Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare Online Course

Key Facts

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Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare Online Course

The content of the course will help you identify and explore the key elements and agencies in Humanitarian Healthcare and their place within the humanitarian response framework. You will learn how best to adapt your clinical skills to the humanitarian environment and what you need to do to be ready to deploy to a humanitarian emergency as a health professional. Covering introductory material in an online format will allow for deploying agencies to focus more time and attention on key training required for deployment that may be delivered face to face or virtually.

This course is aimed at those who are interested in commencing or developing a career, paid or voluntary, in humanitarian healthcare. Our desired outcome is to help inform those interested in pursuing a role in humanitarian healthcare to make an informed decision as to their suitability by clearly outlining the realities and complexities of working in the field. As well as providing a suitable framework for reflecting on previous deployments.

Professor Tony Redmond, OBE, Founder of UK-Med, Emeritus Professor of Emergency Medicine, Keele University and Professor of International Emergency Medicine, University of Manchester

“Overseas humanitarian deployments can provide unparalleled exposure to the management of large-scale emergencies, which will inform and strengthen our preparedness and planning at home”

Course Format

The course is divided into four online modules which cover the following:

Module 1. Humanitarian Principles and Influences

This module explores the key influences that have shaped humanitarian action; the core principles that shape our responses; the core standards that are in place to ensure quality and accountability, and the key organisations that make up the humanitarian architecture.

Module 2. Health and the broader Humanitarian Health Responses

This module explores the humanitarian health response, the importance of information management as part of the humanitarian cycle, and the linkages between health and the other sectors within a humanitarian response.

Module 3. Deploying into a Humanitarian Emergency

This module explores three key areas – the clinical care of direct consequences of a disaster; the care of underlying chronic conditions that present during a disaster, the management of coincidental emergencies that occur alongside the response and still require clinical management.

Module 4. Deploying into a Humanitarian Emergency

This module explores safety and security during deployment, the need to understand the local culture and customs that influence a response, and the options for deployment.


FREE for FRRHH Members

Location Specific Details


This course (which is valued at £300) is part of The Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH) membership benefit and you must first join FRRHH. Once you have joined as a member you will then be set up to access the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) where the course is hosted and you will be able to access learning materials, resources, assessment and the post course evaluation survey.

If you are a UK-Med Member who requires access to this course, please contact and a member of the education team will be able to issue you with joining instructions

Joining FRRHH

  • To join FRRHH you must first set up an RCSEd Online Account.
  • Once you have an RCSEd online profile you can then start the FRRHH membership online pro forma by visiting our FRRHH Membership page and clicking the green join now button
  • You will then receive an automated receipt of payment and a welcome email from FRRHH and you are ready to begin accessing your membership benefits. Please note that it takes two working days for your course registration and access to the VLE to be processed. All FRRHH members who joined the faculty before 11 March 2021 will automatically be enrolled onto the course and will have access to the VLE and course.
  • Please note that RCSEd Fellows and Members are entitled to free FRRHH Membership and are invited to work through the online joining pro forma where this free membership has been auto applied to your college reference number

Accessing the VLE

In order to access this course please use the same login details used to set up your FRRHH membership to log in to the VLE.

We hope that you enjoy this course and very much look forward to receiving any feedback you might have to help us improve this educational offering.

For further information about the content of this course click here


If you have any issues or questions please do not hesitate to contact or call 0131 527 1648

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay for access to the course without becoming a FRRHH Member?

No. By offering this course as part of the FRRHH membership benefit it is hoped that you will engage with the opportunity to join a wider humanitarian community in what we hope will become a professional home for humanitarian, remote and rural healthcare professionals that will improve the preparation and suitability of working in these environments. This home will aim to create a professional community by offering routes for sharing best practice, peer to peer support, career guidance as well as professional standard setting and educational activity. By drawing on the experience of RCSEd and the collective knowledge of humanitarian healthcare professionals, we will support continual professional development of individuals and their community

How do I become a member of FRRHH?

Click here to find out more about introductory membership rates and levels; Student £10, Trainee £50 and Associate £75.

RCSEd Members and Fellows are entitled to free membership of FRRHH. Log in to your RCSEd Online Profile and complete the online membership pro forma to automatically waive the membership fee above

I am a UK-Med Member, how do I gain access to the course?

Please contact and a member of the education team will be able to issue you with joining instructions

How long will the course take to complete?

It is estimated the course will take 40 hours to complete including the online course material and “need to know” reading materials. The course also provides additional “nice to know” resources for those who wish to take their learning and research deeper.

Who is the course for?
  • Any healthcare professional interested in humanitarian healthcare
  • Healthcare professionals who have previously deployed and wish to reflect on their learning
Is the course open to international students?

Yes, all healthcare professionals across the globe who are interested in and wish to learn more about humanitarian healthcare are welcome.

The course forms part of the FRRHH membership benefit and FRRHH is for all remote, rural and humanitarian healthcare professionals globally

How is the course assessed?

Online multiple - choice assessment questions at the end of each module.

How do I get my certificate?

Once you have completed each online module and the module assessments you will be asked to complete a short course evaluation taking no longer than 10 minutes. This evaluation will be completed in the Virtual Learning Environment. Once this has been completed a certificate of completion will automatically be generated and sent to you by email.

What can my certificate be used for?
  • A certificate of completion will allow you to demonstrate your interest in the field and provide evidence of your interest in humanitarian healthcare
  • Those participating in the UK-Med Pre-Deployment training pathway will be required to send a copy of this certificate to their designated contact at UK-Med as proof of completion of the course
Does this course allow me to carry out additional duties on completion of the course?

No. Once completing the course you will be able to use your certificate of completion to demonstrate your interest in humanitarian healthcare. The course will not enable you to carry our additional duties or provide additional responsibilities to your role. It indicates your interest in humanitarian healthcare and your desire to progress the pursuit of a career paid or voluntarily.

What does each module consist of?

As this course is online and self-directed learning, it is entirely based on self-directed study. You are responsible for organising your time and making sure you complete each module and module online assessment. Each module is made up of:

  • Online learning material for you to listen to, watch or read
  • Suggested “need to know” and “nice to know” reading material
  • Multiple choice online assessment questions to be completed at the end of each module

Please see Additional Information for further details on the modules.

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Get in touch

If you have any questions about this course, please contact us and a member of our Education team will be happy to help you.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare

Phone: 0131 527 1648