Why we need a new HEAT course


Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) has become a standard advanced security course for humanitarian and development organisations. The course goes by any number of names (HEFAT, HET, HASP, Advanced Security or Security Awareness) but the objective is the same – train people to work in challenging environments.

Because HEAT rely heavily on simulation as a teaching tool, the assumption by many has been it’s not possible to deliver them remotely.

Until the COVID pandemic.

Safer Edge’s Online HEAT is the first, e-learning, HEAT course for humanitarian and development professionals, CPD accredited and available worldwide.

Safer Edge has trained thousands of humanitarian and development professionals on our in-person HEAT courses. We’ve taken that knowledge and rebuilt HEAT into a course that is more affordable, accessible and inclusive.

Take a look at this video where we explain more:



As a sector, we have all had to rethink our international travel and international staff, as well as better identifying the training needs of our global team. What COVID hasn’t changed is the need for those facing the sharpest end of risk to be well trained for hostile environments.

Traditional HEAT courses simply aren’t suitable for operations during COVID or reflective of the progressive values of the humanitarian and development sector.

So, we created online HEAT e-learning with 3 key areas in mind:

1. Affordable so all staff have access to training: We’ve been able to reduce the price of HEAT courses by 75%. Courses start at £300 (including VAT).

2. Accessible: Online HEAT is e-learning so unlike Zoom training it’s available on-demand which means you can learn at your own pace and you can take the training at a time that suits you. Hosted on Safer Edge Learn, our e-learning platform, participants can complete the course on any computer, tablet or phone. We have both Apple and Android apps so those with low internet bandwidth can download the content, complete it and upload it later.

3. Inclusive: For too long, HEAT courses haven’t contributed to equitable security. They haven’t mainstreamed the needs of women, national staff and those in the LGBTI+ community. Our e-learning course was built with everyone’s security needs in mind drawing on advice and support from leading rights groups.

Safer Edge Online HEAT participants have three options for completing the course.

1. Online: Participants complete the course independently on computer, tablet or phone.

2. Blended: Participants move through the course with a Safer Edge security specialist

3. Blended + Immersive Simulation: Participants complete the blended learning and

organisations have a 1-day, tailored, immersive simulation available for their staff when COVID permits.

The most frequently asked question we get about Online HEAT is whether people have the same ‘experience’ as in-person HEAT. The answer to this is clearly no - but if you’re taking HEAT training for ‘the experience’ you’re taking it for the wrong reasons. HEAT is a learning course not an endurance test. The experience of online HEAT is different from the in-person course but the learning and outcomes are the same. Our online HEAT focuses on giving you learning for what you actually need to know. Online HEAT is also different when it comes to the price tag and who has access to the course and content.

We also get asked if online HEAT contains first aid training? It definitely does! We believe that first aid is a core component of HEAT courses and the fundamentals are in online HEAT with the option of additional training as required.

Want to know more or demo the course? Click here: Online HEAT.


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