Objectives: The objective of this study is to develop a framework to measure the impact of primary health care research, describe how it could be used and propose a method for its validation. Design: Literature review and critical appraisal of existing models of research impact, and integration of three into a comprehensive impact framework. Setting: Centre of Research Excellence focusing on access to primary health care services in Australia. Participants: Not applicable. Interventions: Not applicable. Main outcome measure: The Health Services Research Impact Framework, integrating the strengths of three existing models of research impact. Conclusion: In order to ensure relevance to policy and practice and to provide accountability for funding, it is essential that the impact of health services research is measured and monitored over time. Our framework draws upon previously published literature regarding specific measures of research impact. We organise this information according to the main area of impact (i.e. research related, policy, service and societal) and whether the impact originated with the researcher (i.e. producer push) or the end-user (i.e. user pull). We propose to test the utility of the framework by recording and monitoring the impact of our own research and that of other groups of primary health care researchers.