Assessment involves the analysis of evidence collected in the Survey stage. Ideally, all of the options emerging from the Ideas phase should be assessed in order to ensure a transparent decision-making process. The assumptions and limitations of any assessment techniques should be made explicit. Where possible, a mixed method approach should be used to improve triangulation. The results of this stage should indicate a clear pathway for the policy, project, plan or programme (PPPP).

Key questions and tools

Prompts for discussion

  • What are the limitations of your survey evidence and what assumptions have you made?
  • How are you going to manage any conflicting positions or trade-offs in your evidence so as to maximise environmental benefits in line with statutory policies and stakeholder needs?
  • How are you going to decide on the preferred option, if relevant?
  • Would it be valuable to involve stakeholders from previous stages as well as wider public(s) in your assessment processes?
  • Who are you going to present your assessments to, and in what format?
  • What are the key lessons emerging from the Ideas, Survey and Assess stages thus far? Use the suite of indicators developed in the Ideas phase to help.