Step 2: Assessing your organisation’s health literacy

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It’s not that people don’t understand or aren’t able to understand, it’s just the way the information has been given. Tim, Wellways

‘The Checklist: How health literate is your organisation?’ is the main tool for the health literacy team to use to assess the health literacy of your organisation. It also helps you to develop your Health Literacy Action Plan and decide what areas you will focus on.

The Self-Assessment Checklist is based on the ‘Framework for a Health Literate Organisation’.  

Click on the dimensions to the left to do your self-assessment online.  If you'd like a printed copy, a PDF of the Checklist is available here.


Circular graphic showing Framework for a Health Literate Organisation



What will this tell you?

Consumer involvement

How are consumers involved in the design, development and evaluation of your organisation’s values, vision, structure and service delivery?


How is your workforce encouraged and supported to develop e ective health literacy practices? How is this performance evaluated?

Meeting the needs of diverse communities

How do your services ensure that all consumers are able to participate e ectively? How is this monitored?

Access and navigation


How easy is it for consumers to get appropriate services, when they need them? What assistance is provided to them? How well are services coordinated?


How are information needs identified? How is information shared with consumers in ways that improve their health literacy? How are consumers involved in developing and evaluating information?

Leadership and management

How is health literacy an organisational value, part of the culture and core business of your organisation or service? How is it reflected in strategic and operational plans?


Completing the Checklist will help you decide what you’re already doing well and where you can take further action to improve your services.

This is the stuff I am thinking about all the time in my work.  The checklist gets others thinking this way too.  Zoe, The DEN

To get the most out of the Checklist, we suggest that you:

  • take your time filling it in – try breaking it up over a few sessions
  • start wherever you want to – you don’t have to follow the dimensions in order
  • don’t get put off if you can’t answer a question immediately - make a note of who you could ask, and keep going
  • get input from people outside of your health literacy team – you want well-rounded views
  • try to reach agreement as a group on your organisation’s level of health literacy
  • use the finished Checklist as a starting point for prioritising actions and creating a Health Literacy Action Plan
  • acknowledge the things you do well, not just the things you can improve.

You can use the Self-Assessment Checklist to create a summary report to help you with your Health Literacy Action Plan.

To view an example of a summary report click here