SuDS: standards, guidance and design tools – Online course

2 November 2020

This course takes you step by step through the basis and requirements of current design criteria and methods for delivering compliant surface water management systems in the UK. You will learn how to use the most popular free tools available on the website; you will have an overview of the inputs, outputs and parameters required for detailed modelling; and you will develop your skills in assessing drainage submissions.

Although this online course assumes that you are already familiar with the concept of SuDS and are aware of standards and guidance available in the UK, an overview of both is provided at the start of the course. For simplicity, the course focuses on the requirements for developments in England, but requirements in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are also referred to where appropriate.

The course includes detailed explanation of the technical basis and the requirements of the current standards and good practice guidance in the UK. The course has a particular focus on hydraulic and water quality management of surface water runoff, with an emphasis of setting these in the context of designing schemes that deliver across all four categories of SuDS benefits (hydraulics/water quantity, water quality, amenity and biodiversity).

The course content is spread over seven modules, and will provide 12 hours of online learning. These modules comprise pre-recorded lectures, mini quizzes and exercises using tools. These are available for you to view and complete anytime and at your own pace across an eight week period. In addition, there will be the opportunity to attend two live sessions with the course tutors for Q&A and discussion.

The course programme will enable you to become familiar with the most popular free tools hosted on the website – these being the greenfield runoff estimation tool, the storage volume estimation tool and the Simple Index Approach spreadsheet for water quality management.

The course is also aimed at increasing your understanding and ability to evaluate the suitability of key characteristics of a SuDS scheme.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for you if you are a:

  • Developer or consultant – to understand what is required of drainage designs to secure LPA approval and the guidance and tools available to support the design process.
  • LPA SuDS approval officer – to understand how to evaluate drainage submissions in line with national standards and guidance.

However, you may also find the course of value if you are a product manufacturer, a regulator or other environmental consultant, and any other type of SuDS practitioners.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, you will be aware of and understand the key criteria and requirements of current standards, and understand how to design and approve surface water management systems that:

  • ensure that the proposed development does not make downstream flood risk worse;
  • do not put the proposed development at risk in terms of flooding;
  • are functional (i.e. the infiltration, conveyance, storage, flow control and exceedance flow management designs are robust);
  • protect groundwater (in line with the requirements of the environmental regulators);
  • do not pose a pollution risk to receiving surface water bodies (including those with environmental designations);
  • are suitably resilient to future climate change and urban creep risks.

You will also:

  • understand the different ways of estimating runoff rates from greenfield and developed sites;
  • understand the different tools available to help with estimating storage volumes and treatment requirements;
  • understand the different tools available to undertake detailed analysis of the drainage system, and how to ensure that robust inputs deliver robust outputs.
Course structure

A combination of recorded and live sessions delivered across an eight week period.

  • Seven pre-recorded modules:
    • Available to view anytime – when convenient for you.
    • All course materials available from 2 November 2020.
    • Full programme issued on registration and payment of course fee.
  • Two live Q&A/discussion sessions with course tutors.

Register online at

The course fee per delegate is £150.00 (excluding VAT).