Header image
How can we help?

Introduction to Crowd Safety

Now available through ESI Australia!

ESI Logo

Level 5 - Course outline

The Introduction to Crowd Science course is a Level 5 qualification (IIRSM and Highfield). On this course, we cover the the crowd science and risk analysis tools with their application for planning and managing places of public assembly in depth. There are 18 modules to this course. We expand on all the themes in the Fundamentals course and provide an extensive range of documents for your studies.

Aims and objectives

The aim of this course is to provide an insight into the causes (and prevention) of crowd related disasters. The objective of this course is to provide the user with the relevant tools and methods to assess crowd safety and crowd risk analysis in places of public assembly. To pass this course, the learner must submit two written assignments and attain more than 50% (pass). 
To enquiry about courses, dates and costs, email us atESI

Course modules

1. Course introduction

In this section we introduce the course format, outline the course topics and show you how Crowd Science can help you running a safer event or gathering. We'll explain the concepts behind Crowd Science and how we can use these developing Crowd Safety plans.

2. The DIM-ICE risk model

This module outlines the underlying causality of major accident and incidents. We cover the development and use of the DIM-ICE model and provide a template to the delegates for their review. Then we outline the principles and applications of crowd science, crowd modelling and crowd risk analysis. The modelling approach also covers different perspectives of crowd safety and risk analysis and we outline the ways in which design, information and management influences crowd behaviour in the built and complex environment.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding the underlying causality of crowd accidents and incidents
  3. History of accidents and incidents
  4. Understanding perceptions/perspective
  5. How crowds are influenced by design, information and management
  6. Understand how crowds perceive the built and complex environments
  7. Understand problems with signage/information at venues and events
  8. Management process and crowd perceptions of management
  9. Managing crowds safely
  10. The DIM-ICE risk analysis models and their application

3. Crowd dynamics

In this module, we outline the principles of crowd dynamics. We focus on risks associated with packing density (static crowds) and moving space requirements (dynamic crowds) for crowd safety and crowd risk analysis. We also outline the formation of “shock waves” in the crowd and how they develop. The module includes two assessments for system design.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Static crowd density
  2. Moving crowd density
  3. Crowd shockwaves
  4. Crowd collapse
  5. The dynamics of crowd collapse
  6. Queuing systems
  7. Flowing systems

4. Crowd modelling

The goal of this course module is to define event planning, crowd and event modelling, spatial analysis and how design influences crowd behaviour. We outline the principles of modelling crowds and events safety. We also highlight the use of models in a control room environment for early warning indications of potential crowd problems.

    Lesson Topics
  1. How to evaluate space
  2. How to map crowded spaces
  3. What is a model
  4. How to model a site
  5. How to influence site egress
  6. Understand how to represent crowd flow on a site model
  7. Understand the risks associated with a high density crowded space
  8. Understand how to influence egress behaviour

5. RAMP analysis

The goal of this course module is to define the crowd dynamics using a technique we call a "RAMP" Analysis. This looks at the Routes, the Areas, the Movement (over time) and the crowd Profile (People) of the event space. This focus is on the crowd dynamics approaching, moving around and departing the site. We outline the principles and applications of RAMP analysis using a case study from a real-time crowd counting example.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Understanding the process of approximations
  2. Defining complex spaces using approximations
  3. Routes, Areas, Movement and Profile/People definitions
  4. Establishing the arrival profile
  5. Establishing crowd profiles
  6. Using RAMP analysis for planning and managing crowds
  7. How this was used to evaluate mass gatherings (case study)

6. Crowd monitoring

The goal of this module is to demonstrate how models can assist in decision support when they are integrated into the control room monitoring systems. We outline how to use the principles of influencing crowd behaviour for crowd safety management. We highlight the problem of control room perceptions and how to enhance the detection of potential crowd problems in the control room.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Inattentional blindness
  2. Change blindness
  3. Peripheral vision blindness
  4. Influencing crowd behaviour
  5. Crowd crazing
  6. Influences of social media on crowds
  7. How crowd behaviour is manipulated by marketing companies

7. Queueing systems

The focus of this module is to establish the principles of how queues form and how crowds react in queueing systems. We outline the balance between safety (screening/searching) and security coupled with the crowd risks when queueing regimes are changed. We cover the principles of queueing behaviour, psychology and dynamics. We introduce the delegates to the general queueing model formula for determining queue build up over time. We focus on the balance between crowd safety and crowd security.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Queueing behaviour
  2. Queueing systems
  3. Balancing safety and security for events/venues/sites
  4. Ingress (arrival rates)
  5. Egress queuing systems
  6. Site design for queueing systems
  7. Using the queueing models

8. Risk analysis

In this module, we introduce the students to the issues of public perceptions of risks, the professional perception of risk and issues related to risk reporting. We introduce the concepts of risk and congestion mapping for places of public assembly.

    Lesson Topics
  1. How the public perceives risks
  2. How professional perceive risk
  3. Key elements in risk awareness
  4. Risk analysis during incident investigation
  5. How the public understand risks (examples)
  6. Key risk liabilities
  7. The risk analysis process
  8. Problems with information in the risk analysis
  9. How to capture and communicate risks
  10. Using the risk mapping for event planning/management

9. Site design

In this module, we review how crowd move around sites, how to construct a connection diagram and how to use this for site design. We outline the principles of using a basic connection diagram to assess crowd dynamics within a complex site.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Network modelling
  2. Braess’s paradox
  3. How to recognise Braess’s paradox
  4. Modelling the Olympics site (1)
  5. Calculating the minimum width of a route
  6. Modelling the Olympic site (2)
  7. Exhibition application

10. Site egress analysis

The objective of this module is to facilitate an event egress problem for the students to risk assess. The students are provided with a case study and introduced to the site dimensions and taken through a guided application of the risk assessment.

    Lesson Topics
  1. How to read maps/plans and apply data to a case study
  2. How to model a site
  3. How to communicate the risks
  4. How to address key safety issues on a case study

11. Emergency response

Determining the resources required to provide optimal resource cover for a complex site has proven to be a very effective tool for cost-effective site cover. In this lecture, we cover the principles of using connection diagrams to determine optimal, cost-effective, resource deployment. In this module, we demonstrate how to apply the principles of network analysis to the problem of reducing the emergency response time for a complex site.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Network analysis
  2. Time evaluation
  3. Minimum response time analysis
  4. Average response time analysis
  5. Risk-Adjusted response time analysis
  6. Application for a large area analysis

12. Crowd simulations

In this module, we outline the problems with simulations and how simulations and real-time analysis can provide misleading results. We demonstrate a Progressive crowd collapse for a Premier League analysis (UK) and evaluate how these risks can be identified and mitigated in stadia. We show how progressive crowd collapse can occur at a concert and the trigger effect that leads to progressive crowd collapse. We illustrate the difference between the “Hollywood” crowd/model, the computer scientists’ crowd/model and the risk analysis modelling approach to simulations. We outline the application of crowd simulations for risk analysis with emphasis on the “good, the bad and the dangerous” use of crowd simulations for major event planning.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Limits to crowd simulations (density limits)
  2. Real crowd density
  3. Crowd Collapse
  4. Pressure modelling
  5. Modelling crowd collapse
  6. Examples of crowd collapse at football matches
  7. Crowd collapse at a concert
  8. Examples of different types of crowd simulations
  9. How to use the simulation for crowd safety and risk analysis

13. Decision analysis

Assessing and analysing the effective use of resources, where investment is required, assessing communications and their effectiveness for events and determining key areas of vulnerabilities are covered in this lecture. In this module, we demonstrate the use of matrix analysis for crowd communication, professional communication, risk analysis related to time and location and how to build a crowd decision support analysis.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Examples of various decision support analysis techniques
  2. Crowd communication
  3. Risk v location v time
  4. Time v density v flow v risk

14. Emergency situations

In this module, we outline the behavioural elements for an emergency situation, viewing the problems of emergency egress from the crowd’s perspective. We cover the human factors during emergency situations with specific focus on behavioural based safety, emergency communications.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Media issues and media management
  2. Planning and anticipating problems
  3. The recovery cycles
  4. Communication with the Crowd
  5. Mixed messages
  6. Crowd behaviour in an emergency
  7. Modelling major site evacuation plans
  8. How to use a real-time evacuation system
  9. Example – human behaviour in an emergency
  10. Complacency on a site
  11. Modelling evacuation
  12. Understanding human behaviour in an emergency
  13. Behavioural-based safety
  14. Egress strategies and decision support analysis

15. Course summary

This module is a summary of all the core lectures and content for this course.

    Lesson Topics
  1. Introduction and overview
  2. The DIM-ICE risk model
  3. Crowd dynamics and crowd risks (Static and Moving)
  4. Crowd Modelling for Events
  5. RAMP Analysis
  6. Crowd monitoring
  7. Introduction to queueing systems
  8. Risk Analysis
  9. Site design considerations
  10. Event egress analysis
  11. Optimising emergency responses
  12. Crowd simulations
  13. Decision support analysis
  14. Emergency Situations

16. Report writing

In this module, we cover how to write to the academic style and use Harvard referencing. You can submit a draft (typically the table of contents and some notes) for review prior to submitting your essays, via email.

17. The assessment papers

The first assessment paper is an essay discussing the development, application and a critical analysis of crowd science (crowd modelling and crowd dynamics). The minimum word count is 1,500 words. There is no upper limit to the word count.
The second assessment paper is an essay discussing the development, application, and uses of the various models discussed in the lectures. You must include examples of the modelling tools for an event including a critical analysis of their application. DIM-ICE, Density and flow rates, Risk and Congestion Mapping, RAMP Analysis, Decision Support Analysis, related to an event of your choice. Again, the minimum word count is 1,500 words. There is no upper limit to the word count.

© G. Keith Still. All rights reserved (worldwide). All images, videos, audio files and text are protected under international copyright law You may not copy, modify or use any of the website content, in whole or in part, for any commercial or non-commercial purpose without express written permission.

Sensible risk management

Sensible risk management is about:

  • Making sure all potential risks are identified
  • Focus on reducing real risks – both those which arise more often and those with serious consequences
  • Encourage innovation and learning not stifling them
  • Ensuring that those exposed to risk understand the consequences if not taken seriously
  • Understand that as well as the right to protection, people also have to exercise responsibility

Sensible risk management is not about:

  • Aiming for a totally risk free environment
  • Generating mountains of useless paperwork
  • Scaring people by exaggerating trivial risks and ignoring real risks
  • Stopping important recreational and learning activities for individuals where the risks are managed
  • Reducing protection of people from risks that cause real harm and suffering

Sensible WHS Systems

The biggest problem most people in the entertainment industry have is that much of the OH&S documentation is based on building sites or manufacturing, often quite different from the entertainment industry environment. This has often lead to misconceptions, wrong interpretations and downright silly situations.

Stage Safety aims to de-mystify the 'chinese whispers', working on a safer, and happier, workplace for everyone.

Our philosophy is to work with you, so that together we develop, maintain and monitor your own WHS policy and systems.
We will sit down with you and your staff, analyse your needs, explain what is required - and why, and then come up with proposals how you can run your business in compliance with the Act and the Regulation without hampering the way you operate.

Crowd Dynamics

Crowd Dynamics can be defined as the study of the how and where crowds form and move above the critical density of more than one person per square metre. At high density there is the potential for overcrowding and personal injury.

It is therefore important to understand the dynamics of crowds, how crowds understand and interpret information systems, how management systems affect crowd behaviour. We call this the science of crowd dynamics.

There is potential for minor or major injury occurring through the dynamics of crowd behaviour, as past tragedies have demonstrated. Measures should be taken by the organisers of events to ensure that there is effective and safe crowd management so that overcrowding does not occur.

Who we are and what we have done

In the last few years we have been providing services to a broad range of events, exhibitions, concerts and companies.

From basic OH&S policies to detailed risk assessments for large events.
Have a look at who we are and what we have been doing lately!


The spread of the Coronavirus and subsequent infections by COVID-19 shut down the entertainment industry around the world from March 2020

The economic impact of the 'lock-downs' has been overwhelming for most people, struggling to make ends meet and to see how we can move forward in a new reality.

It will be of the greatest importance to understand how the virus spreads and what we can do to control outbreaks.

Stage Safety has been spending much oof their lockdown researching the spread of coronavirus in the past, understanding how it spreads based on international research and finding ways to control the risk as best as possible within our workplaces.

How to get in touch with us

Stage Safety p/l
PO Box 307
Hunters Hill NSW 2110

Phone: +61 (0)2 9879 3602
Mobile: +61 (0)414 406 052

Stage Safety p/l is a proud member of:VMANSCAGCMA Roderick van Gelder is MHFA Accredited MHFA