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Minimum Elements and Practice Standards for Health Impact Assessment


This document is a collective product of a HIA practitioners workgroup in North America and intends to translate the values underlying HIA along with key lessons from HIA practice into specific "standards for practice" for each phase of the HIA process. This document also answers the question of “what essential elements constitute an HIA”; this is distinct from Practice Standards, which answer the question, “how to best conduct an HIA.”

Minimum Elements can serve as a basis to identify and promulgate examples of HIA within the field of practice and in broader social discourse, distinguishing HIA from other practices and methods that also aim to ensure the consideration of and action on health interests in public policy. These Minimum Elements apply to HIA whether conducted independently or integrated within an environmental, social or strategic impact assessment.

The Practice Standards are not rigid criteria for acceptability but rather guidance for effective practice. A practitioner may use the Practice Standards as benchmarks for their own HIA practice, to stimulate discussion about HIA content and quality, and to evaluate this emerging field.These standards are intended support the development and institutionalization of HIA. 

Primary Toolkit:

Healthy Community Design Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Health Impact Assessment (HIA), Planning, Policies


Institutional Author:

North American HIA Practice Standards Working Group





The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.