Hostile Environment Safety Courses

Hostile Environment Training (HET) for Journalists, NGO's or Media Teams

Are you a Journalist, NGO or Media Team travelling to conflict areas?

Are your staff prepared for the many risks and challenges with operating in a challenging or hostile environment?

Objective Travel Safety offers a variety of Hostile Environment Safety Training (HEST) courses (or Hostile Environment Safety Courses (HESC/HET/HEFAT/HEAT) as they are commonly referred to) for media teams, journalists, NGOs, Humanitarian aid-workers and charity field staff operating in conflict areas. 

Courses vary in length from an introductory one-day course, to two or five-day HEST courses ensuring employers deliver their duty of care, provide staff with the knowledge and tools to deal with challenges and risks they may face in conflict areas.

Hostile Environment Safety Training (HEST/HEAT)      

  • Situation awareness
  • Security risk assessments 
  • Personal safety
  • Medical - preserving life and trauma through to tropical medicine
  • Negotiating checkpoints
  • Weapons and ballistics
  • Terrorism and media coverage of terrorist attacks
  • Guidance on emotional trauma and P.T.S.D.
  • Working and filming in riots and crowds 
  • Mines and booby trap awareness
  • Navigation; GPS and compass
  • Kidnap avoidance and conduct if taken 
  • Basic vehicle mechanics and extracting injured persons

We can also offer specialist medical courses for expeditions and for those working in remote or conflict areas.  All are courses are bespoke and tailor-made, in content and duration and will be adapted to meet the company's specific needs – please contact us for details. 

A typical UK based course would be two days, held at our training centre in Northamptonshire.


See our HEST Covid–19 Safety Measures

Why Choose Objective Travel Safety?

During our HEST courses for journalists, we appreciate the need to ensure the course has a strong journalistic focus and therefore one of our instructors is always a journalist. We are fortunate to be supported by Robert Adams, a camera man with over 25 years of frontline reporting and also Eric Feitjen and Peter Ter Velde. Both Eric and Peter have years of experience with Dutch television broadcaster NOS. We have delivered training courses for; Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, Channel 4 and Trinity Mirror Group.

For the last 10 years, Objective Travel Safety have been working in partnership with the European Broadcast Union (EBU), running over 70, five-day HEST/HEAT/HEFAT courses in Bavaria, Germany, and have trained well over 750 of Europe's finest journalists.

Our Premium Hostile Environment Safety Training Course

Our Premium HEST course is held regularly in Germany and run in conjunction with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)

The course is held in a privately-owned castle in Bavaria with access to extensive farmland and forest areas for scenario-based training. Our HEST/HEAT training course is unique. During the two exercises, delegates are required to find, film or record a story and produce a short news item, therefore, operating as they would have to in the field. The course has four instructors, one of which is a journalist and one medical training specialist.

Among the European networks who regularly send their journalists and technicians on the courses are: NOS, SR, ARD, YLE, VRT, RTBF, DR, MTV3 and SRF.

View Covid-19 Safety Measures


NEW! Course dates 2023

Five-day Hostile Environment Safety Training Course (HEST) 2023

Learn to stay safe training in high-level simulations of hostile environments.  Address corporate level security issues such as crisis management, cyber and physical security

24-28 April 2023

5-9 June 2023

11-15 September 2023

2-6 October 2023

Bookings for above HEST courses to be made directly with EBU Academy. More information contact: Sharrlyn Faller, EBU Academy. faller@eurovision.net



"First of all, thank you for allowing me to take part in the course. The last week was very enriching for me and I was able to learn a lot.
For me, the seminar was very well structured and well thought out. The mixture of active exercises, first aid units and theory was very varied and exciting. The four trainers (Charlie, Eric, Grant and Caroline) were super nice, presented the content in an appealing way and seemed very competent. Because of the war in Ukraine, there was of course a lot about working in war zones and what needs to be considered. But there were also units on earthquakes and flood areas. What was learned was then practiced in simulations, which were very instructive and useful because all participants got involved well. In the evening after the program was finished, there was always a lot of exchange with the other participants, which was interesting to see how people work in other countries.
All in all it was a great seminar which I can only recommend and would attend again at any time".

German client - HEST April 2022


"Thank you very much for this intense experience. It was an incredible course and it was a great pleasureto be with you all.
Special thanks to the training team, Charlie, Grant, Peter and Eric, you did an outstanding job."

Robert Speckner, Bayerischer Rundfunk


"I really enjoyed the HEST-course. The course touches a wide variety of topics, with a good balance between theory and practice. The real-life scenarios were great to directly apply the theory into practice. Not unimportant: the location is wonderful with ample room for training outside, excellent catering and the staff has loads of own first hand experience. Also nice to have the ability to reflect with all participants on each others experiences and procedures."

André Puijpe, NOS


“Most amazing, useful, surprising, professional course I ever followed. Life changing.

Teresa de Jong, NOS Sport


"The knowledge attained at HEST has been absolutely indispensable when covering the ongoing Hong Kong protests. The teachers has first-hand experience on many of the worst conflict zones around the planet, and are well up-to-date with the latest threats to journalists covering problematic areas."

Björn Djurberg, Swedish Broadcasting Radio


Thank you for having me at the EBU seminar "Hostile Environment Safety" last week! The week was extraordinary! What lay not only at the scene - no question Schloss Hexenagger is a show in itself - but above all to the trainers inside! So honestly true, so pleasant, focused and professionally competent trainers I have seldom experienced. Hats off! The language of the seminar was English, which was no problem. Everything was well understood. They always had an open ear and were always accessible. Even into the evening hours they were there at any time and answered every question and told.

The program was very well balanced and the theoretical units were well interchanged with the practical exercises. The topics covered included first aid (but greatly expanded, I was given much more useful knowledge than ever before in a German course, e.g. first aid, burning, superheating, hypothermia, shocks various, bone fractures, supplying amputations, car accidents, mine accidents, gunshot wounds, cuts, injuries of the offal and more), planning of foreign assignments with respect to equipment and safety aspects, weapons sensitization, kidnapping prevention and survival, military control posts, security aspects of shelters, demonstrations and riots, coping with emotional trauma Security, mines, terrorist attacks, assassins, astral navigation, daytime navigation, security aspects related to women abroad, sexual harassment and more.

The weather didn't play that way but we made the best of it. We were even told before the seminar started that we should pack warm clothes that can get dirty and muddy.

The location Schloss Hexenagger is a really perfect place for this type of seminar. The large, angled outdoor area is ideal for outdoor exercises and the rooms are a dream. From the dining room including table with chandelier over the equally pompous bedrooms everything was wonderful. The cuisine must be praised at this point! Delicious.

The days were long, but there were adequate breaks in between and quite honestly, if you already have the opportunity to attend this seminar, you should also use the available time as well as possible, I think. And that was the case.

It was also a lively exchange among the students. They were colleagues: Inside from Finland, Norway, USA, Netherlands and Germany. Each was able to bring in his experiences and country-specific procedures and we were able to discuss them. I think there is added value for everyone.

So thank you again that I was able to participate in this seminar through the BR - it was very worthwhile and I can recommend it 100%. I now feel much more secure when it comes to my assignments for the BR, whether at home or abroad.

Course attendee from Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) – HEST October 2021


During the training at Castle Hexenagger, I realized more and more from day to day how unprepared we traveled through the world. Be it crisis areas or simply revolutions at demonstrations in this country.

Especially the medical training was very good in my opinion. The role-play was very real.

While we were shown videos of the most different scenarios I was able to put myself in a very good position because we were already faced with such situations during the trips through e.g. Africa.

Thank you for allowing me to participate.

Course attendee - HEST October 2021

Hostile environment awareness training




HEST September 2020, with Covid-19 risk reduction safety measures.

HEST Training in conjunction with the EBU Academy in Bavaria on October 2021

View Objective's range of Safety Courses

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