Cheats Never Prosper

Firstly I must put this in context. Cheating, or as NEBOSH call it “Malpractice”, in RRC exams is very rare with around 4-5 incidents a year, under 0.2% of those taking exams.  What does however continually surprise us is the efforts and ingenuity the few put into trying to cheat and that they think they will get away with it.

Very occasionally the more imaginative can fool the exam supervisors but NEBOSH’s own checks and controls will flag up potential “Malpractice” and they get caught.

NEBOSH are very strict on those caught cheating, disqualifying them from the exam and then banning them from sitting exams for 3-5 years and occasionally for life.  So given that, would it not be a better use of time to focus on studying, instead of spending time thinking up what they think are imaginative ways to cheat?

Cheating falls into several categories:

Administrative – Failing to follow the rules

Whether you consider them right or wrong – Exam room rules need to be obeyed.  Common failings here are:

  • Portable electronic devices with internet access and or data storage – these must not be taken to your Exam Desk yet some insist on trying to keep hold of them. Whether they use them or not they will at the least be disqualified from the exam.
  • Keeping hold of question papers – they must be returned to the exam supervisor and NOT removed from the exam room
  • Sharing questions on Social Media – Exams take place all over the world in different time zones
  • Talking to candidates near you

Blatant attempts to cheat

  • Accessing data on hidden electronic devices
  • Using Earpieces to communicate outside the exam room
  • Hiding crib notes in socks and other places
  • Hiding Notes or Mobile phones in the toilets
  • Writing notes on arms and other parts of the body


  • This is for the practical assessment and basically means copying from others or buying answers off the internet

There are more but best not to give people ideas!

The key thing here is that cheats are caught, mostly very easily and the punishment is severe.

For all those honest hardworking students, you can be reassured that your NEBOSH certificate or Diploma was well deserved and there are not people out there with awards they do not deserve.

For those contemplating cheating, you will get caught, so far better you put your efforts into studying, it will take a lot less time in the long run.

Gary Fallaize

Managing Director RRC International