Strategy in action - healthy schools
A Health Development Agency case study

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Page 4: SMART objectives

Aims tend to be general whilst objectives are much firmer statements of purpose. It helps if these objectives are SMART. This acronym stands for:

  • specific
  • measurable
  • achievable
  • realistic (or relevant)
  • time-related.

SMART objectives enable everyone involved in an organisation to:

  • understand what is involved in meeting objectives
  • know when objectives have been met.

For example, the Department of Health and the DfES cascade the objectives they set.

This can be illustrated by the Department of Health's Spending Review 2004, Public Service Agreement, which set out to: 'tackle the underlying determinants of health and health inequalities by halting the year-on-year rise in obesity among children under 11 by 2010.'

To achieve this objective, the NHSP set its own objective, that:'50% of schools to have been awarded Healthy Schools Status by 2006; the rest to be working towards the status by 2009'. Clearly, this is a SMART objective.

Health Development Agency | Strategy in action - healthy schools