Safety and Security training for United Nations Staff

Recent activities

The mounting hostility and increasing number of violent attacks against the United Nations (UN) staff, premises and assets emphasize the need for the Organization to further promote and deliver safety and security training for its personnel carrying out vital peace, development and humanitarian missions in unstable and dangerous areas of the world.

Since January 2007, the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) have been contributing to making the staff of UN Agencies, Departments, Funds and Programmes better prepared to identify, face and respond to direct and indirect threats and incidents jeopardizing their lives and the ability to serve the targeted populations.

The SSAFE programme is the instrument through which over 14,000 UN and associated personnel (i.e. NGOS, International Organizations and Governments Agencies) in 16 countries have benefitted from a thorough safety and security training curriculum. It consists of a theoretical and practical training delivered by the 408 SSAFE trainers certified in the “Train the Trainers” courses that the UNSSC and UNDSS SSAFE Team have been running in Turin (Italy) and in the field.

Radio communications procedures, weapons, landmine and UXO awareness, incident management, first aid, travel and convoy security, hostage survival and cultural awareness are the core modules of the standard SSAFE training curriculum, whose modular structure and flexibility enables it to be easily customized and adapted to different working contexts and realities.

Programme objective, approach and outputs

The objective of the SSAFE programme is twofold. On the one hand, assuring the quality and effectiveness of the standard safety and security training curriculum capable to respond to the ever-changing perils and menaces affecting UN activities and, on the other hand, enabling the different UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes to build the necessary human resources capable to train their own staff in the SSAFE curriculum.

Drawing on the experience gained during the first five years of the programme implementation, the UNSSC and UNDSS have jointly developed a new integrated approach that, over the next biennium (January 2012 through December 2013), will allow the UNSSC and UNDSS SSAFE Team to constantly update and further improve the effectiveness of the SSAFE training curriculum as well as to increase the number of countries where SSAFE courses are organized for UN and associated personnel.


This new approach is centered on a 10-day integrated in-country SSAFE support service offered to the UN and its partners worldwide and consisting of three activities as follows:


  1. SSAFE Training of Trainers (ToT)

The 5-day ToT creates the necessary training capacity for UN security professional at the field level. This training of trainers provides security officers from various Agencies, Funds and Programmes of the UN with the skills required to run SSAFE courses in their respective duty stations.

  1. Customization Support

Once the ToT is completed, the UNSSC and UNDSS SSAFE Team spends additional days in country to support the newly qualified trainers in tailoring the training materials (SSAFE standard training curriculum) to the specificities of the country / duty station.

  1. SSAFE in-country implementation and quality control

The customization activity is followed by the delivery of a three-day SSAFE course that the newly qualified trainers organize for the UN and associated staff working in their country / duty station. The role of the UNSSC and UNDSS Team is to support the actual delivery of the SSAFE training and ensure its standard level of quality. This on-site supervision will only be provided at one SSAFE and focuses on providing guidance to training delivery and improving training materials based on the UNSSC and UNDSS SSAFE Team observations and recommendations.

The integrated in-country SSAFE support service is complemented by a knowledge sharing activity carried out trough an electronic platform (SSAFE Trainers Network) managed and moderated by the UNSSC and linking together all SSAFE Trainers worldwide. The purpose of this platform is to supply SSAFE trainers with and additional avenue to communicate and learn from each other experience.


The course is open only to security officers of the UN system and affiliated organizations in the field and at headquarters.

Turin-based Training of Trainers fees and location

It is a 5-day course taking place in Turin. The cost is USD 2,500, including 6-days full board & lodging formula, the training and facilitation services as well as the course materials. Participants are responsible for their own travel and transfers.

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance from the United Nations System Staff College and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security.

Integrated in-country SSAFE support service: it is provided upon request from UN agencies and departments, country teams and regional offices.


Mr. Fabrizio Bilucaglia - Peace & Security Programme | E-mail: peacesecurity [at] unssc [dot] org