Hostile Environment Awareness Training: What You Need to Know for International Travel

You may think that international travel is like a constant holiday, even if you happen to be travelling for work, but the reality can sometimes be very different. Travelling to a country that isn't your own can pose some significant risks to yourself and the rest of your team if you fail to acknowledge appropriate ways to respond.

Here, we outline all there is to know about HEAT training and its direct link to overseas travel to best prepare you for your next adventure. 

What is Hostile Environment Awareness Training?

Firstly, let’s define what is meant by ‘Hostile Environment Awareness Training’ or ‘HEAT training’ as it’s more commonly known.

HEAT training teaches individuals the skills required to cope in a dangerous situation by exposing them to stressful scenarios. This type of training is delivered by professionals with the aim of cementing key skills into their memory for when they travel abroad.

Though it’s popular belief that HEAT training certifications last for three years, individuals are encouraged to retake the courses regularly to ensure that all of their knowledge is up-to-date with the current travel landscape. 

Hostile Environment Awareness Training and International Travel

Though learners may enroll on courses individually, HEAT training is an ideal asset for corporations looking to travel overseas. Sometimes, this travel period can translate to a short or long stint of residence in another country due to working requirements.

Though individuals tend to take part in HEAT training at the discretion of their business, this type of training is also useful for when staff take personal holidays, and are secure in the knowledge that they would know what to do should they encounter a hostile environment.

Courses such as these typically tend to be funded by the employer due to their duty of care, giving the business the satisfaction of knowing their employees will remain safe.

Key Skills Taught During HEAT Training

Below are some of the key tips taught during a HEAT training course. 

Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness is one of the most vital skills to learn when taking part in such training. It’s the ability to perceive and understand your current situation, choosing the most appropriate course of action to keep yourself and others safe if you find yourself in danger. 

Trauma First Aid Training

Trauma first aid training sits perfectly alongside situational awareness training in the sense that you can implement your findings if you ever need first aid assistance beyond a minor cut or scrape.

When learning about trauma first aid, you take expertise straight from the palms of medical professionals with firsthand experience of traumatic incidents. These professionals offer realistic scenario-based training modules covering all you need to know. 

Threat Risk and Mitigation

Planning and preparing are essential for international travel, specifically when the destination poses certain risks, such as hostile environments.

Learning about possible threat risks and mitigation tactics ahead of time can lessen the risk of danger to yourself and others, ensuring optimal safety when you travel.

Kidnap and Hostage Situations

In a kidnap and hostage situation, one thing is always guaranteed: stress and fear for those involved. Whether the suffering is mental or the individual/s endures physical pain, the ongoing torment for them and their family and friends can linger for a lifetime.

Learn how to tackle this situation and the best thing to do should you find yourself in one from professionals with up-to-date knowledge and realistic tips.


Lastly, but by no means least, learning how to communicate with others around you effectively can make all the difference when finding yourself in a tricky situation. Using the leverage of effective communication is vital to ensuring the most favourable outcome in any hostile environment.

Custom and Effective International Travel HEAT Training from ATR

At ATR, we are professionals in delivering targeted HEAT training to you and your business, tailoring each course towards your requirements. Whether you are preparing to take a trip to a new destination or are looking to refresh your knowledge, get in touch with us today to find out how we can deliver the best training for you.