Structural integrity monitoring (SHM) and evaluation of residual mechanical performance are highly needed in assessing the post-impact behaviour of composite materials and structures. The link between impact force history and the damage level was not followed enough in research studies upon the SHM of composites. The authors put in evidence a clear link in this matter in a variety of layered composite materials. The link was assessed by evaluating the residual mechanical performance and by nondestructive inspection (NDI) – ultrasonics and infrared thermography (IRT) - on the impacted samples. Such a link may prove a very useful and reliable shortcut for backing the online SHM and condition based maintenance.