Top Tips for Assessors

These top tips for assessors will give you some practical advice on visiting sites and carrying out your assessments, from what to take with you to what size your photographs should be. It does contain important information about safety and hazards so please do read this through before starting any assessments.

Assessment checklist

You may need the following for the assessment:

  • Assessment form for each building (either the app or hardcopy)
  • List entry summary
  • Site map
  • Pens and a clipboard or similar
  • Digital, mobile phone or tablet camera
  • Outdoor clothing and stout footwear
  • High visibility vest
  • Something to keep your papers dry
  • Binoculars or zoom camera lens

Carrying out your assessments

This is a basic visual assessment looking at physical condition and level of use:

  • You should visit the building
  • Do not complete the assessment by viewing the building online
  • You must carry out your assessment from a public highway and not trespass on private land
  • You should seek to assess the interiors of public buildings, such as libraries and pubs, do not attempt to gain access to private properties
  • You only need to observe, you should not open up sealed areas or damage building fabric
  • View high level features such as roofs and chimneys from the ground, unless safe higher level access is possible. You could use binoculars or a camera zoom lens to help you
  • If you discover a problem which might present a safety risk, bring it to the attention of the Group Moderator, if you are working as part of a group, as soon as possible. If you are working individually, you should move to your next assessment

Be aware of hazards

You should not do anything that might put your own health or safety, or that of others at risk.


  • Tell someone when and where you are going, and when you expect to return
  • Carry a charged mobile phone
  • Take water, food, medication and sunblock if you will be out for some time
  • Walk away politely from any situation which could risk your safety or that of others
  • Keep to pavements and traffic islands, and, if crossing the road, concentrate on the traffic rather than the assessment
  • Be aware of hazards such as steps, kerbs, street furniture and uneven ground
  • Ensure you have a steady footing before concentrating on the assessment
  • Take particular care in windy, frosty or wet conditions
  • Use binoculars or a zoom lens from ground level to see the upper parts of a building. The upper floors of a nearby publicly accessible building could also give you a better view


  • Go inside an empty building
  • Carry out an assessment after dark
  • Stand on anything to get higher up
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Historic England Condition Survey Team