This review aimed to explore the extent of the use of diabetes risk assessment tools and to determine influential variables associated with the implementation of these tools. CINAHL, Google Scholar, ISI Citation Indexes, PubMed, and Scopus were searched from inception to January 2013. Studies that reported the use of diabetes risk assessment tools to identify individuals at risk of diabetes were included. Of the 1719 articles identified, 24 were included. Follow-up of high risk individuals for diagnosis of diabetes was conducted in 5 studies. Barriers to the uptake of diabetes risk assessment tools by healthcare practitioners included (1) attitudes toward the tools; (2) impracticality of using the tools and (3) lack of reimbursement and regulatory support. Individuals were reluctant to undertake self-assessment of diabetes risk due to (1) lack of perceived severity of type 2 diabetes; (2) impracticality of the tools; and (3) concerns related to finding out the results. The current use of non-invasive diabetes risk assessment scores as screening tools appears to be limited. Practical follow up systems as well as strategies to address other barriers to the implementation of diabetes risk assessment tools are essential and need to be developed.