Employability Screen


The Employability Screen is used in determining whether a recipient meets the criteria for Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB), and is an optional tool for employment planning for all other clients. The Employability Screen identifies past dependency on assistance, recent work history, education level, and English proficiency and literacy.  Based on responses to the employability questions, a score is calculated, and a client’s potential employment readiness is determined.

The Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire (ERIQ) replaces the Employability Screen as the ministry’s main tool for determining employment readiness.



Effective: April 2, 2012

The primary use of the Employability Screen is in determining Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) status.  It is also an optional tool for employment planning for all other clients.  The Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire (ERIQ) replaces the Employability Screen as the ministry’s main tool for determining employment readiness. 

The Employability Screen contains statistically validated, weighted questions designed to measure all of the following:

  • history of income assistance dependency
  • recent work history
  • education level
  • literacy ability
  • barriers to employment, by proxy

The Employability Screen, along with the Client Employability Profile, determines which clients meet the persons with persistent multiple barriers (PPMB) criteria.  The Client Employability Profile is a mandatory requirement for those clients who score 15 or greater on the Employability Screen.  Ministry case workers may, at their discretion, administer the Client Employability Profile to clients who score between 0 and 14 on the screen.

For more information on the Employability Screen score and on completing the Employability Screen, see Procedures.

[See Related Links – Employment Readiness Information Questionnaire.]


Effective: April 2, 2012

To complete the Employability Screen (HR2797), follow these steps:

  1. Interview the client to gather relevant employment-related information and to identify barriers to employment.
  2. Complete the seven questions on Employability Screen with the client.  The questions provide information to support  appropriate referral to programs and services to address individual client needs.The system will compute the score for the Employability Screen. Note: The system-generated score cannot be overridden.  Record the score in the Case Details applet, in the More Info / More Info IA sub-view tab.  
  3. Upon receiving the score, review the results of Employability Screen with the client to determine whether to proceed to the Client Employability Profile (HR2865).
  4. If the Employability Screen score indicates that the client has barriers to employment (and a score of 15 or greater), complete the Client Employability Profile [see Related Links – Client Employability Profile].  In this case, do not finalize the Employability Screen until after the Client Employability Profile has been completed, as results of the Client Employability Profile are recorded in the Employability Screen. 
  5. Record the results of the Employability Screen and attach the form to the Application / PPMB service request. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Question    Question 3 on the Employability Screen asks how many times an applicant or recipient has been on assistance in the last three years anywhere in Canada.  A person who has consistently received assistance for the past six years may receive a score of 1 for this question.  This suggests that those who cycle on and off assistance have more barriers than long-term recipients. Is this the intended interpretation?

Answer    The Employability Screen was developed after significant research and study.  Each response has been statistically validated and a total score of 15 or greater is an accurate predictor of barriers.  The suggestion that a person who has been on income assistance for six years (presumably continually, without a break) has fewer barriers when compared to a person who has cycled on and off for three years is inaccurate.  The total score would be the ultimate determinant.  The long-term recipient would likely be considered to have more barriers because he or she would score 7 on question 4.


Question   If a client has been on assistance in BC continuously for the past four years, do staff enter the response that corresponds to one stay on assistance or the response that reflects the number of eligibility reviews completed during the given stay on assistance?

Answer    Staff should be entering “1” (corresponding to one stay on assistance) for question 3 regardless of the number of eligibility reviews that have been conducted.


Question   On the Employability Screen, why is a person with post-secondary education scored a 1 and a person who has completed high school scored a 0? Why does a more educated person receive a higher score?

Answer    This scoring is correct.  An evaluation of the Employability Screen conducted in Spring 2002 identified that individuals with a post-secondary degree or diploma, who apply for income assistance, are likely to have some significant barriers, or at least issues, to an even greater degree than applicants who do not have any post-secondary education.


Question   Should a separate Employability Screen  be completed for each adult in a family unit?

Answer    A separate Employability Screen should be completed for each adult who is applying for Persons with Persistent Multiple Barriers (PPMB) status.


Question   Which ministry staff are able to access and update the Employability Screen ?

Answer    The  Employability Screen is intended for use by those ministry staff directly involved in the  PPMB application process.