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What is a Fast Track NEBOSH General Certificate?

Amanda Bathory-Griffiths - Last Update: 17 Apr 2020


Compare the Standard and Fast Track NEBOSH

Is the Fast Track a shorter course?

Is Fast Track more difficult than the Standard NEBOSH course?

Benefits of the Fast Track NEBOSH General Certificate

The Fast Track timetable

How long will it take to do the Fast Track course?

Is the Fast Track course right for you?

Amanda Bathory Griffiths.jpg
Amanda Bathory-Griffiths

Amanda was TSW's content Marketing Manager between 2019 and 2020. 


She has a background in personal finance and corporate learning, working for national brands and global agencies.


There are two face to face NEBOSH General Certificate pathways - the Standard course, which takes 10 weeks, or the Fast Track, which can be completed in just six.

The NEBOSH General Certificate is well known for its demanding time commitment, but did you know you can condense the learning into just six weeks? The Fast Track course is just the same as the Standard, you just get the qualification in six weeks, rather than 10.

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Key points:

  1. Both courses contain exactly the same materials and content, and cost the same. The only difference is how they’re delivered.
  2. The standard course is delivered over 10 weeks. You'll have five learning days over five weeks, followed by five practical assessment revision days over five weeks.
  3. The Fast Track course is delivered over six weeks. You'll have five consecutive learning days, a two-week break, then five more consecutive learning days, followed by the exam.

Compare the Standard and Fast Track NEBOSH

  Standard NEBOSH Fast track NEBOSH
Length of the course 10 weeks Approximately six weeks
Number of teaching hours 68 68
Number of revision hours 40 40
Days with a trainer 10 10
Exam days 1 1
Assessment Practical risk assessment Practical risk assessment
Course syllabus NG1 and NG2 NG1 and NG2
Cost £1,295 - £1,350 £1,295 - £1,350
Qualification NEBOSH General Certificate pass, merit or distinction NEBOSH General Certificate pass, merit or distinction

Is the Fast Track a shorter course?

Two workers compare notes at a desk

The courses are identical. The syllabus, materials, teaching approach and cost is exactly the same. You're not being short-changed by taking the Fast Track course.

The only difference is how long they take to complete.

The standard course is delivered over 10 weeks. You'll have five learning days over five weeks, followed by five revision days over five weeks.

The Fast Track course is delivered over six weeks:

  1. Five consecutive learning days
  2. A few weeks break in the middle
  3. Five consecutive learning days
  4. Finished off with the exam and assessment

If you need the qualification now and can't wait any longer, the Fast Track propels you through the materials.

Is Fast Track more difficult than the Standard NEBOSH course?

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If you're a health and safety professional and you manage a team in a high-risk environment, you'll adjust to the pace of the Fast Track NEBOSH relatively easily.

You're already using the techniques and principles in some form, so you have a strong foundation that'll help you spring into the NEBOSH course.

If you're just starting your health and safety career, the Standard course is a roomier learning experience.

You'll have the space to absorb the information at your own speed and have the time to properly digest it.

The course is exactly the same, so one isn't more difficult than the other, but the Fast Track is more demanding because you'll complete it almost 50% faster.

Benefits of Fast Track NEBOSH General Certificate

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The core benefit of the Fast Track course is that the learning is condensed into a shorter time frame, with small gaps between training.

It's more immersive and focused learning experience, so you can completely concentrate on health and safety, without the interruption of going back to work.

You'll get you the qualification as quickly as possible without missing a single detail.

The Fast Track alternative also gives your employer scope to get health and safety hazards in hand quickly - a huge bonus if poor health and safety is costing them precious time and money.

You might want the qualification to further your career, or to brush up your skills so you're compliant with the law. The Fast Track will just get you there faster.

We've outlined the wider benefits of taking the course in our post, why you should take the NEBOSH General Certificate.

If you're booking NEBOSH for your team, we've walked you through the potential return on investment - read 10 ways the NEBOSH General Certificate improves your business performance.

The Fast Track timetable

A white clock against an orange wall

In week one, you study course syllabus elements one to four (NG1):

  • Element 1: Why we should manage workplace health and safety
  • Element 2: How health and safety management systems work and what they look like
  • Element 3: Managing risk - understanding people and processes
  • Element 4: Health and safety monitoring and measurement

In the second week, you'll study elements 5 to 11 in NG2:

  • Element 5: Physical and psychological health
  • Element 6: Musculoskeletal health
  • Element 7: Chemical and biological agents
  • Element 8: General workplace issues
  • Element 9: Work equipment
  • Element 10: Fire
  • Element 11: Electricity

NG1 prepares you for the exam and NG2 is all the information you need to do the assessment.

On top of the study days, it's advisable to dive into your revision.

You should do roughly two hours per element, if you're following NEBOSH guidance. If you need more time, go for it.

When you revise is up to you, but we usually recommend that you go over the element you've studied during the day, in the evening, when the information's still fresh.

How long will it take to do Fast Track course?

An open paper diary

Here's an example of how it'll look in your calendar:

  • 23- 27 March = Elements one to four, NG1
  • 14 - 20 April = Elements five to 11, NG2
  • 27 April = Exam

You'll need to find a couple of months in your diary when it's feasible to be away from work for one full week at a time.

If you're in high demand at the office, your employer might prefer you to take the Standard NEBOSH General Certificate, so you'll only be out of the office for one day a week for 10 weeks.

Is the Fast Track NEBOSH General Certificate right for you?

A group of scientists happily look around a technical warehouse

If you're unsure which course to take, think about:

  • The exams: Would you like more time to revise?
  • Your schedule: Do you have one week blocks free in your diary?
  • Your learning style: Would you like more time to digest and understand the course materials?
  • Your practical experience: Could you forgo in-depth housekeeping and introductions to the subject and not compromise your learning?

Although the Fast Track course has the same number of hours with the trainer and prescribes the same number of study hours as the Standard, it is accelerated learning.

There isn't as much time to get to grips with the principles, ask questions and delve into wider reading outside of the study time before the exam. But you might not need it.

Speak to a member of our team if you have any questions about the Standard versus Fast Track NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. Don't forget the other option, NEBOSH online course through e-learning.

See our blog page to see all the ways you can complete a NEBOSH.