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About the Environment Rating Scale Institute (ERSI)

The Environment Rating Scales Institute (ERSI) is an organization that was started by Thelma Harms and Debby Cryer when they retired from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Cathy Riley and Tracy Link are now also partners in ERSI.

ERSI provides a number of services related to use of the Environment Rating Scales (ERS):

First, we provide a variety of training options for the ERS by the authors or our highly reliable associates, either in Chapel Hill, NC, or by special arrangement, in other areas. We are the only authorized trainers for the scales because we provide training to reliability using the authors’ interpretations and procedures.

We also provide training on the following:

  • Introduction to the ERS and each specific scale (online course or live)
  • Writing Summary Reports to accurately inform providers about scores
  • Making plans for quality improvement using the scales
  • In-depth, comprehensive training on the scales especially related to quality improvement
  • Reliability checks for assessors, with debriefing/retraining to minimize the natural tendency towards observer drift

Click on Training in the menu for Training Levels offered and dates for training opportunities in Chapel Hill, NC.

Second, we offer data collection services using assessors who are highly reliable with the authors. The provision of accurate, detailed Summary Reports is available as part of this service.

Third, we offer consultation on the use of the ERS in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems, to maximize the benefits through informed decision-making while avoiding common pitfalls that harm the credibility of the system.

Fourth, reviews of Summary Reports are offered to ensure accuracy of scores and provide appropriate understandable information to guide program improvement.

Finally, we answer the seemingly endless questions that arise regarding interpretation of the ERS. Generally this service is handled through email to But one can also contact us by phone at (919)-338-2639. You can leave a clear message with your name and phone number and we will return your call.

ERS® and Environment Rating Scale® are registered trademarks of Teachers College, Columbia University. Protection Status