The matrix has indictors in the columns and elements of the project proposal in the rows. Each cell of the matrix is given a rating criteria based on the level of impact of each element of the proposal on the corresponding environmental indicator. The rating criteria is determined by the the person undertaking the assessment and is visually represented by a symbol/colour in the cell. Further comments can be added to the assessment matrix providing suggestions for alternatives or mitigation proposals.
The assessment matrix highlights which elements of the project proposal will have an impact and It is often used in early appraisal of project proposals and assist in the development of mitigation measures.
The image is an example of a leopold-type assessment matrix.