Safeguarding Duty of Care

Advanced Hostile Environmental Awareness Training (HEAT)


In recent decades, humanitarian organizations have found themselves increasingly operating in or near conflict zones. This puts our aid workers in close proximity to violence, resulting in them facing greater challenges and risks. These risks have grown exponentially with the loss of perception of the neutrality of humanitarian organizations that we currently see happening across the globe. Therefore, in 2011, Europe’s New Training Initiative was created as a unique capacity building program whose main focus was preparing and training civilians that are either going to, or already working in, crisis management missions worldwide. The idea was that this would result in high quality trainings as European training institutes could share their expertise among one another.

ENTRi was mainly used for EU, UN, OSCE, and AU missions. However, PMO Security Risk Management believes its purpose and the standards it created from its pooled expertise has its applications in safety and security for humanitarian organizations.  The advanced Hostile Environment Awareness Training we have created therefore follows ENTRi standards and prepares staff for the various environments they can expect to encounter on their missions for their organization. Wherever they go… For more information about the initiative watch the video>>>>>


The overall purpose of any HEAT is to create awareness of how to respond to situations you may encounter while working in a hostile or hazardous environment. Therefore, in a good HEAT, the “field component,” should prevail and make up at least 70% of the course. During the field exercises, the participants have the opportunity to practice what was taught during the theoretical part of the training.

When Advanced HEAT?

For most staff of humanitarian organizations, is a HEAT that lasts 3 to 4 days the maximum that is necessary to get the relevant skills across. During the 5-day advanced HEAT, we go even more in-depth than on the HEAT. Certain topics will be longer and skill exercises will be repeated in new scenarios. The advanced HEAT is particularly useful for organizations with a specific mandate, or where the structure or resilience is such that more is expected from the individual staff member working in a high-risk area. Further considerations can be insurance requirements, liability, or roving staff members who might be deployed to high-risk areas across the globe, often on short notice and the first on the scene to arrive. 

HEAT or Advanced HEAT are interactive, and both require a similar participatory approach. We combine theory with group work, audio-visual methods, exercises, and simulations. 

Course Modules:

First Aid (Stop the Bleeding) – Contextual and Cultural Awareness – Conflict and Terrorism – Civil Unrest – International Humanitarian Law and the humanitarian principles – Residence Safety: Burglary, Fire, Armed Attack – Driving & Transport Safety: Driving in Hazardous Environments, Checkpoints, Ambush, Road Travel Planning, Movement Procedures – Dealing with Armed State and Non-State Actors – Travel & Personal Planning – Abduction & Coping with Capture – Communication and Negotiation  Communication Skills – Mines & Explosives (UXO) – Sexual Assault – Stress Management

After HEAT, the participants will have:
Significantly improved safety and security awareness – Awareness regarding the importance of distinction and the humanitarian principles- Awareness of how to deal with being in captivity – Basic knowledge of using various sorts of communication and navigation tools – Increased awareness of driving safety and how to drive safely – Increased awareness of dealing with armed actors – Increased awareness of how to cope when under fire – How to avoid and how to manage if confronted with mines, UXOs, and improvised explosive devices – Basic knowledge of essential first aid.

Course Information:

Duration: 5 days

Course Structure:
Two-day theory followed by three full practical days.

Language: English

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