Humanitarian Training

Training Courses

Training courses
Dookie, Central Victoria
15 September - 18 September 2016
(This course is full)
17 November - 20 November 2016
(This course is full)
16 February - 19 February 2017
(Open for bookings)
27 April - 30 April 2017
(Open for bookings)



Increasingly, humanitarian workers are exposed to insecure environments due to lawlessness, political instability and armed conflict. RedR Australia's Personal Safety, Security and Communications humanitarian training course introduces a recognised approach to managing personal safety, communications and navigation in the field, as well as an overview of individual and team risk management in complex emergency environments. 

Aims and objectives

The course provides participants with the tools to better manage their own security, increase their awareness of risk, and perform their role safely and effectively in the field. We also focus on the mandates of different organisations in an emergency relief operation and the roles of individuals in relation to personal and team security.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • understand security risks in humanitarian emergency environments
  • develop personal and team-based strategies to manage risk
  • effectively use communication and navigation devices

Who is this course for?

The Personal Safety, Security and Communications course is designed for people from all professional backgrounds and disciplines, and is open to all RedR Australia Roster members, individuals seeking to work or volunteer in the sector and aid agency staff wanting to learn about personal and team security issues. More experienced humanitarians and aid agency staff will also benefit from this training, as it provides a unique opportunity to enhance their skills, gain fresh insights and share practical experiences with others.

Course outline

  • security context
  • introduction to maps
  • field preparedness and evacuation
  • field communication protocol
  • sexual assault
  • residence assessment exercise
  • basics of negotiation
  • coping with insecure environments: stress awareness
  • weapons awareness
  • weapons fire and movement
  • introduction to GPS and navigation
  • field communication equipment
  • image and acceptance
  • vehicle check points/road blocks
  • trip planning
  • crowds and mobs
  • field security
  • hostage survival
  • mines and explosives

* Please be aware that this course can be extremely confronting to participants and is physically demanding. Participants are given due warning of this and are expected to recognise this warning on application to the course.

Selection criteria

As places are limited, priority is given to those applicants who:

  • are RedR Australia Roster members or applicants
  • currently work for an operational NGO
  • intend to be volunteer or work in the sector within six months of completing the course

The course is in English and a reasonable proficiency is required for by participants.

Given the physical nature of the course, physical fitness should also be considered as self-selection criteria.

 Training testimonials

"Incredibly useful and practical information in a supportive environment. Everyone who works in humanitarian settings will get something out of it. Trainers are patient, supportive and highly skilled not only in their sectoral areas, but in effective and safe training techniques."

Pipp Ross, Australian Red Cross, Feb 2016

"Probably the best example of adult training I’ve experienced. The combination of active learning, classroom teaching and group work was superbly organised, generally enjoyable and highly effective at teaching us the basics of personal safety and security.   

I’m more aware of how to recognise and respond to potential safety or security incidents. I’ve also learned useful tools about how to work more effectively in the field. Some of these are as basic as choosing accommodation, using radios properly, understanding the UN security structure or how to read a crowd more effectively. Some of what I learned will be highly valuable when I visit conflict or high-risk areas. Some of what we learned I hope to never have to use in practice – but at least it’s there in case the worst case scenarios happen."

Phil Lindsay, TEAR Fund, June 2015

“A must for both personal and professional life.”

Sunita Gurung, Australian Embassy, Nepal, Feb 2016

"The skills, knowledge and experience gained from this training are essential for establishing whether you want to/can function in high security environments; and how to do so.

“It (the course experience) will change how I prepare people for deployment with more emphasis on contextual and security awareness prior to deployment. It has given me a better understanding of behavioural/psych competencies required to operate effectively under extreme duress.”

Amy McLachlan, HR Partner (International Deployments) Australian Red Cross, Feb 2016

“Challenging, confronting, thought provoking and fun.”

Stuart Shaw, Feb 2016

“Definitely would recommend to colleagues.”

Samantha Schubert, CBM Australia, Feb 2016

“Highly recommended to anyone doing work in humanitarian/development context in high-risk areas.”

Save the Children staff, Feb 2016

"An accurate simulation of the real risks field workers may be exposed to and the related skills that support a safe assignment or deployment."

Jane Rutelidge, June 2015

"It provides some good practical knowledge coupled with the opportunity to interact with both trainers and participants with extensive field experience that are willing to share with you and provide advice that you may not get elsewhere."

Dylan, June 2015

“The Personal Safety, Security and Communications training was very constructive and I feel much more prepared to work in conflict situations. I am better equipped to look after my own safety, and the safety of those working around me as well. The rest of the team looked to me for leadership on health and security issues, which left them able to focus on treating the wounded.

Anna Dicker, Médecins Sans Frontières head nurse in Syria, 2012 (attended RedR training prior to deployment) 

Pre-course learning

It is strongly recommended that all participants complete a preparatory on-line package before attending the PSSC. Past experience shows that this will deepen your learning of personal security issues and allow you to contribute more fully to the practical scenarios.

RedR Australia recommends two e-learning courses which are freely available within the humanitarian sector. You may choose the one most suited to your needs:

Further information about each course
Basic Security in the Field
 – United Nations Department of Safety & Security
This is a mandatory on-line course for all candidates wishing in the future to deploy with any United Nations (UN) agency. As well as introducing security material of a general nature, this package focuses on the UN approach to security issues and provides comprehensive information on the UN security system as it operates around the world. The course takes approximately four to five hours to complete.

Stay SafeInternational Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Although this course has been designed primarily for personnel working within the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, it contains a great deal of generic security material and is very well suited to those wishing to deploy with any NGO. The course takes approximately three to four hours to complete.

Certificates of completion
If you finish the online course/s, please bring your certificate/s of completion to Dookie to ensure trainers have an understanding about the proportion of partipants who have completed each course.

Note for RedR Australia Standby Roster applicants
RedR Australia Standby Roster applicants are required to complete the United Nations Basic and Advanced Security in the Field certificates as a prerequisite to being accepted onto the Roster. 

Register online or contact Maria Beltran for more information: +61 3 83412666 or

Click Here to Apply

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