This paper undertakes a comparison of qualitative and quantitative methods to incorporate risk in manpower planning, using the case study of UK's Naval Services. This paper finds that the methods provide complementary insights in forecasting risk, and thus they offer an improvement over the use of a single method. Qualitative methods alone overstate impacts, and thus lead to inaccurate ranking of risks. It may also result in a management response of compliance rather than action, mainly because management recognises the limitations of its reliability. However, the qualitative analyses are of value to create support for quantitative analyses and to assist in identifying the range of potential explanatory variables. In contrast, the quantitative method of risk forecasting using Error Correction Mechanism identifies more accurately the range of possible outcomes for which management must prepare. The quantitative approach also facilitates an identification of the significant explanatory factors in risk management. Its use may be limited due to non-availability of historical data, and could also create an added possibility of too much reliance on a limited set of explanatory factors. This research therefore recommends a staged approach of mixed methods, with a higher weight given to past observations than to subjective opinions and a periodic repeated validation by qualitative methods to facilitate an effective working of quantitative methods.