Assessing Soil Quality is estimating the functional capacity of soil by comparing a soil to a standard such as an ecological site description, a similar soil under native vegetation, a reference soil condition, or quality criteria. The objective of the assessment dictates the standard to be used. (Compare to Monitoring Soil Quality.)
"Guidelines for Soil Quality Assessment in Conservation Planning" describes a step-by step process for assessing soil quality. It will help you decide whether to do an elaborate or simple assessment, which tools to use, and what management practices to use to address soil quality concerns.
While the guidelines are presented in the context of the NRCS 9-step conservation planning process, they are also useful in informal assessments, or as an educational resource for teaching soil quality concepts.