The University of Iowa

Community Training Programs

Request a Class

The UI Department of Public Safety offers several free and low-cost training programs to those affiliated with the UI community.

If you would like to register for a course, please complete the form using the button below and specify which course you are interested in. In some cases, a minimum number of participants are required to schedule a class.

Request a Class

Training Programs

A personal safety course that blends risk reduction techniques with self-defense strategies. This training is aimed to help improve self-awareness, confidence, and knowledge in threatening situations, and learn risk reduction techniques. 

Course Description

This course takes a comprehensive approach to violence reduction, and includes skill building in threat assessment, de-escalation, and Violent Incident Survival Training (VIST) principles. Participants will receive training intended to enhance their skills in recognizing a threat, recognizing their authority to act, using de-escalation techniques, applying Active Listening principles (as taught by the FBI and used in Hostage/Crisis Intervention), applying the principles of tactical communication, and increasing survivability in the event of a violent attack. 

Course Length

Two and a half hours.

Course Location

For Classes at UI DPS

Classes at UI DPS are held in room 880 of the University Capitol Centre (UCC).

Go to the Old Capitol Ramp elevators and take them to the lower level. As you leave the elevator go through the door on the left/north. Go down the ramp and look for the sign. All dates are as follows:

For Classes at UIHC

Classes at UIHC are held in Rm 01136, Braley Auditorium.  Enter UIHC from the Family Medicine entrance off of Melrose and turn right as you enter- the room is approximately 100 feet down the hallway.  Hospital employees will be available for directions if you get lost.

Why Do I Need This?

It is an unfortunate reality that in our society we must be concerned about the possibility of someone using a weapon to harm members of the university community. The University of Iowa and the Department of Public Safety believes your safety is the most important responsibility we are charged with preserving. And, while our department is trained and prepared to handle these incidents, it is important to note that personal resiliency starts with you. Realizing that someone can’t be with you around the clock for protection, we offer training and education on various topics to help enhance your safety; our Violent Incident Survival Training (VIST) is one of many currently being offered. 

Our V.I.S.T. course is based on a flexible set of principles — "Run, Hide, Fight,” — that may be adapted to any violent situation. Broad preparation throughout our university community for these types of incidents is key for improving outcomes, and building resiliency. 

There are no guarantees in life, but we hope this course gives you training to fall back on if you ever find yourself in a violent incident. 

This training program, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Justice, emphasizes even well-intentioned people have implicit biases that can influence their actions, that recognizing those biases is key in learning how to override them, and that acting based on biases can be unsafe, ineffective, and unjust.

Through group discussion, presentations, and various role-playing exercises featuring community volunteers, participants are encouraged to recognize their own biases, understand how those biases impact the communities they live in, and develop skills to reduce the influence of bias on their daily life.

RAD Training







R.A.D. is the nation's largest self-defense course. R.A.D. is taught at over 1,400 colleges and universities, private, municipal, state and federal agencies by more than 6,000 instructors. The R.A.D. approach to personal safety education embodies a practical blend of threat avoidance strategies and real-world assault resistance. Classes are divided by gender identities because the strategies, tactics, and goals differ and there is some personal contact during the training. More information can be found at the RAD Systems website.

Upcoming classes

September 2022 R.A.D. Basic Self Defense for Women 

When: Sept. 20, 22, 27, and 29th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

What: Participants will receive a manual, hands-on training, a t-shirt, and have lots fo fun during this four-session course. Participants are expected to attend all four sessions.

Where: 880 UCC 


To register for this course, please call our non-emergency line at 319-335-5022 to get on the list. Your $20 registration fee includes a R.A.D manual and T-shirt. The class is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day. 


Twelve-hour course available to all students, faculty and staff.

Those not affiliated with the University of Iowa are also welcome to join these classes.


  • Learn about helpful resources and support available in your local community.
  • Learn bystander intervention skills.
  • Improve situational and self awareness.
  • Learn various tools to deter, deescalate, and resist physically threatening situations.

Course Options

Basic Self Defense:

Twelve-hour course broken into 3 or 4 segments that combines instruction and participation in self-defense techniques and simulations.

Aerosol Defense Options:

Four-hour course for graduates of Basic Self Defense, eight hours for non-graduates. This version discusses Pepper Spray and Mace.

Keychain/Flashlight Defense:

Four-hour course for Basic Self-Defense graduates, eight for non-graduates. Course covers instructions on defense techniques with a mini-flashlight and gives the opportunity to participate in several simulations.

The purpose of this course is to inform the students about some of the common state and local law violations that occur in the Johnson County area. This allows students to get to know local law enforcement officers and actively engage in open discussion about university policy and laws. 

American Heart Association’s (AHA) Heartsaver CPR AED is a video-based, instructor-led course that teaches CPR, AED use, and relief of choking in adult victims. This course teaches skills with the AHA’s research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which allows instructors to observe the students, provide feedback, and guide the students' learning of skills.  Additional areas of instruction for child and infant CPR and relief of choking are also available.

This course is for anyone with limited or no medical training who needs CPR training and AED use to meet job, regulatory, or other requirements. 


  • Video-based course ensures consistency 

  • Instructor-led, hands-on class format reinforces skills proficiency 

  • Course is updated with the new science from the 2020 AHA Guidelines Update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care


  • For departments/groups that need to be fully trained in CPR and AED use, but are required to have a course completion card, the cost is $50 for a 2-hour class of up to 10 students.
  • For individuals that need certification or a course completion card in basic life support (BLS) formerly known as Healthcare Provider, or any level of HeartSaver CPR AED, the cost is $40 per student with a minimum of 3 students and maximum of 9 students in attendance for the class.

Fire extinguisher training takes place at your workplace.  The training includes a presentation on how to prevent a fire from occurring, preparing your workplace if a fire occurs, and how to extinguish a fire with portable fire extinguisher.  UI DPS utilizes the BullEx “BullsEye” electronic fire extinguisher training system.  Live fire extinguisher training is also available to those needing this level of training.


The White House launched a Stop the Bleed campaign in October of 2015 to provide bystanders of emergency situations with the tools and knowledge to stop life threatening bleeding. Uncontrolled bleeding injuries can result from natural and manmade disasters and from everyday accidents. If this bleeding is severe, an injured person can perish in minutes before first responders arrive. Providing bystanders with basic tools and information on the simple steps they can take in an emergency situation to stop life-threatening bleeding can save lives. Research has shown that bystanders, with little or no medical training, can become heroic lifesavers. Similar to the use of CPR or automatic defibrillators, improving public awareness about how to stop severe bleeding and expanding personal and public access to Bleeding Control Kits can be the difference between life and death for an injured person.

The DPS has created a standardized package that will be available for all Departments and Colleges to purchase.

Kits available for departmental purchase include:

  • 8 individual bleeding control kits
  • 1 quick litter
  • 1 folding carrying case
  • 1 mounting cabinet (user groups can choose between surface mounted or recessed cabinets)

These kits can be purchased by the building user groups and is a one-time purchase with no maintenance required. If your building or department is interested in purchasing one of these kits please send all inquiries to Upon receiving the request we will coordinate the purchase and installation.

Additional information on the UI's Stop the Bleed initiative is available PDF iconhere. 

Educate RA staff about services offered by the Department of Public Safety and discuss local and state laws.

Prepare employees to handle emergency situations and how to properly deal with disruptive persons in the workplace.  Also presented as part of the ‘Ready or Not Series.’