Impacts of flooding on SMEs and their relevance to chartered surveyors

Gayan Wedawatta, Bingunath Ingirige, David Proverbs

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


This is the final report of the RICS Education Trust funded “Developing Flood Expert Knowledge in Chartered Surveyors – DEFENCES” research project.

The UK has endured a number of major flood events in recent years, and the UK Environment Agency (2009a) identified that about 5.2million properties in England, amounting to one in six, are at risk of flooding. The impacts of flooding include direct and indirect impacts and can be particularly devastating for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are generally more vulnerable to such events than larger business organisations. Recent flood events have established how costly flooding can be to the SME sector (Pitt, 2008, ABI, 2010), which has given greater impetus to the need to improve the resilience of at-risk SMEs. A lack of professional advice on flood protection and adaptation measures represents a potential barrier to the uptake of such interventions by SMEs. A recent Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey, as quoted in Defra (2008) notes that, although a majority of chartered surveyors would like to work in this area of practice (flood risk assessment and adaptation), they are conscious of gaps in their competency, knowledge and understanding. The research project sought to contextualise this broader issue and investigate how chartered surveyors can bridge the gap in providing professional flood advice to SMEs. Further, a shift in the UK government policy on flood risk management is evident, where at-risk communities are urged to adapt to flooding. This places greater emphasis on property-level flood adaptation, providing further impetus for Chartered Surveyors to be involved. Findings of the research will be of interest to the RICS, the RICS Flood steering Group, practicing surveyors generally, SMEs, business support and policy making organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon (UK)
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • Flood
  • business
  • small and medium-sized enterprises
  • property
  • adaptation
  • risk


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