The following background information has been provided by the Environment Agency to support the Natural Flood Management (NFM) Skills Survey;


The evidence is growing that Natural Flood Management (NFM) can enhance flood and coastal resilience and enable nature recovery. The Environment Agency (EA) has committed to embed NFM into our approach to flood risk management for the benefit of communities and the environment.

The EA’s Expand and Mainstreaming NFM project is working to deliver against measure 1.4.2 of the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) Strategy. This states “From 2021, risk management authorities will work with catchment partnerships, coastal groups, land managers and communities to mainstream the use of nature-based solutions (NBS).”

As part of this work, we want to upskill the workforce within the EA and our external partners involved with all aspects of NFM: we want to help ensure we can use NFM techniques where they are most effective and link up with existing partners to improve continuity.

The aim of this research is to identify training needs to improve stakeholder skills in selecting, appraising and using Natural Flood Management (NFM).  We know this is a large topic with a wide range of interested parties, we want to gather as much information across these as we can.

Understanding the skills gap in NFM

We know that to vastly increase the number of NFM projects we need a workforce skilled in this approach. To provide and support the development of appropriate training, we first need to gain a broader understanding of where the gaps in our skills may lie.

We want to hear your thoughts on current NFM training provision and where and how it might be enhanced.

How the information will be used

Survey responses are anonymous. We want to encourage open honest views so that we can improve our understanding and aim to offer some guidance/solutions in the near future.

Survey responses will be collated by Qa Research Ltd and they will use the findings to identify NFM training requirements. The result of the research will be a prioritised list of training provision currently available to training needs for different types of stakeholder. We will then facilitate the development of NFM training packages based upon this information.

An opportunity

This is an important opportunity for you to influence the type and scale of NFM training that could be developed to facilitate the use of more NFM for the benefit of communities and the environment.

Please complete the survey and share it with colleagues and partners you think we should hear from. We are looking to get a large range of responses to help build capacity – not just the industry experts. Please share widely to help us ensure we get representation from all stakeholders with an interest that you work with. We look forward to hearing your views.