The Humanitarian Context, Systems and Standards programme is made up of 4 Modules. This course contains Module 4; you can find links to additional modules below.

Module 4: Principles and standards

Module topics

  • Humanitarian aid workers
  • Humanitarian principles
  • The code of conduct
  • The Sphere project

Learning objectives

  • Recognize the importance of following ethical principles during a humanitarian emergency
  • List the four main humanitarian principles
  • Recognize the importance of a humanitarian code of conduct
  • Identify the points of the Code of Conduct
  • Identify the main components of the humanitarian imperative as outlined in the Sphere Handbook
  • Identify the technical sectors and cross-cutting issues in the Sphere Handbook
  • Recognize examples of how evidence-based practice can improve humanitarian assistance response
  • Identify the six lessons of the “Do No Harm” approach
  • List the characteristics of a professional aid worker


This module is suitable for all humanitarians, in particular those who are new to the sector, those who are keen to refresh their knowledge, and volunteers in humanitarian response. 


1 hour.

About the programme

The Humanitarian Context, System and Standards programme is part of Humanitarian U's The Core Professional Humanitarian Training Programme. This Core Professional programme offers a complete competency-based curriculum that prepares both aspiring humanitarians and those who are already working in the sector for the challenges they will face in the field. 

Designed and taught by experts from around the world, the programme combines academic rigor, evidence-based practice, standardized learning objectives, interesting learning activities, case studies and testing to measure performance. 

The other modules in the Context, System and Standards programme are available on Kaya:

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

The PHAP Credentialing Program logo

PHAP Credetialling Programme: Applying Humanitarian Principles in Practice, Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem

This course will help you prepare for the PHAP Credentialing Program certification in Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem and in Applying Humanitarian Principles in Practice

In particular, the course addresses  some aspects of segments 1.1, 1.7 and 1.9 of the Principles credentialing assessment outline and of segment 3.4 of the Ecosystem credentialing assessment. 

Read more about the PHAP Credentialing Program