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6-11 September 2017: Hostile environment awareness training (HEAT/HEFAT)

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Course: Level 3 Award in Personal Security in Hostile Environments
Dates: 15:30 Wednesday 6 September to 15:30 Monday 11 September 2017
Location: Pier Cellars, nr. Cawsands, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Cost: £1,425 + VAT (includes accommodation, meals and accreditation)

Commonly known as Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) or Hostile Environment and First Aid Training (HEFAT), security training is essential for humanitarian aid workers, human rights defenders, freelance journalists and others working in violent environments or remote areas. Unlike many courses of this nature, our flagship Personal Security in Hostile Environments course has been designed from the ground up specifically by and for NGOs. In addition to life-saving security skills, it includes a full day of first aid training as well as instruction in survival skills, which is essential for those working in remote or austere environments.

Using workshops, role plays, demonstrations and realistic scenarios, our unique five-day course teaches students the importance of risk assessments and a security mindset, and trains them to recognise and avoid threats to their safety and security, as well as how to respond quickly and effectively should security or medical incidents occur. Although this course includes classroom sessions, the focus is on scenario-based training, which provides students with genuine experiential learning by immersing them in the training and provides important opportunities for feedback and reflection.

This is an accredited course. Students passing the practical and written assessments will gain a Level 3 Award in Personal Security in Hostile Environments, which is regulated by NCFE in line with the United Kingdom’s national qualifications framework. Our course includes a day of first aid training, and students passing a short written test will also be awarded an enhanced Level 2 Emergency First Aid at Work Certificate valid for three years. Our HEAT syllabus corresponds to Level IC of the recommended curriculum drawn up by the European Interagency Security Forum (EISF) and InterAction.

Course syllabus

1) NGO security risk essentials

  • Understanding your operating environment
  • The security risk management framework
  • Risk assessments
  • Dynamic risk assessment
  • The security triangle (acceptance, deterrence and protection)
  • Security plans
  • Hibernation, relocation and evacuation
  • Crisis management

2) First aid

  • Catastrophic bleeding
  • Basic CPR
  • Breaks and burns
  • Environmental illness and injury (e.g. heat exhaustion, heat stroke, frostbite and hypothermia)
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration
  • Common medical emergencies
  • First aid kits and improvisation

3) Building security

  • Office security
  • Residential security
  • Safe rooms
  • Fire safety

4) Safe movement

  • Vehicle convoy procedures
  • Procedures for legal and illegal checkpoints
  • Vehicle safety and maintenance
  • Route planning and navigation
  • Crowds, mobs and demonstrations

5) Weapons and explosives

  • Actions on direct and indirect fire
  • Improvised explosive devices (IEDs), unexploded ordnance (UXOs) and landmines
  • Weapons familiarisation and safety (including Glock pistol and AK-47)
  • Understanding and using body armour
  • Surviving an active shooter

6) Kidnap awareness and hostage survival

  • Understanding detention, abduction and kidnapping
  • Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques in captivity
  • What to expect and how to act in a rescue
  • Sexual assault awareness
  • Conflict management and de-escalation
  • Self-defence
  • Restraint escape techniques

7) Communications

  • Radio and sat phone basics
  • Comms procedures and pro words
  • Sitreps and METHANE reports
  • Information security

8) Survival and resilience

  • Principles of survival
  • Survival psychology
  • Wilderness survival skills
  • Grab bags
  • Urban environment considerations

Optional: Off-road driving (1 day)
Optional: Counter- anti-surveillance (1 day)

This residential course is physically and mentally demanding. Students will work long days, and spend a considerable amount of time outdoors in all weathers. However, our instructors are there to facilitate your learning and ensure your comfort and safety. Accommodation and facilities are basic but comfortable, and mimic what you might find in the field, including a dormitory, tents and improvised shelters, in order to provide an immersive experience. Food is plentiful, and our chef prepares all meals using fresh, local produce. As a reward, the final evening offers students the opportunity for a hearty meal and a few drinks with the instructors at a nearby traditional Cornish inn!

We developed our Level 3 Award in Personal Security in Hostile Environments in collaboration with the expert team at Survival Wisdom. They provide bespoke training based on their decades of experience as survival instructors and force protection specialists in the British armed forces, including at the world-leading Defence SERE Training Organisation (DSTO) at RAF St Mawgan. Survival Wisdom is a NCFE IIQ provider. We run this course at Survival Wisdom’s 865-acre training site at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park in southeast Cornwall, where we also have exclusive civilian use of the Royal Navy’s Pier Cellars training centre. The site is easily reachable by train or car from central London. Direct flights from 40 European locations, including London, Paris and Geneva, land at Exeter International Airport, which is one hour by train, car or taxi from Mount Edgcumbe.

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