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Literacy and Numeracy Initial Assessment Tools

What are the Initial Assessment Tools for Literacy and Numeracy?

The Initial Assessment Tools for Literacy and Numeracy have been specifically designed for the health sector to help identify the level of literacy and numeracy that an individual is operating at.

Who should use the tools?

  • Individual staff members
  • Union Learning Representatives
  • Training managers
  • Staff managers.

Why should I use these tools?


  • Find out how good your skills already are (and how to improve them!)
  • Identify areas for further development
  • Plan your learning
  • Make the next career move
  • Increase your confidence.

For your team:

  • Invest in staff in order to deliver safe and effective healthcare
  • Improve the quality of service provision
  • Address staff development needs
  • Unlock the potential of individual staff members
  • Support your organisation’s Skills Pledge commitment.

When should the tools be used?

The tool can be used at several points, for example as part of an induction process, as part of an appraisal to identify personal development requirements or as part of a whole organisation approach to upskilling the literacy and numeracy levels of staff.

How long do the tools take to use?

As the initial assessments are not tests, they are not timed. The users should finish in their own time but typically, 25 minutes is sufficient to complete each of the literacy and numeracy assessments.

Before using the tool download the guidance document (Word 1.8 MB or PDF file 1.4 MB)


Follow this link for support for individuals and managers.



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