Health and safety at work: first learn and then practice

You don't get a B-SCC, SOS-SCC or SIS-SCT diploma for nothing. You first need to prove that you have mastered the relevant basic knowledge. You begin by sitting an examination or, to be more precise, by passing an examination. Next, you need to demonstrate that you actually can put your knowledge of health and safety at work into practice.

What do you need to do?

1. Registration

When you follow a training course the concluding examination will usually be included in the course. Your training institution will make the necessary arrangements. In some instances you will receive a voucher that you can use to make the arrangements for an examination held by a recognized examination centre. If you are not following a training course because you have gained the necessary knowledge and experience in another way then you make the arrangements for an examination with a recognized examination centre in your area. Examinations are held daily at centres throughout the Netherlands. When you register you can select from an on-screen examination, aural examination or a language other than Dutch.

2. Preparation

You decide how you will prepare for the examination. Do you want to sit a mock examination before the actual examination? If so, surf to the VCA Infra website (mock examination available in English). Study the subject matter thoroughly. Also read the examination regulations carefully: these specify what you may and may not do during the examination, and explain your rights and obligations. You can request a copy of the examination regulations from your training institution or the examination centre.

3. Sit the examination

Report at the examination centre on the day of the examination in good time. When you follow a training course, examination centre staff sometimes visit to hold your examination at the end of the last day of the course. You must be able to prove your identity, so make sure that you have brought a valid identity document with you. The examination takes between 60 (B-SCC) and 75 (SOS-SCC and SIS-SCT) minutes and contains between 40 (B-SCC) and 70 (SOS-SCC and SIS-SCT) multiple-choice questions. You are informed whether you have passed immediately after the examination.

4. After the examination

Have you passed? Congratulations! The examination centre makes an entry of your pass in the Central Diploma Register. Employers and principals can consult this Register to verify that you have been awarded this diploma. Do you have a Personal Safety Logbook? If so, make an entry of the award of your diploma. Ask your employer how you do this. Did you fail? That's a pity. Unfortunately, you will have to resit your examination.

Sitting an examination in another language

You can also sit an examination in a language other than Dutch. This option is available for both regular and aural examinations. An up-to-date list of the options is available on the VCA Infra website (Dutch). Obviously, you can also contact your examination centre for more information.

Sitting an aural examination

When you sit an aural examination the computer reads the questions to you. Aural examinations are intended for candidates with reading difficulties. This option is available only for B-SCC examinations.

Three tips for when you have difficulty with the examination

1. Increase your reading and verbal skills

You should not be embarrassed about reading difficulties. Try to be open about it, even if you find it very difficult. This is important, because hazardous work situations can arise when others do not know that you have reading difficulties.

You need good reading and verbal skills to pass the examinations – and to work safely and protect your health, as you need to be able to understand directions and instructions clearly.

  • Begin by determining your language level with a language proficiency measurement (website in Dutch). Within 15 minutes you will know whether you need language lessons or additional lessons.
  • When you need lessons you can contact Stichting Lezen & Schrijven (website in Dutch) to help you improve your reading and verbal skills, for example by providing you customized teaching material or the services of a language coach.

2. Arrange for good examination conditions

Consult with the examination centre on the conditions in which you sit your examination:

  • Ask if you can use a computer with mouse rather than a tablet to answer the questions. Many candidates find this more convenient.
  • Ask if a larger monitor is available.
  • Consult on the number of candidates who will be sitting an examination in the same examination hall.
  • Check to verify that it is quiet in and around the examination hall.
  • Find an examination centre where you feel at home. Take note of the staff, the ambience and the furniture and fittings.
  • Opt for an aural examination.

3. Follow a training course

A B-SCC, SOS-SCC or SIS-SCT training course provides you with excellent preparations for the associated examination.

A wide range of training courses are available. Make sure that you choose the training course that is most suited to you. Do you prefer to learn in practice, or from a book? Do you find it easier to assimilate the subject matter when it is presented with visual aids or is accompanied by a verbal explanation? Talk about it with your employer. Your employer can also help you to find a suitable training institution.

Read more about following a training course here.