14 Sep - 17 Sep 2017
Dookie, Central Victoria, Australia
(Places Available)
16 Nov - 19 Nov 2017
Dookie, Central Victoria, Australia
(Places Available)
14 Feb - 18 Feb 2018
(2018 courses opening for applications soon)
26 Apr - 29 Apr 2018
12 Sep - 16 Sep 2018

Humanitarian workers are increasingly exposed to insecure environments due to lawlessness, political instability and armed conflict, so there is a compelling need for them to be adequately prepared for any dangers they may encounter. Sexual harassment, interactions with aggressive armed combatants, day light robbery and traffic accidents are realistic threats for humanitarians and aid workers. All field workers should be adequately prepared for these events and be proficient in establishing and maintaining telecommunications, whether working in a safe or hostile situation. Conscious of the varying needs within the sector, RedR Australia seeks to address the concerns of a range of organizations and individuals and their insurance providers. These include relief, development, research and advocacy organizations, operational agencies and agencies that are not directly operational but provide support to community based organisations and locally based NGOs.

If you require this course to be tailored for your organisation, please visit Customised Training page for more information. 

Please note that this course is both psychologically and physically demanding. While personnel are in place to help participants achieve the learning objectives of the course, given the demands placed on both body and mind, physical and mental fitness should also be considered as self-selection criteria. Participants are given due warning of this and are expected to recognise this warning on application to the course.

It is standard practice for RedR Australia to include a qualified psychologist with extensive experience in psychological debriefs and critical incident support as part of the training team for this course. 

The Personal Safety, Security & Communications (PSSC) course is designed for people from all professional backgrounds and disciplines, and is a prerequisite for joining RedR Australia's humanitarian roster. This course is targeted at individuals and aid agency staff wanting to learn more about personal safety and security issues and the measures they can take to give themselves the best chance of remaining safe or surviving in a hostile or insecure situation or environment. More experienced individuals and aid agency staff, and staff based in a head office who carry out monitoring visits to the field and those seeking to consolidate and build on existing skills and knowledge will also benefit from this training, as the course provides a unique opportunity to enhance their skills, gain fresh insights and share practical experience with others.


The course is in English and a reasonable proficiency is required by participants. Given the physical nature of the course physical fitness should also be considered as self-selection criteria.

Aims and Objectives


To introduce what is a standard and recognised approach to managing security within the sector. The course provides an overview of individual and team risk management. 


Course Objectives:

To reduce the risk of injury and death to humanitarian workers by promoting:

  • an understanding of security risks in the field environment
  • the development of personal and team-based strategies
  • effective use of communication and navigation devices

Course Outline

  • Security Context
  • Communications Protocol and Equipment
  • Trip Planning
  • Critical Incident Stress
  • Field Preparedness and Evacuation
  • Navigation
  • Weapons Awareness: Judging Distance
  • Weapons Awareness: Movement under Fire
  • Sexual Assault
  • Basics of Negotiation
  • Image and Acceptance
  • Vehicle Check Points/Road Blocks
  • Active Shooter
  • Hostage and Kidnap Survival
  • Crowds and Mobs
  • Mines and Explosives

Full Rate: $2,300 AUD  Reduced Rate: $2,000 AUD

Inclusions: All food, accommodation and training materials. Travel not included.

If you currently work for an NGO or are a member of our humanitarian roster (please supply your membership number), you are eligible for the reduced rate. 

Unless otherwise stated, all courses are residential and course fees are inclusive of meals, accommodation, training and materials, but not transport to and from the venue. Course fees are in Australian dollars. A non-refundable deposit of $400 (AUD) is payable at the time of enrollment to secure your place on a course. This payment must be made via credit card through our secure payment facility.

Further instructions regarding course logistics will be provided upon payment of course fees.



Dookie College, the University of Melbourne's Dookie Campus, Dookie-Nalinga Road, Victoria, 3647.
Dookie Campus Map

Our residential courses are held at Dookie near Shepparton in Victoria (220km north of Melbourne) and provide a range of learning experiences, including scenarios and field exercises.


RedR Australia's training facilities are located in remote environments. The closest hospitals can be over 30km away from the venue. Therefore please be prepared with all your medical needs. 

Training Times

Registration takes place from 10:30 am on the first day of all courses and activities will conclude at 1:00 pm on the final day. To receive your course certificate you must complete the entire course.


Please arrange your own travel to and from our training venues. Trains run between Melbourne and Shepparton and pick up can be arranged from the Shepparton train station. Travel insurance is recommended for all applicants and is mandatory for international participants.

Pre-course Learning

It is strongly recommended that all participants complete a preparatory on-line training 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 at Dookie.

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:

  • Basic Security in the Field – United Nations Department of Safety & Security
  • Stay Safe – International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

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 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 approx 4 - 5 hours to complete. An Advanced Security in the Field certificate is also available - this will take 3 - 4 additional hours to complete. If technical problems are experienced, please refer to the troubleshooting guidelines.

Applicants to the RedR Australia humanitarian roster are required to complete the United Nations Basic and Advanced Security in the Field certificates as a prerequisite to being accepted onto our roster.

Stay Safe – International 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. Please complete this course if you are training through GCore.

The course takes approx 3 - 4 hours to complete. If you finish the online course/s, please bring a copy of your certificate/s of completion to the PSSC so our trainers are aware of the proportion of participants that have completed each course.


Please refer to your course orientation guide, received upon enrollment, for more detailed essential course information.

Our trainers have extensive experience in complex emergencies and natural disasters in Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and the Asia Pacific. As they are emergency response experts that regularly deploy into global crises, trainers may change from those featured here on the website.

PSSC Sept 2017, Training Team

Dale Potter, OAM

Dale joined RedR Australia after 27 years with the Victorian police force. During this time, he served two years in the Solomon Islands on secondment to the Australian Federal Police as part of the Regional Assistance Mission. He was subsequently deployed as part of the police contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. His role involved working as a civil-military liaison officer between the Turkish and Cypriot military and police forces in Eastern Cyprus. Whilst there, he assisted in the evacuation of Australians from Beirut and Tyre during the Israel/Lebanon war in 2006. Dale has a lot of experience in initial response disaster management having worked on flood and bushfire emergencies in rural Victoria. Since joining RedR’s humanitarian roster, Dale has deployed twice as a civil-military coordinator following cyclones in Vanuatu and Fiji.


Jessica Hazelwood

Utilizing her background in law and health, Jessica has worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross in complex humanitarian emergencies and conflict zones including Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Sudan. After completing a Bachelor of Nursing degree, Jessica moved to Europe and completed a law degree at University College Dublin. Inspired by her experiences in Kandahar, Afghanistan, she subsequently commenced a PhD at King’s College London focusing on the role of non-State law in the regulation of armed non-state groups engaged in non-international armed conflict through the Durand Line. This involved analysis of the intersection between international, siyar (a branch of Shariah law) and tribal law.


Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson is the Manager of Risk, Safety and Security at RedR Australia. He was previously the Operations Manager for youth expedition provider World Challenge and had direct responsibility for the training, deployment and safe recovery of 3,000 people working in up to 55 developing contexts annually. 

Dave has worked in the aid sector in Malawi and Thailand and originally trained as a Joint Service Mountain Expedition Leader with the British Army. He recently completed a Masters of Development Studies specialising in Security and International Relations.

Dave was involved in the creation of the UK’s first national standard for the risk management of fieldwork deployments overseas, British Standard 8848.  He recently co-authored Australia’s first national safety standard for the risk management of adventurous activities, due for publication later this year. 

Mick Eccles


A telecommunications specialist, Mick has worked with the World Food Programme’s Dubai office since 2007. He is part of an emergency telecommunications team that provides the initial setup of data connectivity and radio telecommunications for aid agencies to use in times of natural or hostile emergencies.  

He has worked in many emergency contexts and spent two years in Afghanistan where he delivered radio operator training to local staff. 

Mick recently became a Road Safety Trainer for the WFP’s Global Vehicle Leasing Programme [GVLP}. He is also a member of the RedR roster and has made 12 trips to Antarctica working as a Communications Operator for the Australian Antarctic Division.

Steen Rees

Steen Rees started his career as a microbial geneticist and lecturer at the University of Sydney. A keen interest in photography and documentary film saw him subsequently carve a career in live surgery broadcasting aimed at educating surgeons from developing countries in Africa, Asia and South East Asia. Steen consults on video and web based training materials for the various health colleges and professional associations and has shot documentary footage in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He has filmed for RedR in refugee camps in Jordan and after Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.

Paul Harrison


Paul Harrison is a Detective Sergeant with the Victoria Police Force.  In 2004, Paul was seconded to the Australian Federal Police and spent two years in the Solomon Islands as part of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). During this time, he worked in remote policing locations investigating war crimes committed by the various militant groups during the ethnic tensions.

During his time in the Solomon Islands, Paul provided training to local police

Paul has been an associate trainer with RedR for the past three years and recently completed the UNHCR Safety in the Field: Operating in Complex Security Environments course.


Iris Trapman - Mandala Psychologist 

Psychologist Iris Trapman is a cultural anthropologist and senior consultant for Mandala Staff Support. Iris recently returned from Timor-Leste, where she provided counselling services to local and expatriate humanitarian workers. Iris has designed and conducted training workshops in psycho-social emergency response, stress and trauma management, sexual harassment, briefing and debriefing of aid workers and volunteered for the former Mandala Foundation in Australia, Indonesia, Fiji, Myanmar and Timor-Leste. She has 22 years’ direct experience working on mental health and psycho-social support projects in the humanitarian sector and has worked in many countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Bosnia, Burundi, Indonesia, Honduras and Iraq for organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Australian Red Cross, various United Nations agencies and Care Australia.


Warren Johnston

Warren served 13 years in the New Zealand and Queensland police services and has lived in PNG and the UK. During his service, he carried out frontline policing operations and worked with the Riot Squad, Criminal Investigation Branch and the Arson Squad. He also provided protection to visiting dignitaries and was a personal protection officer at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2011

Warren works as a factual investigator and runs a small business.

PSSC November 2017, Training Team
(Watch for updates)