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Security Awareness & First Aid (SAFA) HEAT Training

The provision of hostile environment training is a key component of any organisation's duty of care to employees, because it equips staff with the knowledge and tools to enhance their safety and security while performing their duties.

We developed our Security Awareness & First Aid (SAFA) HEAT training programme to provide individuals and organisations with an accessible, cost effective, and high impact training programme that prepares travelling staff for deployments in remote, high risk, or complex settings.

Our SAFA courses have been running since 2010. They are delivered regularly at our training centres near London, UK, and Nairobi, Kenya, and can be provided globally on demand. SAFA combines classroom-based learning with immersive simulations and activities that put delegates’ new skills to the test.

Our approach

When it comes to personal safety, an array of potential contextual changes means there are sometimes a seemingly endless number of ‘what ifs’ to consider. There is rarely a ‘right answer’ when it comes to making a decision about what to do when things go wrong. SAFA recognises this reality, and builds the capacity of participants to make informed decisions within a framework of good practice principles.

By combining modules on physical security and remote first aid with the human factors that influence personal safety, the SAFA training offers a holistic, challenging, and empowering programme of learning.

Who should attend?

SAFA 3-day:

  • Our flagship 3-day programme is designed for anyone travelling to high-risk, complex, and very remote locations.

SAFA for Researchers:

  • Our unique 4-day programme is designed specifically for researchers and rights defenders.

SAFA Refresher:

  • A 1-day programme designed for those who have attended a HEAT course three or more years ago.


  • A 4-day programme designed specifically for, and accredited by, the UK FCDO for the UK Humanitarian and Stabilisation Operations Team.

SAFA Training is delivered
by humanitarians,
for humanitarians.
Our focus is on 'soft' skills: community engagement, negotiation, risk psychology and profile diversity.
SAFA is inclusive, and our Delegate Care Plan aims to ensure that all participants can benefit from the course equally.
ILS is a member of the HPass scheme, so participants can take their SAFA qualification between agencies.