A checklists and a flow chart of the steps which may be applied to review the quality of an EIA report is provided in the EIA Wiki at Procedures for Reviewing EIA Reports. It provides a simple tabular approach to grading the performance of the report in accordance with the criteria. The materials also call for a brief report to be written at the end of the review process. However, it is important to conduct the review as a practical exercise, centered on the requirements that apply and the decision to be made.
Many exercises using EIA frameworks and review packages are conducted as academic exercises, unrelated to the context and circumstances. A common temptation is to be too negative and to grade EIA reports on what ideally should have been done, rather than what was asked for or required. The terms of reference provide the benchmark for critical review. Where they are not available, the review can follow the steps described earlier, including rapid rescoping and identifying points of reference from comparable EIAs. In addition, reviewers should consider the constraints under which an EIA has been undertaken.
For example, an EIA report might not include baseline information because the data was not available and process deadlines gave insufficient time for the necessary field surveys to be undertaken. Although not good practice, these realities are part of EIA practice in all countries. They can be particularly limiting in many developing countries, where environmental monitoring and information systems are non-existent or poorly developed.