Public health risk awareness self-assessment tool

The Association of Directors of Public Health and the LGA have developed a risk tool to support system leaders in local authorities in defining and understanding risk as it relates to public health commissioning, performance, partnership and resource management.

The starting point is recognition that even the best performing councils will be experiencing risks and challenges and would benefit from taking advantage of this sector-led improvement tool to help understand, manage, sustain and deliver population health improvement.

The risk tool can be used in a variety of ways including self assessment and peer review.

The tool (has been developed in collaboration with East Midlands ADPH and the LGA. It is designed to support sector led improvement activities and can be used flexibly by directors of public health and councils to understand how effective they are in setting their own ambitions for the public’s health and engaging partners to deliver on these. It is designed to help identify key risks to the delivery of a council’s public health ambitions and/or aspects of work with greatest potential for improvement. Completing the self-assessment should be part of a collaborative process with corporate colleagues and the support of the wider health and wellbeing system. The aims of the tool are:

  • To promote self-awareness amongst Directors of Public Health and their senior colleagues, supporting them in targeting their energies and limited resources on the right issues and identifying action to address their most pressing risk factors/outcomes in need of improvement.
  • To ensure that councils’ political and that councils’ political and executive leaders are aware of the public health challenges in their area and can take these into account in their decision making and be confident that their council is addressing the right public health challenges
  • To enable Directors of Public Health within a region to identify issues that they should be addressing to operate an effective and embedded public health function within local public services. It can also be used as a basis for ‘mini peer to peer reviews’ using a critical friend approach involving two or more councils. The tool can also be used for benchmarking on sub-regional basis.

LGA will support the use of this tool amongst other regions (and any other existing regional tools) through facilitation and training local peers.  For more information contact  

Public health risk awareness self-assessment tool COVER
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