2.3 Communication protocols

Telecommunications systems are only effective for staff security if staff can use them properly and follow basic communication protocols. More information about communication protocols is included in section 9, and in Chapter 3.9 of the CARE International safety & security handbook. The minimum requirements for communication protocols are as follows.


  • Ensure base station radios and telephones (head office or emergency contact) are monitored at all times.
  • Provide all staff with emergency contact numbers and instructions on who to contact in the event of a critical incident. See section 1.4 Safety and security responsibilities of the CARE International safety & security handbook.
  • Establish a schedule for regular contact during the emergency and during travel to regional locations.
  • All staff on field travel must communicate departure and arrival times, and confirm safety and location with the base station at agreed times.
  • When calling, always say who you are and where you are calling from. Pass on the message and the current situation, and when and where you expect to move to next.
  • It is very important for staff members to speak slowly and clearly when using any form of long-distance communications system.
  • Always keep calls brief, as this reduces the chance of errors and allows others to make calls on the same system.