For this final part of the diploma, you are required to bring together the knowledge and understanding you have gained in NEBOSH Units A, B and C, all of which are assessed by exam, to undertake a detailed health and safety review of a workplace or organization and then produce an action plan to improve performance. While this might initially sound intimidating, with the right planning there is really nothing to stop you scoring highly and achieving maximum success in this unit!
Plan for Success
Before you even pick up a pen, think carefully about the workplace or organization you are choosing to base your research assignment on. It should be large enough to provide an opportunity for a review of the health and safety management system as well as providing a sufficiently wide range of hazards in the areas covered by Units B and C as these will be identified and prioritized in your assignment. If the organization you have chosen is very large, why not make your study more manageable by looking at a limited department or division rather than the entire organization? Once you have pinpointed the organization you wish to use, start by making sure you fully understand the brief and then come up with a plan of how you intend to approach your study, which you can then discuss with your NEBOSH tutor. While they will not be able to read and amend your review, they should be able to tell you whether or not your proposal has sufficient depth and breadth of content to meet the NEBOSH Diploma level, and let you know whether you are heading in the right direction!
Style and Substance
Much like the advice we gave you on crafting a killer answer for your NEBOSH exams, the style in which you present your assignment is going to have a dramatic impact on your success in Unit D. It goes without saying that you should be writing in a formal style as expected for a assignment to management. Having said that, the assignment should be as easy to read as possible, so resist the temptation of using unnecessary technical jargon when a clear and concise explanation will suffice – remember, it’s a human being and not a machine that will be marking your work! It’s also worth bearing in mind that the purpose of the assignment is to demonstrate that you have a firm understanding of the subject matter, so think about how you choose to present information. Sometimes bullet points or a table will be enough to convey a point, sometimes not – the important thing is to organize your work into paragraphs so that chunks of text are avoided and to try and think outside the box in terms of presentation in order to keep your assignment stimulating and reader friendly.
Even though Unit D is a written assignment rather than an exam, it is still good practice to approach the assignment as you would a test paper. This means you should be aware that marks are awarded both for the range of factors considered and the quality of treatment and so you need to ensure an appropriate balance between range and depth. It is important to remember that a large range of factors treated superficially will not be rewarded with high marks – think quality not quantity!