Search Operations Courses

survival training uk

The skills of searching for missing persons and objects can be taught as a clear and structured programme. Each step of a missing person or rescue-operation search can be managed, from the initial response and first deployment of search and tracking teams on the ground to the completion of a search based on measured and recorded assessment of the situation.
The techniques we teach are used by SAR, mountain rescue and law enforcement organisations around the world and are in keeping with current best practice and utilising the latest technologies.
We deliver courses both as part of the EST Framework and as tailored training packages to meet the individual needs of our clients.

Level 1 EST SAR Courses


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(Level 1) Search Operations Technician

A Level 1 EST Framework course from the Search Operations training stream.
The content is based upon techniques employed by UK Mountain and Lowland SAR teams, and is also appropriate for teams and organisations operating overseas.
Subjects covered over 3 days include:

  • Basic missing person behaviour
  • Working within a wider SAR operation and alongside other agencies
  • Search patterns and formations on the ground
  • Personal safety and integration with other SAR skills
  • Actions on casualty or object being found
  • Basic comms procedures
  • Position Formats,
  • Latitude/Longitude and working with mapping (digital/GIS and paper)
  • Awareness of hypothermia, hyperthermia and prevention of heat and cold injuries
  • Use of PPE for protection against weather and temperature hazards
  • Emergency procedures for lost equipment and missing personnel
  • Working with Normal Operation Plans and Emergency Action Plans
  • Awareness of working near water and falls from height
This course is delivered over three days and entirely outdoors.
It can be delivered on site with the client (assuming a suitable location can be provided) or at our site in North Wales.

There are no training pre-requisites for this course but a minimum level of basic fitness and health is required.
This course can be tailored to meet a client specification, or combined with other courses as a bespoke training package.
L1 Search Ops Technician Course Dates (Public)Contact Us for More Information
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(Level 1) Search Tracking Technician

A Level 1 EST Framework course focusing on the techniques employed for mantracking within a SAR or law enforcement context.
Subjects covered over 3 days include:

  • Identification and interpretation of tracks, signs of passage and other evidence
  • Acquisition, extrapolation and re-acquisition of track in different conditions
  • Working as a tracking team on the ground
  • Tracking at night and in poor weather
  • Vehicle track and sign interpretation
  • Age interpretation of track and sign
  • Basic missing person behaviour
  • Working within a wider SAR operation and alongside other agencies
  • Personal safety and integration with other SAR skills
  • Actions on casualty or object being found
  • Basic comms procedures
  • Position Formats, Latitude/Longitude and working with mapping (digital and paper)
  • Awareness of hypothermia, hyperthermia and prevention of heat and cold injuries
  • Use of PPE for protection against weather and temperature hazards
  • Emergency procedures for lost equipment and missing personnel
  • Working with Normal Operation Plans and Emergency Action Plans
  • Awareness of working near water and falls from height
This course is delivered over three days and entirely outdoors.
It can be delivered on site with the client (assuming a suitable location can be provided) or at our site in North Wales.

There are no training pre-requisites for this course but a minimum level of basic fitness and health is required.
This course can be tailored to meet a client specification, or combined with other courses as a bespoke training package.
L1 Search Tracking Technician Course Dates (Public)Contact Us for More Information

Level 2 EST SAR Courses


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(Level 2) Search Operations Leader

A Level 2 EST Framework course for the development of team leadership skills within a SAR, missing person search and rescue organisation context.
This course is aimed at those leading teams of search technicians or similar on the ground.
Subjects covered over 3 days include:

  • Missing person behaviour and search management awareness
  • Working within a wider SAR operation and alongside other agencies
  • Leadership and supervision of search operations
  • Hierarchical command structures and working within a
  • Strategic/Tactical/Operational command system
  • Deployment of resources and prioritisation of operations
  • Search patterns and formations on the ground
  • Basic tracking and working with tracking/trailing assets
  • Crime scene and major incident procedures
  • Control comms procedures
  • Briefing, debriefing and information handling
  • Conflict management
This course is delivered over three days and in a combination of classroom and outdoor environments.
It can be delivered on site with the client (assuming a suitable location can be provided) or at our sites in North Wales.

Candidates for this course must have completed the Level 1 Search Operations Technician course or equivalent.
This course can be tailored to meet a client specification, or combined with other courses as a bespoke training package.
L2 Search Team Leader Course Dates (Public)Contact Us for More Information
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(Level 2) Search Tracking Leader

A Level 2 EST Framework course for leadership of tracking teams on the ground within a search operations context.
This course is a direct continuation of the L1 Search tracking Technician course and builds on the skills taught there.
Subjects covered over 3 days include:

  • Advanced tracking techniques and track prediction
  • Deploying tracking teams for both initial response and ongoing search operations
  • Protection of tracks and prioritisation of resources
  • Pursuit tracking versus evidence gathering
  • Logging track information and communications with wider search operation
  • Providing tactical advice to Search Management cells
  • Deployment of resources and prioritisation of operations
  • Crime scene and major incident procedures
  • Control comms procedures
  • Briefing, debriefing and information handling
This course is delivered over three days and entirely outdoors.
It can be delivered on site with the client (assuming a suitable location can be provided) or at our site in North Wales.

Candidates for this course must have completed the Level 1 Search Tracking Technician course or equivalent.
This course can be tailored to meet a client specification, or combined with other courses as a bespoke training package.
L2 Search Tracking Leader Course Dates (Public)Contact Us for More Information

Level 3 EST SAR Courses


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(Level 3) Search Operations Manager

A Level 3 EST Framework course for management of search operations on the ground, within a missing person and rescue context.

Subjects covered over 3 (long) days include:

  • Actions upon first-notice of missing person.
  • Using lost person behavioural statistics to define the search area and to present likely scenarios.
  • Applying search theory to inform the planning process.
  • Strategies to integrate with a multi-agency search process or stand-alone as required.
  • Determining coverage and probability of detection (PoD) from GPS applications and team debrief process.
  • Considerations for suspension of a search in the event of the missing person not being found (PoS Cumulative threshold).
  • Missing person behaviour
  • Working within a wider SAR operation and alongside other agencies
  • Leadership and supervision of search operations
  • Hierarchical command structures and working within a Strategic/Tactical/Operational command system
  • Deployment of resources and prioritisation of operations
  • Crime scene and major incident procedures
  • Control comms procedures
  • Briefing, debriefing and information handling
This course is delivered over three days and mostly indoors, with field and SAREX sessions outdoors.
It can be delivered on site with the client (assuming a suitable location can be provided) or at our sites in North Wales.

Candidates for this course must have completed the Level 1 Search Operations Technician course or equivalent and the Level 1 Basic Land Navigation course or equivalent.

Ideally they will also have completed the Level 1 GPS Use course or equivalent and have appropriate first aid/medical training.

A good level of general fitness is preferred due to the moderately active nature of parts of the course (walking with rucksack, crossing rough terrain etc).
This course can be tailored to meet the needs of an individual client.

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Bespoke Search Operations and Tracking Courses

If you have a training requirement that falls outside of the EST Framework courses outlined above then please contact us directly. We can either modify one of our existing courses or creating a bespoke training package from the ground up.
We can also bundle our existing training courses together to provide a unique training solution for clients of all types.


Contact Us for More Information
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Realistic and relevant
outdoor skills training.

We work with outdoor professionals who want to learn new and relevant outdoor skills that will enhance their existing skillset.
Our instructors deliver the courses based on their own experience within the outdoor safety and survival fields - including SAR, expedition, military and industrial backgrounds

About Us

The EST Framework.

We created the Environmental Survival Training Framework in collaboration with experienced outdoor skills practitioners, education professionals and established clients and training partners.
We offer several outdoor skills and safety training courses within a clear structure and training progression from entry-level through to senior instructor.

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