Following a request of the European Commission (EC), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) initiated a procedure for the evaluation of data concerning the necessity of the application of herbicide active substances to control a serious danger to plant health within the context of Article 4(7) of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. EFSA established an ad hoc working group (WG) who proposed a methodology for conducting such type of evaluation. The draft methodology was circulated among European Union Member States (MS) for commenting, and was discussed with MS and EC (DG SANTE) representatives during a meeting of the Pesticide Steering Network on 10 March 2016. At the meeting, it was agreed that the WG would draft a protocol for carrying out this type of evaluation. In this technical report, a protocol developed after consultation with MS for providing data and information and their evaluation is presented. The aim of this protocol is to enable a consistent and transparent evaluation of submissions made by applicants in accordance with the derogation detailed in Article 4(7) of Regulation (EU) No 1107/2009 to confirm the lack of other available means capable of controlling an identified serious danger to plant health. The methodology comprises four steps. The starting point for the evaluation is the full list of active substances (a.s.) that are authorised as herbicides for a particular crop or non-agricultural use in the MS. These a.s. need to be classified according to the targeted weed spectrum and time of application. Step one leads to a shortlist of a.s. that are authorised as herbicides for a particular crop or non-agricultural use. Step two involves a herbicide resistance risk classification, which is based on the mode of action of the a.s., and results in a three-level classification of the risk of resistance (high, moderate or low). Step three leads to the evaluation of chemical alternatives. Step four comprises the evaluation of non-chemical alternatives.