Why Is It Critical For Your Organisation To Have An Active Assailant/Shooter Preparedness Strategy

Unfortunately, Active Assailant/Shooter scenarios are a more regular topic of conversation for workplaces, schools, universities, hotels, shopping centres and places of worship alike. The increased frequency of these incidents coupled with the intensity of the traumatic events that occur places it on the risk landscape for a broad range of mass gathering locations.

This raises the critical issue of our preparedness in situations like these. So how do we go about preparing for an incident like this?

Proper training greatly enhances your chance of surviving an Active Assailant Incident.

What is an active assailant?

An active assailant is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area; in most cases, active assailants use firearms(s) & there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

However, it is important to remember that the threat isn’t limited to a firearm(s) alone. We have witnessed a number of incidents over the years, where assailants have used knives, machetes, hammers, even trucks and other automobiles to commit mass murder. Who can forget the mowing down of innocent victims at Flinders Street in Melbourne and the tragic Bastille Day attack in France?

The threat is real, but the majority of facilities are not prepared to handle active shooter situations. “it can’t happen here, not in my town, not in my company”… But it can.

How Does the Training Help

Organisations across the world have realized that attackers can cause substantial loss of life before the first responders arrive at the scene. This resulted in a need for the development of an active assailant preparedness program which could help provide the best combination of skills and knowledge to respond to these critical situations.  

Run – Hide – Fight

Active assailant situations are highly unpredictable and can escalate quickly. The first thing to do in this situation is to try and escape the kill-zone if possible.

However, if the attacker is in close proximity and you cannot evacuate without being spotted, choose a secure hiding place preferably with thick walls or barricade yourself with furniture. If you are outdoors, try and hide behind a brick wall, large trees or a building.

As a last resort, fight. If you cannot evacuate or hide, fight with anything available to end the threat, rather than being the next victim.


We also need to take into account other factors that can affect the situation. Evacuation is not exactly easy when it comes to high rise buildings. Also, there need to be clear guidelines on how to communicate under these trying circumstances.

This can be effectively achieved if the organisation has a preparedness strategy and plan in place which trains and directs the staff to react and respond appropriately.

Communication is the key
Communication is a vital aspect of a response plan when you are under an active assailant incident.

Each and every employee should be able to use the emergency communication equipment so that they can effectively relay the information to emergency departments in an efficient manner.

Mock Practice Drills
Frequently conducting drills to practice, both to test their training and to test the protocols and preparedness help provide reality acquisition and validates the program effectiveness.

To sum it up, the question of Active Assailant/Shooter Incidents in Australia is changing from “If” to “When and every workplace should conduct active assailant preparedness training.

How Can We Help?

Praesidium’s Active Assailant Preparedness Program (AAPP) lasts for four hours and provides attendees with the key knowledge and skills to improve their preparedness and enhance their survivability in potential mass casualty incidents.

Click here to read more about the program and the specialist trainers who deliver it.


I had two staff attend the Conflict Identification & Response Methodology Program training on the 28th October 2021. My staff said the training was fantastic. Clear information, good interaction with Scott – the facilitator and really helpful guidance. One of the team actually used training points when confronted by an intoxicated client in the office. Highly recommend for anyone who interacts with the community
T.Whitehouse, Manager, Macarthur Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service
The training was really relevant to the work that I do and loved the de-escalation techniques and talk down process. The facilities were great and it was a really flexible learning environment

I would highly recommend Praesidium to any organisation seeking to upskill their workforce and mitigate their organisation’s vulnerabilities.

Steve Van Zwieten, CPP, Managing DIrector, Exact Security

I found Scott’s training to be highly professional, effective, and it was well-received by all who attended, including 2 of our service executives. I have since recommended Praesidium Risk Services to a client and will continue to recommend their services for this type of training.

Scott Nelson, Operations Manager, Gold Crest Security

Since placing our duty management team through the conflict management training program with Praesidium Risk, we’ve witnessed a tangible, and measurable improvement in our team and a reduction in conflicts.

Ben McGuinness ACCM, CHARI, JP, Operations and People Manager Moorebank Sports Club

Redcape Hotel Group has engaged Scott Taylor from Praesidium as our external Security Consultant since November 2015. Scott’s role has been quite diverse and he has been a key element in the development and progression of Redcape’s Security Vision.

Joel Cronan, General Manager Operations, Redcape Hotel Group

We engaged Scott Taylor at Praesidium to do some work with our Management team as well as all Frontline Staff and the feedback from all levels has been overwhelmingly positive. Drawing from diverse areas of study, citing real-life examples and delivered in an engaging and entertaining manner, this program was exactly what we were looking for to raise awareness of real-world challenges we face from both a risk management and customer service perspective

Michael Ruggeri, HR Manager Windsor RSL
We engaged Scott Taylor from Praesidium to conduct Advanced Conflict Training sessions for our security personnel and club Management. Scott provided valuable insight into security fundamentals and overall risk assessment. His information was backed up with real life accounts (experience and footage) and we would definitely recommend Scott for this type of training.
Nely Moat , HR Advisor, Parramatta Leagues Club

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