Foundations & General Certificate Exams - Support FAQ

Find out all about exam formats, technical requirements and rules

Foundations & General Certificate Exams

The Foundations of Brewing and Distilling, and General Certificate in Brewing, Distilling, Packaging, Malting, and Cider Making will be assessed by online invigilated (proctored) exam using the IBD online exam platform.

  • The Foundations and General Certificate Exams will have a multiple-choice format
  • There will be no requirement for diagrams or sketches in any of the exams, although you may be required to label diagrams as part of the question 
  • There will be no calculations required. No calculators or mobile calculator will be needed
  • No paper, notepad or notes are allowed nor needed in the exam
  • No tablets, mobiles or any other digital device are allowed as the online invigilated (proctored) platform doesn’t run on them

The Foundations and General Certificate Exams format will comprise:

Foundations Exam Format


General Certificate Exam Format

50 Multi-choice Questions

60 Multi-choice Questions

You will have two hours to answer all the questions


You will have two hours to answer all the questions

The pass mark for both exams is 66%. This is pre-set and applies to all the examinations. In addition, there are fixed marks for different levels of pass and fail grades.




Distinction for candidates scoring 90% and over

Fail for candidates scoring less than 66%

Credit for candidates scoring 80% and over


Pass for candidates scoring 66% - 79%


More detailed Foundations and General Certificate exams for 2021 are displayed in MyIBD/MyQualifications


May 2021

November 2021


4th May to 14th May

To be confirmed

General Certificate

4th May to 14th May

2nd November to 12th November


All our Foundations and General Certificate exams are online.

You need to get them both correct to get the mark. There is no partial mark for 1 out of 2.

The questions are random but they are randomised from each of the units. You should therefore get an equal number of questions from each unit/lesson.

No. There are some non-IBD sources who claim to have IBD GC exam questions. The questions are not IBD exam questions and some of the answers are incorrect.

Unfortunately, this is not possible with the learning platform we use. The most up-to-date material is always the online version.

All units are covered in the exam.

No, we do not supply any past papers.

There are multiple-choice practice questions at the end of each unit in the learning material.

If you are a General Certificate in Brewing and Distilling, you can join Set for Success, the live online revision sessions to prepare for the exam. 

They stay there for a short time after the exam.

That is the old exam format. You have to answer questions on all categories of spirit now.

General Certificate Support Programme: Set for Success

For candidates taking the General Certificate in Brewing or Distilling, the IBD runs the Set for Success revision exam sessions at just £60 for 3 sessions of 3.5 hours each.

Set for Success is a live online tutorial programme, specifically designed to assist candidates in reinforcing their learning and making the most from the final stages of preparation for their General Certificate exam.

You will be supported by experienced international tutors who will share their knowledge and answer questions with a network of international brewers or distillers and your fellow candidates/students.

The programme format is similar to a webinar. A tutor will work through several multiple-choice questions and the candidates will respond using a voting app on a web page via their phones/tablets/laptops.

For the November 21 Exams, Set for Success sessions take place on:

General Certificate in Brewing  

Dates: Tuesdays 12th / 19th / 26th October

Times: 08:00 BST (07:00 UTC)

or 17:00 BST (16:00 UTC).

General Certificate in Distilling

Dates: Wednesdays 13th / 20th / 27th October

Time: 08:00 BST (07:00 UTC)

These are typical of the sort of question that may be asked...they are NOT the actual questions

This will help, but you should also spend time studying the learning material on which the questions are based.

They are close to the level of the exams.

Exam Technical Requirements

You will need to have access to a good internet connection, and a laptop or desktop PC with a webcam and a microphone.

To make sure that the supervisor can see you and your desk, you will need to have a webcam that is moveable, whether that’s by moving a laptop or moving the web camera.

The IBD online invigilated (proctored) exam platform works well on both Mac and Windows operating systems. 

No. No papers, notepads, notes, mobiles, tablets/ipads or any other digital device will be allowed on your desk when starting the exam.

The proctor will ask you to move your camera to make sure that your desk is clear.

You don’t need to make calculations in the Foundations or General Certificate exams. Therefore, there isn’t a need to use a calculator.

Full guidance for what to do if you experience any problems during your exam is contained in the joining instructions that will be emailed to you at least four weeks before the exam date.

On the day of your examination, please remember to:

  • Bring Identification - On the day of the examination, you will be required to show a government-issued photo ID to the proctor via webcam. Acceptable forms of identification include: Driving License or Passport only
  • Login to Portal – Login into the IBD Examination Portal
  • My Assessments – Navigate to the ‘My Assessments’ tab and click on your examination. The launch link for your examination appointment will be active within a window of 15 minutes prior to the start time of the actual appointment. Click on the link to start your appointment.

Please note that you may need to wait for the examination proctor to become available if you do access the link prior to your examination start time.

You will be expected to comply with these standard rules:

  • You are alone in the room
  • Your desk and work area are clear – no pen/paper allowed
  • You are connected to a power source
  • No phones or headphones
  • No dual monitors
  • No leaving your seat
  • No talking
  • Webcam, speakers, and microphone must remain on throughout the test

Once you have scheduled your exam there is no opportunity to change the date or time, unless there is a technical issue our end that prevents you from sitting the exam at your scheduled time. 

In these circumstances, you may be able to reschedule the exam if the exam period is still open and slots are still available. In the event that there was a technical issue at our end, and you are not able to reschedule within the exam period, you will automatically be deferred to the next sitting.

As this is an online invigilated (proctored) exam with an online proctor, you’ll be able to take the exam from home so long as you are able to be alone in the allocated exam room.  The room needs to have a clear desk that is visible to the Proctor via your webcam.

In most cases, you will be able to continue with your exam once you have regained your connection and you may be able to communicate with your proctor via the chatbox. 

However, if the loss of connectivity is longer than the scheduled exam time or you are unable to complete the exam then please contact IBD via the email box 2021exams@ibd.org.uk for further guidance.

Yes. All the online invigilated (proctored) exams are recorded to make sure that all candidates are following the examination rules and to guarantee that all candidates are taking the exam in the same circumstances.

Exam Marking & Results Publication

The IBD has put in place strict internal procedures to ensure that the exams are marked and moderated correctly, therefore the results are not available immediately after taking the exam. 

You can expect the results to be available up to six weeks after the final exam day. 

Candidates taking the General Certificate in Brewing, Distilling, Packaging, Malting and Cider Making in May can expect their results by the end of the first week of June.

For those taking the exam in November, the results will be published by mid-December.

You will receive an email to confirm once the results are published and these will be available to you through your MYIBD account

Yes, across the entire exam. 40 marks out of 60 results in a pass.


IBD provides certification via a secure digital platform.  Once the results are published and uploaded to this platform, you will receive log-in details and guidance to access your certificate. The certificates can be viewed by any third party that you give access to for verification.

Learning Material Access

All our learning material is hosted on the IBD learning platform. To access your specific exam material, visit https://learn.ibd.org.uk. Once on this new page, click on the image of the computer or select the link to your qualification.

This will take you to the login page where you can gain access to your learning material. The login instruction would have been sent when you purchased the exam.

When you have logged in, there will be a menu bar displaying learning material that is available to you.

After you have selected the qualification that you are preparing for, you will arrive at the course home screen.

All our courses are split into units.

Each unit will have a list of lessons followed by a multiple-choice quiz at the end of the unit to test you on what you have just learned, so you can assess your knowledge step by step.

If you have any issues accessing your learning material, please get in touch with us on customer.support@ibd.org.uk