Calculating and Using Biodiversity Units


This course provides training on biodiversity unit calculations based on Defra’s guidance. It is for individuals wishing to develop or enhance skills in undertaking and using biodiversity unit calculations.


Through presentations, case studies and practice sessions, the course focuses on biodiversity unit calculations for development footprints (baselines), habitat clearance, site restoration landscaping, offset proposals and offset monitoring including:

  • Translating Phase One and landscape-design habitats into ‘biodiversity unit’ habitats
  • Undertaking condition assessments using the Farm Environment Plan (FEP)
  • Addressing situations when no relevant FEP condition assessment
  • Using multipliers for offsets
  • Developing easy-to-use survey datasheets
  • Reporting formats for calculations
  • Undertaking technical and ‘QA’ reviews

Case studies are presented on using biodiversity units to understand whether a development achieved ‘no net loss’ through combinations of on-site planting and offsets. Practical sessions are then held on range of offsets types for attendees to be able to estimate the type and amount of offset needed to achieve ‘no net loss’ and ‘net gain’ targets. Finally a brief overview is given on applying biodiversity units in combination with ecological impact assessments to design ‘no net loss’ and ‘net gain’ projects.

Please note: there is overlap between this last part of the course (application of biodiversity units) and CIEEM’s training course on Designing Biodiversity No Net Loss and Net Gain This last part of the course provides an overview of applying biodiversity units to a ‘no net loss’ or ‘net gain’ design in combination with an ecological impact assessment. Whereas the course ‘Designing Biodiversity No Net Loss and Net Gain’ provides more in-depth training on designing for these biodiversity projects. Please contact CIEEM for advice or if you wish to discuss the courses further.

Who Should Attend?

This course is aimed at individuals with no previous experience in or knowledge of biodiversity unit calculations as well as those with some experience and wishing to develop their skills and gain further knowledge
Delegates could include: Ecological consultants who undertake and/or technically review biodiversity unit calculations, and design ‘no net loss’ and ‘net positive’ projects; EIA practitioners, sustainability and environmental managers working on projects that involve biodiversity unit calculations and/or technically review biodiversity units; Local authority ecologists and planners working on projects that involve biodiversity unit calculations and/or technically reviewing biodiversity unit calculations; Conservation officers and individuals undertaking biodiversity unit calculations and/or reviewing biodiversity unit calculations of development sites and offsets

Knowledge Level

Beginner – Intermediate

Learning Outcomes

  • Design field surveys to obtain the information needed for biodiversity unit calculations of development sites and offset proposals
  • Undertake the habitat condition assessments required for biodiversity unit calculations and be better able to address any limitations that may arise
  • Undertake biodiversity unit calculations for both development sites and offset proposals based on Phase One Habitat surveys, including use of multpliers, and be better able to estimate offsets needed to achieve ‘no net loss’ and ‘net positive’ targets
  • Undertake technical checks and Quality Assurance reviews of biodiversity unit calculations

How to Apply

To book your place:

  • Visit our website
  • Email
  • Call us on 01962 868626

Please mention when enrolling in this Course!

Key Information

Start date:

1st November 2017 at 10:00am


CIEEM Member: £110 | Non-Member: £180






Biodiversity, Climate Change, Ecology, Environment, Nature & Wildlife, Research, Sustainability


London, United Kingdom

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