Assessing the impact of various land uses on catchment erosion processes commonly requires in-depth research, monitoring and field data collection. as well as the implementation of sophisticated modelling techniques. This paper describes the evaluation of a geographic information system (GIS)-based rapid erosion assessment method, which allows the user to quickly acquire and evaluate existing data to assist in the planning of more detailed monitoring and modelling programmes. The rapid erosion assessment method is based on a simplified version of the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE), and allows the rapid parameterization of the model from widely available land unit and elevation datasets. The rapid erosion assessment method is evaluated through the investigation of the effects of elevation data resolution on erosion predictions and field data validation. The use of raster digital elevation model (DEM)-derived data, as opposed to vector land unit relief data, was found to greatly improve the validity of the rapid erosion assessment method. Field validation of the approach, involving the comparison of predicted soil loss ratios with adjusted in-stream sediment yields on a subcatchment basis, indicated that with decreasing data resolution, the results are increasingly overestimated for larger catchments and underestimated for smaller catchments. However, the rapid erosion assessment method proved to be a valuable tool that is highly useful as an initial step in the planning of more detailed erosion assessments.