Hayes Ability Screening Index (HASI) Products

There are three HASI products

  • The Hayes Ability Screening Index (HASI)
  • Hayes Ability Screening Index Non-Verbal (paper based)
  • Hayes Ability Screening Index Non-Verbal (online)
  • A screening test, not a diagnostic test for intellectual disability
  • Can be administered by non-psychologists in 5 -10 minutes
  • Correctly screens for intellectual disability in 82% of cases and correctly excludes non-disabled clients in 72% of cases
  • Correlates significantly with standardised tests of cognition and adaptive behaviour
  • Is culture and gender fair
  • Saves valuable time and resources
  • The score indicates “Refer for further assessment” or “No referral”
  • Administered individually, not in a group

Covers a wide age range – 13 to adulthood
Can be used with victims/complainants or offenders as a screening test
Suitable for use by probation and parole personnel, police, solicitors and barristers, corrective services staff, juvenile justice workers, alcohol and other drug counsellors, forensic and correctional mental health professionals
The HASI is widely used in Australia and also in the UK, USA, Canada, Norway and The Netherlands.
It has been translated into Norwegian, Dutch and Canadian French.

It is a unique and effective instrument to screen for intellectual disability.

Hayes Ability Screening Index Non-Verbal (paper based)

The Hayes Ability Screening Index-Nonverbal (HASI-NV) is a brief, individually administered screening index of intellectual abilities.   The HASI-NV is intended for use with people aged between 13 and late adulthood.   It was developed primarily to provide a short and effective instrument to indicate the possible presence of intellectual disability amongst persons in contact with the justice system and to determine those who need to be referred for further full-scale diagnostic assessment.   In police settings, the HASI-NV is designed to identify those accused persons who may be vulnerable during detention or police interviews, so that appropriate provisions (including presence of an independent third party) for vulnerable interviewees may be implemented.


The HASI-NV follows on from the Hayes Ability Screening Index (HASI) (Hayes, 2000) which was developed in response to difficulties experienced by professionals in the criminal justice system in recognising the presence of intellectual disabilities.   As the HASI began to be used in non-English speaking environments and in jurisdictions that did not have welfare and educational provisions similar to those existing in Australia and other Western nations, it became apparent that some items and sub-tests were not universally appropriate.   The HASI was translated into other languages, including Dutch, Norwegian, and French Canadian, but the translation process was difficult owing to verbally based items such as being able to spell a word backwards, or translating questions about welfare benefits or special education.  Hence, it was clear that there was a need for a screening test which was minimally dependent upon verbal or literacy skills, and did not refer to support systems for people with intellectual disabilities such as welfare payments and special education.

The HASI-NV has been designed for use by professionals working at every stage of the justice system, especially the criminal justice system, as well as in mental health and other community settings.   Provided appropriate training in the administration and scoring of the test has been undertaken, non-psychologists can administer the Index.   The test is useful to police, solicitors and barristers, probation and parole personnel, juvenile justice workers, justice health professionals, corrective services staff, drug and alcohol counsellors, forensic, community and correctional mental health professionals, and service providers in other community settings such as health care, supported housing and immigration.   The HASI-NV is brief, and easy to administer and score.   The Manual includes instructions for administration of the Index, scoring criteria, and test development and validation data.   The final score on the HASI-NV indicates whether the person tested should be referred for further full-scale psychological assessment of intellectual and adaptive behaviour functioning.   They may be referred also for psychiatric or other assessments.   In police settings, the score indicates that special provisions for vulnerable interviewees may need to be implemented, to ensure their safe detention, respect their rights during interviews, and allow for the presence of and support from an independent third party during police interviews.

The HASI-NV itself is not an instrument suitable for making a diagnosis of intellectual disability or any other mental abnormality.   The Index is suitable only for indicating which test takers should be referred for further psychological, psychiatric or other diagnostic assessment, or should have special provisions implemented during police interviews or detention.

Hayes Ability Screening Index Non-Verbal (online)

The online version does the same job as Hayes Ability Screening Index Non-Verbal (paper based), but is conducted using a laptop for the tester and a tablet for the test taker.

The results are then all available online, making them easy to look up in future or be correlated and used for statistical purposes.

NEW - Hayes Ability Screening Index Non-Verbal (offline - addon)

The offline addon facilitates testing in environments where either there is no Internet or access to the Internet is prohibited.

If this is of interest, please contact Susan Hayes .

Detail of the Offline Addon can be viewed here .

Supporting documents
From Research to Policy and Practice – Changes for Offenders with an Intellectual Disability (pdf)
11th International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities World Congress
1-6 August, 2000
Seattle, Washington

Early Intervention or Early Incarceration?(pdf)
11th International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities World Congress
1-6 August, 2000
Seattle, Washington

The relationship between intellectual disability, mental illness and socioeconomic factors amongst defendants appearing before NSW Local Courts (PDF)
The relationship between intellectual disability, mental illness and socioeconomic factors amongst defendants appearing before NSW Local Courts
Australian Community Support Organisation 4th Forensic Disabilities Conference – “Disability and Justice: Many faces, equal rights?”
16-17 July 2009, Melbourne

Søndenaa E, Nygård O, Nøttestad, J A, Linaker M. (2011) Validation and adaptation of the Norwegian version of Hayes Ability Screening Index for intellectual difficulties in a psychiatric sample, Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 65:1, 47-51, DOI: 10.3109/08039488.2010.486444.

Young J T, van Dooren K, Lennox N G, Butler T G, Kinner S A (2015) Inter-rater reliability of the Hayes Ability Screening Index in a sample of Australian prisoners. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 59 (11): 1055-1060.

Further research articles on the HASI can be located by typing Hayes Ability Screening Index into a search engine and clicking on Scholarly Articles.