||Intense heating and ionization of the solar chromosphere and the subsequent broadband enhancement to the Sun’s radiative output represents the ultimate fate of a significant fraction of energy liberated during solar flares. The importance of the chromosphere as a sink of flare energy, and the rich diagnostic potential of many chromospheric emissions, makes reconciliation of models the flaring chromosphere with observations a crucial tool with which to study energy release in solar eruptive events: if an energy transport model fails to sufficiently match observations, this demands that improvements and/or additional ingredients be added to the model, thus enhancing our understanding of the underlying physics. Further, since much of the emission originating from the chromosphere and transition region is optically thick, forward modelling is required to interpret those observations and to extract useful information from the flaring plasma. Thus there is a crucial synergy in observations of the chromosphere during flares from the IRIS spacecraft and (radiation)-hydrodynamic / radiation transport loop models. Both are required to understand the underlying physics during solar flares. I will summarise the commonly used flare models, some recent model-data investigations, and discuss some novel means to utilise these flare models.