Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare Online Course

Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare Course - FREE ACCESS

As an organisation dedicated to supporting the professional development of those working within humanitarian healthcare, we are offering free access to our course for a limited period of time.

To access this course, you will need an account with RCSEd. If you do not have an account, please create one here.

Register for free below, log into your RCSEd account and submit the registration form.

Register Here

The Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare Course has been developed in partnership with UK-Med, the Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare (FRRHH) with support and guidance from the educational and professional development expertise of RCSEd.  Technical support was also provided by The Operations Partnership in the design and development of the course. This joint educational offering from UK-Med and FRRHH is the first of what we hope will be many resources that will help to create a professional home for humanitarian healthcare professionals.

The FRRHH is a global professional home for remote, rural and humanitarian healthcare professionals. The faculty will support the needs of individuals and organisations working across the public, private and third sectors, by setting professional and educational standards to support domestic practice and overseas work. This course will form part of the FRRHH membership benefit.

UK-Med, a close partner of FRRHH, has teams deployed around the world in response to a range of health emergencies, including the support of vulnerable countries in their management of COVID-19. This course will form the initial stage of UK-Meds extensive training pathway required of those deploying into UK-Med led deployments.

To access the course as a FRRHH member, you are pre-registered and only require your RCSEd account details. If you are not yet a member of FRRHH, join here.

Purpose of the 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.

Who is the course for

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 those who are interested 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.

In addition, 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. 

The experience and skills set of humanitarian healthcare have many lessons to pass on to the wider medical community and we welcome engagement from all corners of the healthcare world. For example, the NHS Nightingale North West in Manchester drew from experiences of the UK-Med response to Ebola in West Africa.


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”

To access the course as a FRRHH member, you are pre-registered and only require your RCSEd account details. If you are not yet a member of FRRHH, join here.


Course Feedback 2021


The course is divided into four modules:

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 Response

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. Essential Emergency Healthcare in 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 local culture and customs that influence a response, and the options for deployment.


Each module has a set of learning objectives and accompanying resources for you to explore; including book chapters, reports, journal articles and video material. The resources are divided into Need to know and Nice to know to help you understand those which are key to your understanding and those that will provide additional information should you wish to explore a subject in more depth. You are encouraged to expand your study resources with your own additional reading – and use references from within the resources to further explore a subject area that particularly interests you. You may also find these resources helpful in the future, to reference back to, if and when you find yourself deployed.

The modules have all been developed by practitioners with field experience which has been brought to the module content with real life examples from situations they have faced during deployments to countries across the globe. By the end of the course it is hoped you will feel inspired to further explore the Humanitarian Health sector. The course includes details of key organisations involved in humanitarian health responses for you to approach if you are considering deploying either in the short or longer term.

At the end of each module there is an assessment of your understanding and recollection of some of the key messages. This is not a pass/fail exercise and no marks will be awarded - one or more of the answers may be correct. After you select your response, you will see an explanation of what we consider to be the correct response. Where appropriate, there will also be a reference to the relevant section in the course content or to further reading. When you have worked through all module content and completed the short assessments, you will be eligible for a Certificate of Completion of the course.

One of the biggest challenges for any health professional – which ever discipline you come from - is to take your skills and training and adapt these to unfamiliar situations. The challenge is even greater during a disaster, when you are under pressure to respond very quickly, and often on a massive scale. The more you can do to think through how you will respond now, ahead of deployment; the greater will be your ability to respond effectively when the time comes.

This Introduction to Humanitarian Healthcare course is intended to be enjoyable and while it might raise questions for you it should also provide answers and further options for research and learning.

Assessment, Evaluation and Certificates

Assessment Method

At the end of each module you can test yourself on your understanding and recollection of some of the key messages. This is not a pass/fail exercise and no marks will be awarded. One or more of the answers may be correct. After you select your response, you will see an explanation of what we consider to be the correct response. Where appropriate, there will also be a reference to the relevant section in the text to help sign post you to the correct answer or to continue your own learning on this point. When you have viewed all the modules and completed the short tests, you will be eligible for a Certificate of Completion of the course.

Evaluation and Award of Certificates

Once you have completed the course assessment you will be asked to complete a short evaluation survey that will take no longer than 5-10 minutes. Honest and constructive feedback is integral to help us continue to deliver the highest quality of education. In order to do so, we welcome our learners views and have a rigorous review process to ensure the quality of our courses continue to improve.

Once you have completed our online evaluation survey you will automatically be sent a PDF copy of your certificate including your name, date of completion and details of CPD points awarded.

A certificate of completion will allow you to demonstrate your interest in the field and provide evidence of your interest in humanitarian healthcare

How to Access the Course

This course (which is valued at £300) is part of the 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 be advised to contact your main training and education contact lead at UK-Med who can issue 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
  • 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.


The Faculty of Remote, Rural and Humanitarian Healthcare and UK-Med would like to thank the following subject matter experts for their contribution to the development of this course:

  • Professor Tony Redmond OBE
  • Dr Najeeb Rahman
  • Michelle Hanegaard
  • Dr Anisa Jafar

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

For more information, see our FAQ guide. 

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