How to do the IOSH Managing Safely exam

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The IOSH Managing Safely course has two assessments – a multiple-choice exam and a risk assessment project. You must pass both sections to get the qualification.

Anyone can take the IOSH Managing Safely course, whether you’ve got health and safety experience or not. It’s an accessible exam and with the right preparation, you’ll pass with flying colours.

Key points:

  • In 45 minutes, you’ll answer 30 multiple-choice, true or false or one-word open questions
  • It’s exam conditions, so you won’t be able to ask questions or check course materials or books until the exam is over
  • It’s not a hard exam if you’re prepared for the questions. In the days prior to the exam, you’ll have thoroughly covered the course under expert guidance so you’re ready to take the paper

How hard is the IOSH Managing Safely exam?

Many people ask us “is the IOSH exam is difficult?”. Before you get to sitting the IOSH Managing Safely exam, you will have spent three days learning everything you need to know. You will be well-prepared for the exam questions.

It’s an exam like any other with all the typical stresses. It’ll challenge you, but there are lots of reasons to feel confident:

  • It’s classed as a basic qualification: It’s a level two course that’s aimed at beginners
  • You know far more than a complete beginner: You’ve completed a three-day intensive course under the guidance of an industry expert – they know their stuff and so do you
  • It’s open to everyone: You don’t need any experience in health and safety whatsoever. Anyone, at any job level, in any industry can take the course
  • You’ve got practical experience: You’re not even back at work yet, but you know how you can make a difference to health and safety using Managing Safely
  • It’s multiple-choice: If you’re worried about reading long, complicated questions, or writing essay answers, this exam is multiple choice and asks for just one-word answers

When is the exam?

The exam is at the end of the third day of your course.

You can take Managing Safely courses throughout the year, so if it’s not convenient to study and sit exams immediately you can plan in the most suitable time.

IOSH exams during COVID-19

You can take the full IOSH Managing Safely course virtually, that includes the exam. You can also take the IOSH Managing Safely Online course.

At the end of the course, your trainer will give you a designated time slot to dial into an exam virtual call. It’ll feel like an e-learning quiz.

What to expect on the day

It’s a closed book exam. You can’t have any course materials in front of you or ask your colleagues or trainer for help.

Your trainer should know if you need any learning support, for instance, extra time.

They’ll tell you the date to expect your results, which is between eight to 10 weeks after you’ve completed the practical risk assessment – the second part of the exam.

What do you need to pass?

The pass mark for the IOSH Managing Safely exam is 36 out of 60.

In December 2019, 100% of our IOSH Managing Safely students passed the exam portion of the assessment with 37 or more marks.*

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IOSH Managing Safely exam questions

You’ve got 45 minutes to answer 30 questions through multiple-choice, true or false or one-word open questions.

The questions will stem from the eight modules you’ve studied over the last three days and could include:

  • Identifying risks
  • Types of hazard
  • How to use the risk rating system
  • Hierarchy of risk control
  • Residual risks
  • Defining the cause of an incident
  • And many more

If you can recall stories and details about each of the eight modules, you’re in a good position going into the exam.

Example questions and answers

Time for a pop quiz! Here are two sample questions from the IOSH course. If you’re studying IOSH Managing Safely at the moment, you’ll have the opportunity to go through sample questions go as part of your revision.

See how you fare. The answers at the bottom of the page.

Q1. Think about reducing risk in terms of likelihood and consequence. Which statement is correct? (Select one answer only from the following.)

a) You should only look at reducing the consequence of the hazardous event

b) Reducing the likelihood of the hazardous event happening will reduce the risk

c) Reducing both the likelihood and consequence will have no effect on reducing the risk

d) It is always possible to reduce risk to zero

Q2) Which two of the following are true?

a) If your work brings you into contact with the public, you are at a lower risk of attack

b) Manual handling activities are a major cause of musculoskeletal disorders

c) A fire can be started when only oxygen and heat are present

d) Falls from height are the most common cause of fatal injury

What if you fail the IOSH Managing Safely exam?

You have 20 days to re-sit. But you can sit the exam as many times as you need to, but whether you’ll have to pay the fees again is up to your training provider.

Once the exam is done and dusted, you can focus all your attention on the practical risk assessment project.

Quiz answers

Q1) b

Q2) b, d

*12 learners took the exam on 11 December 2019, passing with 37 marks or more – 53, 51, 43, 57, 53, 40, 52, 50, 37, 46, 45, and 56.

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