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Calculating and Using Biodiversity Units

20 February, Central London

10am - 4pm



Beginner - Intermediate



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 practicals, 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 positive’ targets. Finally a brief overview is given on applying biodiversity units in combination with ecological impact assessments to design ‘no net loss’ and ‘net positive’ 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 Positive. This last part of the course provides an overview of applying biodiversity units to a 'no net loss' or 'net positive' design in combination with an ecological impact assessment. Whereas the course 'Designing Biodiversity No Net Loss and Net Positive' 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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Design field surveys to obtain the information needed for biodiversity unit calculations of development sites and offset proposals
  2. Undertake the habitat condition assessments required for biodiversity unit calculations and be better able to address any limitations that may arise
  3. 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
  4. Undertake technical checks and Quality Assurance reviews of biodiversity unit calculations

CIEEM Competencies to be developed in the training

S1 Habitat / species survey design, planning and fieldwork
M1 Advise on habitat / species management and / or habitat creation projects
M5 Outcome monitroing, data management and reporting

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at:

  • individuals with no previous experience in or knowledge of biodiversity unit calculations
  • individuals with some experience in biodiversity unit calculations who wish 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 


Julia Baker MCIEEM CEnv


CIEEM members: £90

Non-members: £180

Course fee includes refreshments through the day but lunch is not included.

Event booking terms and conditions>>

Date 20 Feb 2017 - 10:00
Location Balfour Beatty
9th Floor
5 Churchill Place,
Canary Wharf,

E14 5HU
Organiser This course is fully booked - if you wish your name to be placed on a reserve list, please e-mail
Telephone 01962 868626