Abstract What ever the criticism of the TRISS methodology and the MTOS — and they are not fundamental — their wide acceptance has furnished us with a validated method to allow uniform data collection on large numbers of injured patients which is vital to the evaluation of their care and to the development of a rational approach to the provision of optimum trauma care and accident prevention. The studies so far cited measure outcome in terms of survival or death. The Glasgow outcome scale 12 has been developed and is specifically concerned with measuring permanent neurological impairment. There is no widely accepted measure of disability after a non-cerebral injury, although several have been tried and the scaling commitee of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine is working in this field. Not only does permanent disability need to be measured but the temporary impairment of function following injury should be quatified and developed as a potential audit measure.