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A world at your fingertips – developing your career through online learning 

In the first instalment of my blog on free international training and education to develop your careers, I highlighted the flagship of emergency management distance learning from the United States - the Emergency Management Institute. This instalment will focus on important global resources found in

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(Image: Brijith Viljayan/123rf)

Brought to us by the Cornerstone on Demand Foundation, has recently merged with to bring you a great amalgam of just in time humanitarian and global first responder learning. Supported by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, all of these courses are NGO-approved for humanitarian workers and volunteers.

To access the courses (click here) you’ll need to create an account but, prior to doing so, you’re welcome to check out the robust training library with more than 1,000 learning titles, explore social collaboration and mentorship opportunities, or take a look at its more structured curricula to help you master new skills.

Once you’ve established an account, you’ll be brought to a learning management splash page. I highly recommend taking the tour of how to begin and launching a course so you can understand how the systems work. Additionally, you may change your site experience to Spanish, French or Arabic and many of the course offerings are offered in these languages.

When searching for learning topics, you may choose to write in a topic or category and see where their search engine takes you. However, because it uses international humanitarian response vocabulary and United Nations language and organisational concepts, I find it to be a much smoother experience by browsing learning topics through one of the following four categories: Safety and security; programme and project management; humanitarian essentials; and sectors. At first glance you may find that the content is exclusively geared toward global humanitarian responders, but this is not so! You’ll find an array of tactical, operational and strategic courses for all levels of emergency management, from fire safety, to managing international grants. You’ll also note that the content is growing all the time, because major providers of training are starting to use them as their workforce training platform.

The United Nations Emergency Preparedness and Support Team (UNEPST), Save the Children, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have already migrated significant content to the site. Before you get too enveloped with all the great things to learn here, be sure to go further down the initial page and look for certifications, collections and programmes, along with new and featured programmes. You’ll be really glad you have done so in terms of organising your learning experience.

In the certifications section, please note that there are sometimes exam fees associated with the various levels and types of certifications, but this is because of the costs from the various credentialing agencies. The content is still free. Achieving a higher status of certification or testing is completely up to the individual.

Overall, there’s something for just about everyone here, no matter where they work in the emergency management or first responder fields. While directed towards the just in time needs of deploying humanitarians, the course content and high quality learning outcomes are for everybody. From ten minutes to ten hours, you can improve your knowledge and skills in hundreds of areas.

Train today, live tomorrow. Good luck! 

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