About Assessment Modules

At a glance

  • Six Assessment Modules in the Active Communities Tool include general and detailed questions about each module's topic area.
  • A cross-sector (discipline) team should complete the modules.
  • The modules help gather information about what exists in a community and identify potential opportunities for action or engagement.
Active Communities Tool design element

Intended users

The Active Communities Tool contains six modules. Completing these modules requires input from a cross-sector team. The team may include representatives from the following disciplines:

  • Public health.
  • Land use and transportation.
  • Planning.
  • Traffic engineering.
  • Public works.
  • Parks and recreation.
  • School districts.
  • Public transit systems.

Other community partners may also be included.

The Assessment Modules are best suited for use with a single town or city (also referred to as a municipality or community) that has powers of self-governance.

A county or region may use the tool, but keep in mind that plans and policies may differ across municipal jurisdictions within those areas. In counties or regions containing more than one municipality, teams may want to complete the Assessment Modules separately for each one.

For Module 6: Schools, keep in mind that school district boundaries may be different than municipal boundaries.

How to complete the Assessment Modules

There is no single right way to complete the Assessment Modules. We encourage you to review the Action Planning Guide to understand how the Assessment Modules fit into the broader action planning process.

Each module's cover page in the Action Planning Guide includes information about that module. Information includes purpose, type(s) of technical expert(s) to involve in completing the module, and how long it takes to complete the module.

Each module is divided into sections, such as plans and policies. Each module begins with broad, general questions about whether a plan, policy, or process exists. These questions are followed by more detailed questions designed to assess the quality of the existing plan, policy, or process.

In general, the more items you mark related to an existing plan, policy, or process, the stronger and more comprehensive it is. The items that remain unmarked represent potential opportunities for action and engagement.

Key points to consider

Complete the modules selected by the cross-sector team. However, looking at all the modules provides some benefits including:

  • A full picture of potential opportunities your community can act on.
  • Measurements of progress on community built environments that promote physical activity.

Complete the Assessment Modules as a group. Involve the technical experts relevant to the actionable areas you have selected. Public health practitioners may need to contact experts in other sectors to complete the modules.

For each question, select the answer that best describes your community. If a question does not apply to your community, mark it as not applicable. Try to select an answer for each question.