The Employment Readiness Scale™ (ERS) is an online assessment tool that helps clients identify their strengths and challenges in becoming employment-ready, measures their changes over time, and provides organizations with roll-up reports for program planning and evaluation.

The ERS offers benefits to clients, agencies that provide employment services, and sponsors who fund the services. The ERS is designed to provide a comprehensive employment readiness assessment in 20 minutes, with a detailed feedback report and an action planning tool. Clients can retake the ERS several times to measure their progress.

Roll-up reports across clients help organizations identify the programs clients need, demonstrate client improvement, and assess the effectiveness of specific interventions. This roll-up capability provides an objective input for program planning and Sponsor/Government accountability reporting. The ERS is available in English, French, and Spanish.

We encourage you to review articles that relate to the Employment Readiness Scale. These include topics ranging from the background and research on the ERS to addressing client needs, making a business case to get funding and many more and can be accessed using the link below. Visit the FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions.

If you require additional information on the ERS please feel free to contact ERS or one of our affiliates.


  • Areas where clients score is already strong in:
    • Employability Factors
    • Soft Skills
  • Types of stress they are facing that could interfere with work life
  • The priority factors to address
  • Suggestions for strengthening any Soft Skills
  • Obtain statistical information in a graphical format on how your agency is performing overall in supporting clients develop soft skills and improve on employability factors
  • Compare performance against similar cohorts nationally
  • Measure the effectiveness of programs by analysing ERS results pre and post interventions
  • This is the 1st item
  • This is the 2nd item


    In addition to providing feedback for individual users, the ERS also automatically compiles a series of roll-up or aggregate reports once at least 10 users have taken the Scale. Those reports include:

  • Who Are Our Clients? – Provides demographic information on clients.
  • Where Are Our Clients Starting From? – Provides a summary of client needs.
  • What Challenges Are Our Clients Facing? – Lists the percent of clients reporting the top five challenges.
  • How Have Our Clients Changed? – Provides the percent of clients becoming “employment ready.”
  • How Effective Are Interventions? – Provides program evaluation data for specific interventions.
  • Which Clients? – Lists the clients that need help on a particular factor.


  • Author

    The Employment Readiness Scale™ (ERS) Benefits Employment Service Agencies Assisting Income Assistance Recipients

     "Having worked with the Employment Readiness Scale™ (ERS) for a number of years, I can strongly attest to the benefits of using this tool.  Both clients and staff have been amazed by how well the ERS assists them in all aspects of working towards employment, whether for upgrading, job searching or referrals to programs.  
    The ERS is very easy to administer and provides a wealth of information.  For management, it provides roll-up data that is beneficial in developing and receiving the funding for client programming.
    I am very impressed by the ERS and the support we have received from the developers."
    An Ontario Works Supervisor
  • Author

    ERS Enhances Services Supporting First Nations Employment Transitions

    “In the BC provincial Training for Jobs program, I had the opportunity to use the ERS with groups of income assistance recipients wanting to enter or return to the workforce. The clients were impressed with the creative colorful visual of where they were, where they could go and after the retake, where they had gone.  I administered the ERS at our intake counseling session, when they had completed the eight-week work re-entry course and after they had been working at their new job for between one and two weeks. The scale showed the positive move forward the clients had made and they saw it like a badge of accomplishment.
    I am excited to take the lead for our agency in introducing the tool to another client base of income assistance clients.  I really love the ERS role in the assessment process. The tool is quick and easy to use with training and then when it is printed in color it gives both the client and the case worker a visual to see progress and where there is need for intervention.”
    Debra Bob, Employment and Training Coordinator, First Nations Employment Services, Vernon, BC
  • Article (Ward & Riddle, 2014)

    Praise for “Weaving Soft Skills” Article (Ward & Riddle, 2014)

    “Thank you for your article 'Weaving Soft Skills Development into Everyday Employment Services in BC'.  It is an excellent article, surfacing the widespread client need for soft skills, the benefits when clients gain the skills, and providing strategic approaches for career practitioners to help their clients gain the needed skills. The article can also be used by career practitioners to gain support from their managers to 'weave' into their services what the clients really need.”
    Article (Ward & Riddle, 2014)
    Julian Gardner, Career Development Consultant
  • Author

    College Mentorship Program Incorporates ERS in Coaching Students for Workplace Success

    “The Employment Readiness Scale™ is a great tool that allows me to support the students in areas where they require job coaching.  It also provides me the opportunity to create an action plan for the students so they can become successful in the workplace.Once the students complete the Develop MENTOR program, they are able to see how their knowledge of employment has greatly improved since their first assessment.  The ERS also confirms that the student is employment-ready which increases their self-esteem and confidence in their skills and abilities to find work and to start a career successfully. I strongly recommend the ERS to all support workers who work closely with clients who are looking for employment.”
    Sylvie Robineau, Employment Coach, DevelopMENTOR Program, Algonquin College
  • Author

    Employment Readiness Scale™ Validates Broken Cycles by Gang-Involved Youth in Gang Exit Programs in Greater Toronto

    “Years ago, the Canadian Training Institute (CTI) was having problems showing that their gang intervention was effective. Outcomes were great with 80% graduation rates and almost 70% of youth completing the intervention with a job and/or returning to formal education. While these were impressive numbers for gang-involved youth breaking their cycles of gang involvement, criticism grew that these young people would have found jobs on their own and were already ready to work without our involvement (criticism I admit we may have given more attention to than it deserved).

    So we began thinking that we needed quantitative and qualitative pre and post assessments from a third party assessor to validate what we knew we were doing. The Employment Readiness Scale™ (ERS) came to the rescue as a gift offering more than we thought it could.

    We use the ERS to measure our young people's movement in employment readiness over the 24 weeks we have them in our gang exit intervention program. It’s remarkable seeing dozens of young people shift from not ready for employment to moderately and fully ready for employment. These are results our doubters and naysayers are silenced by. All are also enthused that young people are capable of shifting and improving their readiness to enter the labour market with verified data to support this movement.Beyond merely the movement, for young people, the ERS tool has become synonymous with employment preparation within our Breaking the Cycle program. The ERS serves as an intervention in itself suggesting stuck points (as one would with a client experiencing trauma), while also recommending steps to get young people from inertia towards entering the labour market.The ERS has been a remarkable support in the achievement of our outcomes, in verifying our results, and in educating those involved in mentoring, case management and skill development for young people entering the labour market.”

    Gary Newman, Program Director, Canadian Training Institute