The European Community Health Promotion Indicator Development Model has been developed as the basis for establishing a European set of indicators for monitoring health promotion interventions. This paper offers the model more generally as a common frame of reference for broader public health practice and indicator development. The model builds around the physical, mental and social health of individuals and shows how health develops by interaction between individual and environmental health determinants. It demonstrates that health development can be analysed from a salutogenic and a pathogenic perspective and explains how the differing starting points of different intervention approaches such as health promotion and health care are related to these two perspectives. Finally, a classification system for pathogenic and salutogenic public health outcome indicators is derived from the model and has been applied to the current core list of the European Community Health Indicator system. The model and its application highlight the need for systematic salutogenic indicator development in the field of public health and for strengthening the health promotion perspective in the future.