Field Security Management Course

Management level
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The Field Security Management Course enables you to improve your knowledge, insights and skills regarding security management on a field level.

Below you find an explanation of the method of the course and the results per module.

You will be able to contribute to reducing organisational security risks, by learning to develop and maintain a relevant and proportional security plan. This will enhance the safety of your staff and prolongs the continuation of your programmes. We offer a practical approach on security management and link case studies to your security reality. Key words for the set-up are: Active and interactive, variety of training methods, linking proven concepts to day to day reality.

Introduction Module

During this module, the trainer gives you insight in the latest trends related to security and humanitarian work. In this course we use the Circle of Security. This method gives you an easy to use tool to develop and maintain a security plan. This plan is placed within a security framework, which connects all the security related issues from HQ to the driver or cook in the field.

At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
  •  Identify the three levels of responsibility within an organisation
  • Have a realistic view on security trends and NGO worker vulnerabilities
  • Identify the elements of an organisational security management framework

Context Analysis

It is important to realise what your NGO’s mission, mandate and values are, in relation to the external context. Point of departure for security management should be the interaction between the organisation and its surroundings.  To understand the wider operational environment you must also develop a greater awareness of factors and issues that shape the context in which you are working. This includes developing understanding of historical events, key actors and groups, and their agendas.  As your Context Analysis develops, you gradually build a profile of the country, which helps you begin to identify and understand the various risks and threats that exist.

At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
  • Identify the importance, format and content of a security context analysis
  • Identify gaps and make suggestions for improvement in existing security context analysis

Risk Assessment

The key aim of a formal Risk Assessment process is to try to understand what threats exist in a country or particular area and how widespread they may be. However, to develop a true appreciation of the risks involved, this process must also consider to what degree staff, your agency, or agencies in general may be vulnerable to these threats. This process is essential if staff is to remain accurately informed about the nature of the risks involved, and therefore able to make more informed decisions about the security measures they need to adopt.
At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
  • Identify the different dimensions of risk (organisational vs. personal perspective, threat, vulnerability, impact, probability)
  • Apply the current/preferred NGO methodology to come to a comprehensive, relevant and proportional security risk assessment
  • Use different tools, such as risk matrices, to develop an extensive risk assessment

Strategies and SOPs

Having developed an understanding of the risks associated with a particular location, the next step is to identify strategies to reduce or remove them. The choice of strategies depends on the range of safety and security measures available. Your agency’s field teams should continually monitor their working environment and their perceived position in it. Keeping a low profile or assuming protection based on ‘doing good work’ is not a strategy.

Security strategies must be well thought through, carefully designed and well maintained in order to be effective. Generally, there are three key risk reduction strategies your agency can adopt: Acceptance, Protection and Deterrence. Safety and Security Plans should clearly outline Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which, if followed, will help staff to prevent or minimise insecurity. However, what may be an agreed practice in one location may be unacceptable or potentially dangerous in another. Therefore, to be effective, SOPs must be developed with a clear understanding of the context and thorough appreciation of the risks.  SOPs should cover issues related to personal security and staff safety; communications; vehicles, movement and travel; site security; staff health and welfare; financial security; managing information; and reporting incidents.
At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
  •  Identify the three different risk reduction strategies and their related security measures as well as the appropriateness in the context
  • Identify the format, content and methodology for relevant and proportional SOPs
  • Develop comprehensive SOPs in a particular context and mechanisms for implementation and monitoring

Contingency Planning

Even with Standard Operating Procedures in place there is no guarantee that incidents will not occur. In the event of an incident, staff must be prepared to react appropriately to minimise the effects. Contingency Plans are a set of pre-established procedures and guidelines for staff to follow in order to coordinate a response to an incident. Contingency Plans should be developed for those risks which are most likely to happen, and would have the greatest potential impact. Contingency Plans are also necessary for situations where any response would require significant preparation and information, or must be carried out quickly and in a coordinated manner. Examples are: evacuation, hibernation, relocation, medevac, death threats, and kidnap.
At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
  • Identify principles, topics and main attention points of contingency planning
  • Assess current NGO contingency plans and give recommendations for improvement
  • Develop contingency plans for several likely scenarios in a particular context

Incident Reporting

Thorough security management requires that all security incidents, including near misses, are reported and analysed. Awareness and understanding of security incidents that arise in a particular context is essential for the overall protection of staff. Results from that analysis should be fed back into various security measures and procedures. For example, analysis could indicate that humanitarian agencies are being systematically targeted. This information would change both the Context Analysis and, subsequently, the Risk Assessment. Field teams may have to change their risk reducing strategies to tackle these new risks, and also update their Safety and Security Plan to reflect these new strategies and procedures.
At the end of this module, participants will be able to:
  • Identify the added value and main elements of a consistent system of incident reporting as a source for continuous context analysis and ultimately risk reduction
  • Asses current NGO practices on incident reporting and give recommendations for improvement
  • Develop and monitor an effective incident reporting system, which forms part of the basis of a learning organisation

The course is taught in English and French.
Mid-level managers, responsible for monitoring and implementing field security management. They are stationed either at the main office or in the field, working within the existing framework of their respective NGOs.

Day 1

09.30 - 09.45                 Welcome & Introduction
09.45 - 12.30                 Introduction Module
13.30 - 17.00                 Context Analysis

Day 2

09.00 - 12.30                 Risk Assessment
13.30 - 17.00                 Strategies and SOPs

Day 3

09.00 - 12.30                 Contingency Planning
13.30 - 16.00                 Incident Reporting
16.00 - 17.00                 Reflection, Action Plan and Evaluation
  • NGOs/Educational institutes € 995,- including all course materials, lunch, and coffee/tea, excluding dinner and accommodation (VAT is not applicable).
  • Other organisations/governments € 1.350,- including all course materials, lunch, and coffee/tea, excluding dinner and accommodation (VAT is not applicable).
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