Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT)

About Safer Edge

Safer Edge ( is a UK-based, risk management company which specialises in safety and security services for the social sector. Formed in 2003, Safer Edge was founded to cater to the specific security needs of humanitarian and development organisations globally, to enable them to stay safe and achieve their objectives when working in difficult environments.  Its has grown to provide learning and risk management expertise to hundreds of humanitarian and development organisations. Clients include both national and international NGOs (such as Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision), donor departments, the UN, foundations and academic institutions.

Safer Edge delivers work through two portfolios:

  1. Risk Management ( delivering organisational security system design, audit and review, travel and context support and consultancy for advisory services and gap filling.
  2. Learning ( delivering both open and tailored courses for clients who work in difficult environments. This includes hostile environment awareness training, advanced personal security with first aid, security management, crisis management and international travel security.

Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT)

HEAT is a 4-day, residential course designed for those whose work takes them to challenging, remote or hostile regions. In areas of poor governance, conflict, natural disaster and war getting the job done can be a risky business. Kidnap, carjacking, robbery and assault are very real dangers. Medical facilities can be few and far between.

HEAT participants learn to recognise, assess and avoid risks. Should the worst happen, they’re taught to respond in ways which maximise the likelihood of a positive outcome. The course is designed to be informative and enjoyable combining practical challenges with relevant theory. Expert trainers who are practitioners with field experience give participants the confidence and skills to operate outside their normal comfort zones.

What you’ll learn – a course overview

Inclusive and integrated security

Safer Edge’s core principles of inclusive and integrated security mean that participants understand their role in providing for their own security as well as that of the entire team. Inclusive and integrated security enables programmes and operations to work as effectively and safely as possible. This includes:

  • Key principles of the Security Management Framework, including situational analysis and actor mapping.
  • The role of different security strategies, including Acceptance, Protection and Deterrence.

Personal Preparedness

  • The Security Compass: assessing, anticipating and mitigating risks.
  • Getting prepared for incidents and emergencies.
  • Dealing with checkpoints, crossfire, landmines and other dangers.
  • Developing psychological resilience.
  • Image management and noticing other people’s perceptions.
  • Managing interpersonal conflict, hostility and aggression.

First Aid in Field Environments

  • Standard first aid courses assume an ambulance is just a few moments away. Our first aid teaches the crucial skills to save lives when medical help could take hours or days to arrive.

Kidnap Avoidance, Survival and Response 

Ensure staff know exactly what to do if kidnapping is an immediate threat – and what to do if they are abducted. Including:

  • When to anticipate kidnap and abduction.
  • Establishing best practice to minimise risk.
  • How to live and survive in captivity.