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Top 5 Safety and Security E-Learning FAQs

Safer Edge launched Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) for humanitarian and development organisations in November 2021. Since then, thousands of professionals from hundreds of organisations around the world have completed the course in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. This engagement has given us insight into the top 5 questions people most frequently ask about safety and security e-learning. Here are our answers:



Security e-learning or in-person training, which is better?

This is the question we get asked most often but it’s impossible to answer as it depend on what needs to be taught, to whom, where and the organisation’s objectives for the training. Both e-learning and in-person training can be amazing…or terrible.

If the organisation’s objective is to provide the best possible security training in the most accessible and affordable way then e-learning has some benefits over in-person training. Namely because e-learning is less expensive and can go where in-person training can’t. E-learning can be used to teach most topics at a basic-to-intermediate level. Practice and simulation are required for more complex topics like evacuating a plane or performing surgery but even these traditionally begin with classroom-based learning.

In practice, we usually find that the dichotomy drawn between e-learning and in-person training is unnecessary as most organisations use both at different times and for different purposes. We feel it’s more useful to think of any type of training delivery as a tool in a tool-box that can be employed at different times for different purposes. The real question is: what is the right type of training for the risks this group of people face in their work and how can we affordably and effectively deliver that training in a way that is accessible to them.



How do people access to e-learning?

People must have access to a computer or mobile device as well as the internet in order to complete e-learning. However, there are very few places left on earth where e-learning isn't accessible. E-learning participants use an online learning management system (LMS) to access e-learning. LMSs require participants to sign in and use a password to access the e-learning that has been assigned to them. Some LMSs (such as Safer Edge Learn) allow learners to download content, complete it offline, and then upload their progress when they have access to the internet again. Unless it has a ‘blended’ element (e.g. a zoom call with a facilitator) e-learning should be on-demand and available 24/7 making it convenient for participants to learn when they have time and space to do so.



Is e-learning affordable?

The answer is an unequivocal yes. We have case studies from every size of organisation across the sector who are now using e-learning for safety and security training. Organizations that are now training thousands of people for the same cost that they were previously training only a hundred. As most organisations face funding cuts, tighter budgets, increased business costs, and a desire to reduce their carbon footprint, e-learning for safety and security is a simple and effective way to maintain or expand their duty of care globally.



How will we know if our e-learning is effective?

No organization should embark on a training program unless it can measure its effectiveness. Too often, traditional security courses have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars being spent with no evaluation or assurance that the training was effective or value for money. With regard to e-learning, we encourage organizations to establish a simple feedback, monitoring, and evaluation mechanism that will provide them with the information they need in a timely manner to determine whether the e-learning is assisting them in meeting their budgetary and learning and development goals. Completion rates, quiz and test scores, learner engagement, and information retention over time are all measured by this mechanism.



How can we tailor our e-learning to the type of work we do and where we do it?

When it comes to global reach and content customization, e-learning is the clear winner. Training can literally be translated into any language and delivered anywhere there is an internet connection. Off-the-shelf content can be supplemented with practical exercises, scenarios, and case studies that reflect the type of work your organization does and where it does it. Organisations often incorporate their own policies and practice into e-learning to ensure that their staff understand what is expected of them.


If you’re considering e-learning for your organisation but have questions about how it works, how much it costs, or if it’s right for you send us an email at: We’d be happy to share with you more of what we’ve learned and see how you can add e-learning as a tool in your safety and security training toolkit.


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