Current research efforts in the development of high temperature defect assessment procedure are summarized. Creep exemption criteria are proposed for the assessment of defective structures at high temperature in consideration of the effects of loadings, operating temperature and service time. Time-dependent failure assessment diagram (TDFAD) is developed that covers major failure mechanisms of defective high temperature structures. Challenges due to the welding effect are discussed. TDFAD for weldments is derived for various combinations of materials. In order to develop a unified assessment method to cope with material and loading complexity, a new failure assessment diagram based on continuum damage concept is proposed to reflect the damage effect on ductile creep failure and brittle creep fracture.