The purpose of this study was to develop a standardized tool for the assessment of surveillance systems on zoonoses and animal diseases. We reviewed three existing methods and combined them to develop a semi-quantitative assessment tool associating their strengths and providing a standardized way to display multilevel results. We developed a set of 78 assessment criteria divided into ten sections, representing the functional parts of a surveillance system. Each criterion was given a score according to the prescription of a scoring guide. Three graphical assessment outputs were generated using a specific combination of the scores. Output 1 is a general overview through a series of pie charts synthesizing the scores of each section. Output 2 is a histogram representing the quality of eight critical control points. Output 3 is a radar chart representing the level reached by ten system attributes. This tool was applied on five surveillance networks.