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Types of Safety Training

Types of Safety Training

RPT encourages all freelancers planning to work in conflict zones and dangerous environments to partake in a four/five day Hostile Environment Training (HET) course.

Four and five-day hostile environment courses are regarded as the most comprehensive form of safety training. The Rory Peck Trust helps to make this training affordable to freelancers through the Rory Peck Training Fund.

There are also a number of other types of safety training courses available that can be useful to freelancers.

Three-day/refresher Hostile Environment Training

Alongside the more extensive five-day courses, many HET providers offer shorter alternatives. These can be useful to freelancers as an introduction or as a refresher to your training. Content on these courses varies from provider to provider, but they will generally cover similar themes to the five-day course, in shorter detail and with less of an emphasis on practical aspects.

The Rory Peck Trust has worked with the Columbia Journalism School (New York) to offer bursaries to freelancers to undertake their intensive safety training programme, ‘Reporting in Crisis Zones’. This course is aimed at preparing freelancers to think critically about how to work effectively and safely in dangerous situations.

Regional Safety Training

Some organisations run safety training that offers hostile environment courses designed for those working in a specific country or region. IMS and INSI are two of our partners who offer these services.

Hostile environment training providers also often run courses specifically designed for a region, and cover issues such as preparation, travel planning, region-specific medical training and cultural awareness.

First Aid Training

First aid training can literally safe lives. Most five- and three-day HET training will include it, but there are also many specific courses dealing with first aid, for example UK-based St. John's Ambulance or your local Red Cross. The US organisation RISC (Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues) offers free in-depth medical training for freelancers around the world. 

Digital Security Training

Another important area of safety training that freelancers should consider is digital security training. A number of organisations, such as Global Journalist Security, offer specific digital training courses that can teach journalists to ensure their online activity does not put them under threat. Digital security techniques are also an important part of many HET courses.

If no digital security training courses are being run locally to you, then there are many resources online that can provide you with information about how to stay safe on the internet. RPT have produced an introductory resource on this topic of that highlights the key things for freelancers to think about when working online. You can find this resource here.


Image: TYR Solutions

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