Briefing note template

A Summary of (2009). Briefing Note: Decisions, Rationale and Key Findings Summary. Available from:


This template, Briefing Note: Decisions, Rationale and Key Findings Summary, was developed by Health Evidence. It outlines key pieces of information for writing a briefing note, a description of an issue that draws on research and practice-based evidence to provide options and recommendations to address the issue. This fillable form organizes relevant information to support evidence-informed decision making.

A briefing note informs decision-makers about an issue by succinctly describing the issue and background information and describing key considerations, options to address the issue and recommended actions. Similar to briefing notes, policy briefs aim to influence policy decisions.

Two organizations have developed guides to help with developing briefing notes and policy briefs:

The Translation Bureau (Government of Canada) also provides practical tips and strategies to write briefing notes.

This template, along with other checklists and flowcharts, are available at Health Evidence: Tools to support evidence-informed decision making.

Access the Tool

Format of the Tool


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Using the Tool

Time for Participation/Completion

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Additional Resources and/or Skills Needed for Implementation

Using this briefing note template requires familiarity with different types of evidence and access to those evidence types (research, program, community, organizational, etc.).

Steps for Using Method/Tool

The template includes the following sections:

  • issue
  • background
  • current status
  • description of relevant evidence (research, organizational, colloquial, political, community, pragmatic evidence)
  • options
  • conclusion/recommended actions

Who is involved

Anyone who writes briefing notes to support decision making, such as health promotion officers or project specialists, among others, would find this tool useful.

Conditions for Use

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Evaluation of the Tool


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Methodological Rating

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Development of the Tool


Health Evidence

Method of Development


Release Date


Contact Person/Source

Health Evidence
175 Longwood Road S, Suite 210A
Hamilton, ON L8P 0A1

These summaries are written by the NCCMT to condense and to provide an overview of the resources listed in the Registry of Methods and Tools and to give suggestions for their use in a public health context. For more information on individual methods and tools included in the review, please consult the authors/developers of the original resources.

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