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What is Safety Training and Why Should I Take It?

What is Safety Training and Why Should I Take It?
Photo: Fredrik Naumann

RPT encourages all freelance newsgatherers to undertake safety training. There are three main ways in which safety training can help you.

What is Safety Training?

Safety training is a form of training that will teach you how to minimise the risk posed to you and your colleagues when working in dangerous or hostile environments. It usually takes the form of both medical and practical training, although there are variety of different types of training available (see Types of Safety Training). The most common form of safety training is Hostile Environment Training. RPT encourages all freelancers working from or travelling to a hostile environment to consider safety training.

Why should I take it?

Safety awareness and best practice: Safety training will teach you about safety awareness, learning to assess threats and how to mitigate risks. These are key components of safety training. Courses tend to be very practical, providing examples of important safety practices and tips that can help you and your colleagues to operate in hostile environments and conflict zones.No safety training can eliminate threats, but it can help you to identify these so you better understand how to manage and reduce risk.

Preparation: Being able to reduce risks requires knowledgeable preparation. Safety training dedicates a great deal of attention to this. Courses address the relevance of risk assessments and how to work on these before you take off. Training highlights how research is essential and how being both mentally and physically prepared are pre-requisites for your safety in hostile environments. RPT has prepared a risk assessment template for you to fill out before an assignment. Take a look here.

Commissioning opportunities: Many news organisations require you to have hostile environment training before they can commission you, and so it is useful to have safety training before you pitch a project. Undertaking a course will emphasise your professionalism, showing that you understand the risks of working in a hostile environment and that you are taking as many steps as possible to minimise these risks. It's important that you check with both the news outlet and the training provider that the course you are planning to enroll on meets the organisations' criteria. To find out more about our recommended training providers, see here.

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