Commonly known as Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) or Hostile Environment and First Aid Training (HEFAT), safety and 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 training has been designed from the ground up specifically by and for NGOs.
Using workshops, role plays, demonstrations and realistic scenarios, our unique four-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.
“An incredibly valuable week. The Open Briefing team were extremely skilled at tailoring the training to our needs. An eye-opening, thought-provoking and heart-pounding course.”
Homer Venters, Director of Programmes, Physicians for Human Rights
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. We develop the scenarios specifically for the students attending each course and the settings that they will be working in. Our scenarios are all based on real-life examples and the latest research into NGO security incidents. Unlike many old-fashioned training providers, we do not believe that there are any benefits to building ‘stress inoculation’ into our security courses, and you will not be submitted to a mock kidnapping or other unhelpful scenarios.
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 friendly instructors are there to facilitate your learning and ensure your comfort and safety. Accommodation and facilities are basic but comfortable. 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!Hostile environment awareness training for humanitarians, human rights defenders and journalists done properlyClick To Tweet
Our syllabus is based on Level IC of the recommended curriculum drawn up by the European Interagency Security Forum (EISF) and InterAction. Students are expected to complete a pre-course reading list as part of the training. Clients can choose to add optional extra days to the standard four-day course if there is additional specialist training that they would benefit from, including off-road driving, advanced first aid or counter- and anti-surveillance, for example. We maintain an excellent ratio of 1:6 instructors to students.
Students that successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Achievement from Open Briefing plus an enhanced Level 2 Emergency First Aid at Work Certificate valid for three years. The course fee includes all training, accommodation and meals. Dates are available all year round.
Instructors and training site
We deliver our hostile environment awareness training in collaboration with the expert teams 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. We run this course at a 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.
|Hostile environment awareness training||4||£POA depending on dates*|
|Optional: Off-road driving||1||£POA|
* Includes four nights accommodation and all meals.
All prices are plus VAT and subject to change. Minimum number of six students required. Please read our terms and conditions before booking a course.
Open Briefing is a member of the International NGO Safety & Security Association, BOND and the Charities Security Forum. We are a certified social enterprise.