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More About the ENSI

What is the ENSI?

The ENSI is a 76-item screening instrument that was designed:

a) to help physicians, teachers, counselors and other professionals working with students to develop a better understanding of that student’s possible educational needs, and
b) to offer suggestions for constructive actions that are appropriate for each of the areas of potential concern detected.

What areas are screened?

The ENSI screens for “Possible” and “Likely” problems across the following areas:

a) Global learning rate (including: above-average and below-average learning rates)
b) Learning problems (including: auditory-verbal, visual-motor, and nonspecific learning problems, as well as general learning skill deficits)
c) Attention and Behaviour problems (including “internalizing”, “externalizing”  and “nonspecific” behaviour problems), and
d) Adjustment problems (including general maladjustment and social/cultural disadvantage).

For each potential concern detected, the ENSI report provides practical suggestions and/or step-by-step action plans to assist the professionals involved, to work more effectively and successfully with the student of concern.

Appropriate Uses

The ENSI was not intended to be used as a diagnostic test. However, it can be appropriately used :

a) as a first-level admission screening instrument,
b) to identify students requiring a formal assessment,
c) to guide the assessment focus by flagging potential problem areas,
d) to identify students requiring a counseling referral,
e) to investigate if a student’s problems appear across multiple environments, and finally,
f) to aid clinicians and teachers in their day-to-day work with students of concern.

Target Subjects

The ENSI is appropriate for use with students in kindergarten through the ninth grade who range from five to 15 years of age.

Suitable Respondents

Only adults who are very familiar with the student should be asked to provide the information needed to complete the ENSI. The student’s mother and/or father are likely to be the best sources of information. However, other care givers, and/or the student’s relatives, teachers, counselors, coaches and individuals who have had significant involvement with the student may also be able to provide the necessary information. Several different individuals may be asked to complete the ENSI for the student of interest.

User Qualifications

All users of the Educational Needs Screening Inventory (ENSI) require:

a) at least a “B” Level Test User Qualification, or
b) they must complete our free online training program, or
c) use the ENSI under the supervision of a qualified ENSI user.


The ENSI follows the “template” of a psycho-educational assessment, and is based upon published research2 showing that measures of this nature can do a remarkably good job of identifying possible educational concerns.

Sources contributing to the current edition of the ENSI include:

a) the School Problem Screening Inventory1,
b) research published by the ENSI’s author2,
c) information contained in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders3,
d) information published regarding giftedness4, and
e) norms provided by Mash and Terdel5, regarding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.


The current edition of the ENSI embodies the following features:

Efficiency: The ENSI is a very powerful screening instrument. In requiring only carergiver-supplied, multiple-choice answers to a total of 76 questions, the ENSI flags potential problems in most of the major special education categories for students ranging from five to 15 years of age.

Its design is remarkably simple and intuitive. Most users require only a few minutes to master all of it’s features and functions.

The ENSI can be administered in a variety of ways to suit the circumstances of busy clinicians and caregivers including:

a) online,
b) over the telephone,
c) in-office, or
d) by gathering the necessary information about the student on a printed questionnaire.

Additional important efficiency aspects of the ENSI are:

a) that it is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week,
b) requires little to none of the clinician’s time to administer,
c) it can be completed by a parent (or other informed respondent) in 15 minutes or less
d) it is instantly scored, and
e) a printed report of the results is immediately available.

The ENSI ‘Summary’ report provides a concise record of results for physicians and administrators. The narrative, ‘Full Report’ includes the same summary of findings, but also details practical strategies to address any potential concerns identified.

Economy: Unlike a formal psycho-educational assessment, that may cost thousands of dollars – and often must be booked months in advance, the ENSI can be administered at any time, and has a remarkably low per use cost. There is no license to purchase, no software to install, and no contract to sign. The per use cost (which, with volume purchases, can be less than one dollar per use), is the only cost involved.

Types of ENSI Accounts

Four different types of accounts are available. They are: a Trial account, a SingleUser account, a MultiUser account, and a SubUser account. With regards to their similarities, all require the user to have some training in the administration and interpretation of educational and/or psychological tests (or to be under the supervision of a fully qualified user); or to complete our free, online training program to qualify as an ENSI user. They also have a number of important differences as well. These are detailed below, along with the particular use for which each account type is ideally suited.

Trial Account: Creating a Trial account activates a free, but fully functional version of the ENSI. It allows the user to administer, score and print reports for a limited number of tests. Its primary purpose is to provide an opportunity for the interested professional to become acquainted with the ENSI and decide if it will meet their practice needs.

SingleUser Account: This is an upgrade of a Trial account that requires the purchase of 1 to 9 scoring credits to activate. It includes all of the features and functions of a Trial account, and it also permits the user to view and print reports created with their free Trial account. A SingleUser account is ideally suited for a professional who is working independently in a “solo” practice. Finally, a SingleUser account can be upgraded to a MultiUser account at any time.

MultiUser Account: This is an upgrade from a Trial or a SingleUser account. It requires the purchase of a scoring “package” of 10 or more scoring credits to activate. It includes all of the features and functions of Trial and SingleUser accounts, including access to reports prepared in those accounts. It also allows the account holder to assign and manage an unlimited number of SubUsers. A MultiUser account provides for significantly reduced per use costs with the purchase of scoring “packages”. A MultiUser account is ideally suited for use by a clinic or department manager who will be supervising a staff, and/or a number of students-in-training who will be using the ENSI.

SubUser Account: A SubUser account is created by a “MultiUser” for an individual who will be administering the ENSI under that MultiUser’s supervision and/or guidance. The SubUser account is fully functional but: a) all scoring credits available to the SubUser must be assigned to them by the MultiUser who created their account, and b) the MultiUser can access, block or permanently delete the SubUser’s ENSI account.


The ENSI is an important clinical resource that requires some technical and professional training to ensure that it is used appropriately. Accordingly, use of the ENSI is restricted to individuals who have formal training in the administration and interpretation of psychological and/or educational tests. [Click here to see the criteria.]

Qualifying Training: To make the ENSI available to all professionals who work with students-in-need, the ENSI Team provides a free, online “Qualifying”  training program for anyone wishing to use the ENSI who does not have the necessary educational background.

In-service Training: Free in-service training programs, addressing all levels of ENSI users (i.e., SingleUsers, MultiUsers and SubUsers), are also available for schools, clinics, departments and organizations wishing to use the ENSI.

How to Access the ENSI

To create a free, fully functional ENSI Trial account, click the ENSI Login link above (or travel to https://ensi.helpmetrics.ca/login.aspx), and then click the “Create My Account” button.

If you already have an ENSI account, login as an “Existing User” by supplying your email address and password.


1. Gnagey, Thomas D. (1974) The School Problem Screening Inventory . Facilitation House: Ottawa, Illinois.

2. Nodrick, W.S. and Li, A.K. (1985) Concurrent Validity of the School Problem Screening Inventory for Behaviour-Disordered Students, Psychology in the Schools, 1992, 29, 126 -131.

3. American Psychiatric Association (1987) The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (third edition – revised). Washington, D.C.: Author.

4. Personal, Social, Medical and Psychological Factors in 190+ IQ Children. Presented by Karen Rogers and Linda Silverman at the National Association for Gifted Children 44th Annual Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 7, 1997.

5. Barkley, R.A. (1990) Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment . New York: The Guilford Press.

About the ENSI