This paper explores role-play pedagogies in learning and communicating about cutting-edge flood science by flood risk management professionals in local government. It outlines role-play process/structure and evaluates participant perceptions of their learning experiences. Issues were impacts of prior role-play experience on attitudes brought to learning, work hierarchies that affected co-learning and wide diversity in learners' prior knowledge/skills. Key skills perceived as developed were analytical and strategic use of flood science, and increased confidence in science communication. Feedback has implications for role-play pedagogies in teaching geography in Higher Education, in settings of increased learner diversity and in mirroring pedagogies in future workplaces. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.