Course Providers

These are the course providers we work with to provide affordable safety training in the UK and beyond. You can contact them all individually to find out more about what they offer, when their courses take place and if their training meets your needs.

List of course providers.

1st Option High Risk

16 Mortimer Street
London W1T 3PH
Tel: +44 (0)845 5008484

1st Option High Risk’s Hostile Environment Training course focuses on improving safety, security and medical skills when under pressure. The four-day course combines classroom-based learning with practical training and is run at 1st Option’s training centre in Tunbridge Wells, UK. Topics covered during the course include: first aid, vehicle and remote environment training, travel and personal safety, and conflict and post-conflict training.

Each course participant will receive a Level 2 Emergency First At Work (EFAW) certificate, which is valid for three years.


Swan Court
Unit 16, 9 Tanner Street
London SE1 3LE
Tel:  +44 (0) 203 816 9970

AKE’s flagship four-day Hostile Environment Course is based around both classroom and practical exercises. The teaching revolves around proven principles as opposed to situation scripting, thus better enabling the student to read and react to unforeseen circumstances. The emphasis is on empowering the individual to reduce the risks they face, respond appropriately when confronted with a potentially dangerous situation, and, ultimately, to maximise control over their own environment.

On completion, the course is complimented by:

  • Aide Memoire
  • PAK – Personal Aid Kit
  • AKE certification – valid for three years
  • QA Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work

Global Journalist Security

700 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Tel: +1 (443) 415 8919

Global Journalist Security offers comprehensive, five-day HEFAT courses at their training centres in Washington, D.C. and Nairobi, Kenya. The course modules include situational awareness, personal safety, emergency first aid, risk assessment and reduction, mob violence and sexual assault, interrogation and captivity, cover versus concealment, explosives, ordnance, snipers and other combat hazards.

Each course is imparted through a mixture of classroom presentation and applied exercises, and is aimed at humanitarian and media professionals who work in high-risk zones. Their emotional self-care director provides up to two weeks of emotional self-care support after each course. GJS team members are also available to discuss matters such as options for body armour or first aid kits. They also provide course graduates with follow-up resources and readings. Upon completing a course, participants receive a certificate lasting up to three years.

Pilgrims Group

Pilgrims House
PO Box 769
Woking, Surrey, GU21 5EU
Tel: +44 (0)1483 228 778

Pilgrims Group offers a Hostile Environment Course that consists of an eight-hour e-learning package followed by an intense two-day practical training course. This allows participants to conduct the first stage of training at their own convenience, which may be useful for freelancers who are acting on a tight timeframe.

The two-day practical training course is roughly split 60/40 between outdoor/practical content and indoor classes. Medical training forms an important part of both the practical and classroom-based theory, and all delegates are trained in the application of both trauma bandage and Combat Applied Tourniquet (CAT).

Aside from medical training, the course covers seven other key modules, including pre-deployment planning, personal safety, vehicle safety and conflict management. The practical training course is run from Redhill, in Surrey, UK. Successful delegates receive a certificate and a qualification that lasts for a period of up to three years. Each course is tailored to meeting the risks faced in a particular country/region.

RPS Partnership 

Tel: +44 (0)1225 290210

RPS Partnership’s three-day Hostile Environment Training courses are aimed at those working in medium-intensity environments (post-conflict, natural disaster situation or where there is a moderate threat of terrorism, a high crime rate or civil unrest may be present). The courses ensure that you can work safely in environments where there may be ongoing conflict or war or where investigative journalists face a clear threat from the State or criminal syndicates. RPS works with freelancers to develop an understanding and knowledge of how to employ mitigating measures to reduce exposure to risk, allowing you to respond appropriately when confronted with a dangerous situation, manage incidents and maximise control over developing situations.

Each course includes subjects such as planning, journey management, conflict management, personal security and dis-engagement skills, cultural considerations, demonstrations, abduction/hostage situations, high-impact crimes, weapon awareness, mines/IEDs/UXOs, medical training (EFAW) and remote trauma and health and hygiene in natural disasters. Courses are held over three days at Easthampstead Park Conference Centre near Bracknell, UK. From 2020, RPS will also be conducting courses in Germany.

RPS has a diverse and unique team of male and female trainers who not only have many years of experience, but who still travel to hostile regions and provide security advice to clients. At the end of the course, you will be certified with an RPS Partnership Certificate of Attendance (provided as evidence for the risk assessment process and to insurance companies, potentially lowering insurance premiums) and an Emergency First-Aid at Work (EFAW) Certificate (valid for three years and accredited by AID Training).

SEPAR International

SEPAR International Ltd.
The Priebe Building
Red Barn Drive
Hereford HR4 9QL
Tel: +44 (0) 7568 312825

SEPAR International provides contextualised Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) globally, delivering physical safety and protection, digital security, stress management and trauma medical training. Trainings are conducted under the methodology of ‘do no harm’. Other topics offered include: risk assessments, situational awareness, protection in a high-risk working environment, counter-surveillance and task planning.

SEPAR’s qualified trainers have significant and recent media experience in hostile environments that helps to validate course content and advice. Each course participant will receive various digital and hard-copy supplements and a certificate that is valid for three years.

Other options for training

Go-to list for HEFAT / published by The Coalition For Women In Journalism