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How we recruit

Our aid workers are part of the global workforce that supports the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in its operations.

Delegates work alongside our National Society partners and must respect and adapt to different cultures and work styles. You could face highly challenging environments including disaster and conflict zones, where you must be able to operate and thrive. The following may not apply to every delegate, deployment or location but is a useful guide for you to consider.

For all information regarding applications scroll down to our recruitment process section.

Who is needed?
Are you ready to be an international aid worker?
Working with Red Cross
Our recruitment process

Who is needed

Our delegates are everyday people doing extraordinary things in the most vulnerable regions of the world. They deploy in the immediate aftermath of disasters and crises; or to ongoing operations and post crisis environments to support recovery and rehabilitation; or work alongside partner National Societies on long term developmental projects. They include: clinical and public health professionals, engineers, architects, environmental health professionals, operations managers, and media & communications generalists.

Continue reading for more information on Red Cross delegates and for all application requirements scroll down to our recruitment process.

Our delegates support disaster and crisis operations coordinated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Emergency responders need to be prepared to deploy anywhere within 48 hours, with deployments typically lasting for 1-3 months

Aid workers on our register have recently deployed to provide:

  • WASH, public and clinical health, shelter, media & communications and operations support to the population movement operation in Cox’s Bazar supporting those that have fled Myanmar
  • Emergency public health support to those affected by the cholera outbreak in Yemen
  • WASH and public health support to those affected by the cholera outbreak in Somaliland

Our delegates support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in crisis response and rehabilitation.

These deployments are typically 6-18 months in duration, in areas experiencing or recovering from armed conflicts.

Recent deployments have included:

  • Water and habitat rehabilitation in Ukraine
  • Psychosocial support in Syria
  • Medical coordination in South Sudan
  • Detention monitoring in Burundi

Working across the Asia-Pacific region, our delegates support Red Cross Red Crescent National Society Partners by working on development programs.

These deployments are typically 6 - 24 months in duration.

Recent deployments have included:

  • Water and sanitation (WASH) support in Kiribati
  • Cyclone Pam recovery in Vanuatu
  • Fresh water systems for remote communities in Timor-Leste

Are you ready to be an Aid Worker?

Working and living conditions in the field vary depending on the location, the type of deployment and the humanitarian circumstances. While on a delegate deployment you may work without many of the comforts, support network and basic infrastructure to which you are accustomed. The following questions may not be true for every delegate deployment, but are meant as a guide to help in assessing your readiness to work and live as a delegate.

Our aid workers work alongside staff from a range of cultures, ethnicities, professional and personal backgrounds and must respect and adapt to different cultures and work styles. They face unfamiliar situations, ambiguous information and may be working without direct or readily available supervision. They may be required to work long hours for days or weeks at a time, especially in emergency situations.


  • Do I have the required professional qualifications and specialist skills relevant to the role and work experience (including working in humanitarian aid in a developing country, with remote Australian communities or with displaced or vulnerable people)?
  • Do I thrive when working in a multi-cultural environment and accept the challenge of adapting to different cultures and work styles? Can I work/live with people whose heritage, values, beliefs etc. are different from my own?
  • Do I set realistic goals? Can I handle failure as well as success? Can I stay focused on the tasks at hand when faced with many other unmet and compelling needs?
  • Am I self-motivated and able to work independently and make sound decisions without consultation, even in unfamiliar or ambiguous situations?
  • Do I work well in a team, respect the role every member plays and operate cooperatively?
  • Do I have the ability to work long hours on a continual basis, if required?
  • Am I able to adapt quickly to fast-paced, changing environments?

Consider the professional impact of a deployment. In particular, being on the delegate roster may require you to be deployed on short notice.


  • Can I put my professional life in Australia 'on hold' on short notice? Am I willing to look for new work upon return or to be unemployed for periods of time while not on deployment?
  • Would my employer support my decision? Are my colleagues willing to make adjustments to their workload to accommodate my absence?
  • Does my employer understand that I will need time to re-adjust upon my return, and that my perspectives on our work may shift?
  • If self-employed, am I willing and able to risk losing business clients due to my absence or are there other contingency plans I must put into place?

The environments in which delegates work are often demanding and can be stressful.


  • Do I have excellent mental and physical health to stand the rigours of a highly stressful environment and possibly poor living conditions?
  • Do I practice self-discipline in eating, exercise, and sleep?
  • How is my ability to cope with stress? Do I use healthy means such as physical exercise or confiding in colleagues? 
  • How flexible and adaptable am I? Is a constantly changing environment a place that I can operate comfortably in?

Living situations vary depending on the deployment – you might find yourself in isolated accommodations or living in close quarters with a number of other people. In addition, you may be without the comforts to which you are accustomed. Security restrictions may limit where you can go, what you can do and when you can do it.


  • Am I comfortable living in isolated surroundings with very limited contact with others of a similar cultural background? Can I live in shared accommodation in close quarters with others?
  • How comfortable am I in situations where I may not be able to readily access the internet or contact my friends and families overseas?
  • How do I feel about living/working in areas of insecurity where my life may be in danger?
  • Am I willing to follow strict security rules and regulations?
  • Can I adapt my daily routines to situations where my movement is tightly restricted?

Being an international aid worker means you will be away from friends and family for extended periods, possibly with very little contact.


  • Can I put my personal life in Australia on hold to work overseas?
  • Am I prepared to have little or no contact with loved ones for extended durations?
  • Would my family, significant other, and/or close friends support my decision? What are their concerns and how would their reaction impact my decision?
  • Is my personal motivation for working overseas healthy? Am I trying to escape from issues and problems that may be better dealt with by staying in Australia?

Working for the Red Cross

As a delegate working as part of a global stand-by workforce you are responsible for having an understanding of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and are entitles to a range of benefits.

All delegates must understand and commit to the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross/Crescent Movement and recognize that while on assignment they are a representative of the Red Cross 24-hours a day and adhere to these principles at all times. This will mean putting personal, religious or political beliefs aside.


  • Do I have an understanding of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, particularly neutrality and impartiality, and of their practical application?
  • Do I have personal, religious, or political beliefs that might conflict with these principles?
  • Can I put my personal beliefs aside and assume the Fundamental Principles as my own at all times while on deployment?
  • Preference will be given to Australian residents or passport holders. This is to make it more efficient for Australian Red Cross to manage health and visa process.
  • You need to be willing to accept an assignment without your family (partner, children or other dependants), and also accept that it may not be possible for your family or friends to visit you while you are on assignment. This can depend on the specific nature and location of the assignment.

As a Red Cross delegate you will be entitled to a competitive pay and benefits package. Each overseas deployment differs and the benefits you are entitled to will include:

  • Salary (determined by role grade (responsibility, seniority technical difficulty) as well as experience
  • Round-trip travel and transportation to the field
  • Required visas and work permits
  • Accommodation on deployment
  • Living allowance while on deployment
  • Travel and accommodation for briefing and debriefing
  • Health support (including vaccinations and medical repatriation)
  • Psychosocial support and access to specialist psychologists
  • Travel, medical and life insurance coverage
  • Superannuation for Australian residents
  • Professional development opportunities, networking, training and secondments.
  • Access to Australian Red Cross Employee Assistance Program
  • Paid leave: depending on the contract type you may be eligible for paid vacation, paid statutory holidays, rest and relaxation leave in situations where conditions are particularly difficult, and return to Australia visits for extended deployments

Please note: This information is provided to give a general overview of the delegate compensation and benefits. The employment contract is the definitive source of any legal and administrative interpretation.

Our recruitment process

Our recruitment process is rigorous and competitive to ensure delegates are able to operate in highly challenging environments such as disasters and conflict zones.

Some developmental roles are advertised throughout the year as they become available so continue to check the current opportunities page.

Red Cross delegates find their experiences in the field to be reqarding and life changing. However, they also face challenging contexts and environments to which they may not be accustomed, including disaster and conflict zones. Be sure to carefully read through the 'Are you ready to be an aid worker?' section of this page as this is intended to help you identify if you are ready for an overseas deployment.

In addition, carefully consider whether you meet the minimum requirements for the position as identified in the job posting. Only candidates with appropriate professional expertise, experience and personal competencies will be considered.

Applications for the current round of the International Delegate roster are now closed.

If you are interested in becoming a delegate you can search for open roles on our current opportunities in aid work page. Only apply to those positions where you can clearly demonstrate you meet the required qualifications, experience and skills. For more information be sure to check out the position description and learn more sections of each role. Please be aware that some roles will be with the Australian Red Cross, while others work directly with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross. You can learn more about the differences here.

Current round dates: 19th March – 6th April

Selected candidates will be contacted by a member of the Red Cross team for a technical and behavioural competency-based assessment usually conducted by Skype.

Current round dates: 30th April

After the interview, you will be required to participate in our assessment centre – A 1 day group based activity held in Melbourne. The purpose of the assessment centre is for us to learn more about your relevant experience, qualifications and personal attributes. It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and further assess whether a career in international aid is a good fit for you personally.

Current round dates: 1st – 6th May

Following the Assessment centre, you will complete an online Psychometric test. During this time the Red Cross team will also be completing police and reference checks.

Current round: The training will be held in Wellington, New Zealand from the 9th - 23rd of June. It will cost $1500 (including flights, accommodation, food and course costs - insurance and sundry costs not included).

For the recruitment process, you will need to complete our International Mobilisation and Preparation for Action Training (IMPACT). This is an eight-day residential course designed to prepare future Red Cross delegates by taking an in-depth look at the roles of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, and National Societies in times of disaster and conflict as well as reviewing practical subjects such as dealing with stress, security, and cross-cultural awareness.

If successful, you will be notified of your appointment to the Delegates Roster.