Purpose - To overview the topic of the quality assessment and quality control of health information on the internet, particularly information targeted at patients, carers and health consumers. Design/methodology/approach - The context and background of the issue are explained. A range of key quality initiatives is described. The debates on the topic are presented. A health consumer tool produced by the author is described. Items from the literature are used to support the arguments presented. Findings - A range of quality initiatives exists, but there is neither an internationally agreed set of criteria nor a quality assessment tool. Little evidence exists to demonstrate that the criteria are correlated with good quality web sites and that the quality assessment tools are valid. Research limitations/implications - Research is needed: to identify the positive or negative effects of the use of health information from the internet on health outcomes: to understand how health consumers use the internet and choose information sources and how this behaviour matches with existing quality initiatives; to explore how criteria correlate with good quality health sites. Practical implications - This paper is a useful overview of this topic for library and information professionals in both the health and non-health fields. Originality/value - This paper raises awareness of this topic with library and information professionals interested in performance measurement. Hopefully it will stimulate research activity on this topic from this professional group.