings)
The findings include a description of the Health and Safety Management System
The findings include a Gap Analysis on the Health and Safety Management System
The findings identify at least 15 significant hazards (headed significant hazards)
The hazards represent a broad range of categories
The hazards are prioritised
A selection of the hazards is given under the heading Physical Hazards
A selection of the hazards is given under the heading Health and Welfare Hazards
The report risk assesses one Physical Hazard
The report risk asses one Health and Welfare Hazard
The risk assessment methodology is described
The report contains clear conclusions
The conclusions refer back to the aims and objective (how well were they achieved?)
The conclusions refer back to the main findings
The conclusions do not introduce any new concepts (not discussed in main body)
The report contains clear recommendations relating to each of the conclusions
The recommendations are justified (give reason)
The recommendations are practical
Cost benefit analysis of recommendations is given
An action plan is included in tabulated form which recognises each recommendation
The action plan includes action for safety management system
The action plan includes action for the two hazards (as risk assessed)
References are included using a recognised system
Bibliography shows research material appropriately referenced
Appendices are attached

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Concluding Checklist from Examiners Feedback
 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.

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17 Submission of the Report
Assignment reports should be submitted before the set submission dates which are
published by NEBOSH annually and available on the NEBOSH website at
https://www.nebosh.org.uk/students/default.asp?cref=172&ct=2

 Submission dates are now quarterly in February, May, August and November of
each year

Candidates intending to submit an assignment must register through their centre using
the appropriate form and paying the appropriate fee. On registration candidates will
receive a submission form*which must accompany the assignment report.

In order to ensure that work submitted is that of the candidate, an Assignment Log* has
been developed (attached). This records discussions between the candidate and the tutor
at various points during the development of the assignment. It is recommended that the
centre and the candidate maintain copies of the Assignment Log so that it is available for
submission with the finished assignments. Candidates should ensure that they complete
all the requested details on the log, which must be submitted with the assignment.

Assignments which are not accompanied by the submission form and a completed
assignment log sheet will not be accepted. (The Assignment Log is not required again
when resubmitting the assignment.)

The appropriate Assignment Cover Sheet* attached to this document must be placed at
the front of the assignment, duly completed with Student number. Neither the
candidate’s name nor their centre’s name/number should appear anywhere on this
page or in the assignment. Names of persons and organisations referred to in the
assignment may be changed at the discretion of the candidate. However, the organisation
that forms the subject of the assignment should be ‘real’ in all other respects (i.e. fictitious
workplaces or simulated scenarios are not acceptable).

Assignments must be presented in an approved manner (i.e. in a flat, A4, (maximum 23


cm X 31 cm), two-pronged, clear-fronted, plastic binder). Pages must not be put in plastic
‘pockets’. Assignments inappropriately bound are liable to be returned. Text should have
the appropriate choice of font size and line spacing. Font size should be a minimum of
11 to facilitate reading.

Assignments must be submitted directly to NEBOSH. They should be sent by Royal Mail
Special Delivery or a courier service that provides a track-back facility (this is a next day
guaranteed delivery service).

Failure to use such a service close to the closing date may result in arrival after the closing
date and rejection of your assignment.

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Candidates are strongly advised to keep a copy of their assignment report.

No refund of fees will be made in cases where assignments are rejected or where
candidates register but fail to submit.

Assignments must be the candidate’s original work. Cases of plagiarism or collusion will
be dealt with severely and are liable to result in the assignment being disqualified and the
candidate being required to submit a new assignment at a later date. Any candidate who
provides an opportunity for another candidate to use his/her assignment inappropriately
shall be liable to the same sanction.

Assignments will NOT be sent back to candidates. On completion of marking, moderation


and appeals procedures, assignments will be treated as confidential waste. After the
completion of the marking process candidates will be informed of the total mark for their
submission and a breakdown of the marks for each section (as indicated on mark scheme).

Candidates must achieve a pass standard of 50% in the assignment in order to satisfy the
assessment criteria for the award of National Diploma.

Marks for resubmitted assignments are not capped.

*Key Paperwork
The assignment log and assignment cover sheet (and resubmission cover sheet)
should be obtained from the current NEBOSH Unit D candidate guidance.
A copy of the assignment log is included at the end of the workbook to enable a
record of tutor conversations to be kept.
The submission form will be provided directly from NEBOSH upon registration for a
particular submission date.

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Powerpoint Presentation – Notes Pages
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Notes

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Planned Coursework / Homework
Introduction
It is recommended that you take the opportunity to make progress with your Unit D
assignment throughout the twelve months or so of your course.

This section of the workbook suggests activities to be tackled between study weeks giving
you the opportunity to get tutor input along the way.

End of Week 1
The following should be tackled before week 2 of the course:

(1) Visit the NEBOSH website and download the latest guidance and examiners feedback

(2) After reading the guidance prepare an outline plan of how you intend to tackle the
assignment

(3) Describe the organisation (or part thereof) that is to be used for the assignment in no
more than 250 words.

Notes

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End of Week 2
The following should be tackled before week 3of the course:

(1) Complete first draft of introduction section.

(2) Determine which SMS model is going to be used in the gap analysis (e.g. HSG65,
OHSAS18001). Define methodology for SMS review.

Notes

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End of Week 3
The following should be tackled before week 4 of the course:

(1) Select one Unit B hazard and work on approach / content for the hazard identification
section.

Notes

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End of Week 4
The following should be tackled before week 5 of the course:

(1) Complete a risk assessment of the priority health and welfare (Unit B) hazard.

Notes

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End of Week 5
The following should be tackled before week 6 of the course:
(1) Take two recommendations arising from SMS review and / or Unit B risk assessment
and develop into an Action Plan.

Notes

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Post Course Support
Should you require further support on Unit D after completing the six weeks of study you
are still able to contact your tutors for advice.

If, because of teaching commitments etc, a particular tutor is unavailable an email to


UnitDsupport@astutis.com will enable the administration time to find an alternative tutor,
or line up an appointment for a discussion.

NB tutors are able to answer queries and provide general advice and support. Tutors are
not permitted to over coach, provide examples of successful assignments, or pre-mark
assignments ahead of submission.

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NEBOSH Website – How to Find the current
Unit D Guides
The latest vesrsions of guidance and feedback can be found at the following http address

https://www.nebosh.org.uk/Students/default.asp?cref=189&ct=2

Alternatively you can navigate your way from the NEBOSH homepage as follows

Click on
“Students”

Click on
“Currently studying”

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Scroll down to find
NEBOSH National
Diploma in
Occupational Safety
and Health

Click on
“assignment
brief Unit D”

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Latest version of
Guidance with
current submission
paperwork –
updated quarterly
And examiners
feedback –
unchanged since
2011

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Unit D Assignment Log

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Unit D Assignment Cover Sheet

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