Research into social effects of flooding features in industry training courses

BDMA Course Website Screenshot

Research by the Sociology department’s Flood Team has been used to create two new online courses offered by the British Damage Management Association (BDMA), the certifying body for recovery and restoration practitioners.

Supporting Children & Young People after Flooding is based on findings from the team’s ESRC project, Children, Young People and Flooding: Recovery and Resilience, and forms part of the progression to accreditation for BDMA members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the course has been offered free to members and non-members. To date, 295 participants have completed the course, including from outside the UK. Feedback has been extremely positive with majority 5* reviews, highlighting how the course has changed attitudes and influenced further practice: an enlightening and instructive course that provokes us to look at flooding through the eyes of children and young people, I hope the insurers and government have taken this on board as I have.

A new course, The Flood Recovery Process: understanding people’s everyday realities, was launched in June 2020, using findings from the ESRC Hull Floods Project to better understand the concept of vulnerability in flood risk. Responses so far have been similarly encouraging: …this has opened my eyes to consider more than just the FCA definition of vulnerable and to adopt more of the UN approach. Again, this is a stark reminder of the importance that Loss Adjusters have in dealing with these matters and how simply not returning a phone call can cause undue stress and anxiety to the customer.

The development of these courses further strengthens the relationship between the Lancaster Flood Team and the BDMA. The children involved in the Children, Young People and Flooding project were invited to present at the BDMA conference in 2015 which, as BDMA Strategic Director Adrian Jolly notes, had a significant impact on the attendees and gained very positive feedback. Following this, the BDMA asked the team to develop Ten Tips for the insurance sector on working with flood-affected families for inclusion in its website, which the children launched at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Flooding in 2016.

Adrian Jolly says that the two courses signal a new direction for the BDMA as they had previously concentrated on the technical aspects of damage management. Feedback on the first course has been excellent and it is hoped the new course will be just as successful.

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