Information on the RAI assessment system

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The RAI assessment system determines the clients’ service needs consistently and comprehensively. The RAI assessment system generates data that enables services to be tailored and targeted to the persons who need them.

What is the RAI assessment system?

The RAI assessment system is a standardised instrument for collecting information and making observations and is intended for:

  • assessing the clients’ service need
  • creating a care, rehabilitation and service plan for older or disabled persons.

The RAI assessment system consists of several assessment instruments designed for different purposes and target groups.

Each RAI instrument is an entity that contains:

  • The assessment questions and their response options
  • A handbook that contains the principles of RAI assessment, instructions for performing the assessment and instructions on how to use the data produced by the assessment. 
  • The assessment results generate triggers that help the assessors to identify the client’s strengths and problems that need to be acted on.
  • The assessment also generates RAI indicators that are used for planning and monitoring the client’s care. 

The essential parts of the RAI instruments are the same in all countries that use the RAI system. Some assessment questions, such as those concerning the service provision system, might vary between the national versions of the instruments. It is also possible to add questions on nationally important topics in the assessment instrument.

The RAI system benefits both the client and the personnel

When applied correctly and carefully, the RAI assessment system brings benefits both to the clients and the staff working in services for the older and the disabled people.

  • The client participates in the assessment. They are met as an individual and their needs are assessed comprehensively. 
  • The client also participates in the planning, implementation and assessment of care. This increases satisfaction, safety and trust.
  • The RAI assessment helps the care staff to pay attention to relevant issues and changes in the client’s status and functional ability.
  • Information produced by the RAI assessment serves as the basis for a care, service or rehabilitation plan that is tailored to meet the client’s needs.

The RAI assessment system produces information on the client’s health status

RAI assessments collect information for example on how the client manages with everyday life, the client’s cognitive ability, psychological symptoms, social participation, rehabilitation resources and support offered by people close to the client.

The assessment questions of the RAI instruments cover the key areas of a client’s health status and care, such as:

  • Health status
  • Functional capacity
  • Medication
  • Nutrition
  • Memory and mood
  • Rehabilitation and special therapies
  • Service use
  • The environment
  • Participation and activity
  • Support by family members. 

The RAI assessment of an individual client is client or patient information. It may only be accessed by professionals who participate in the client’s care or implementation of the services provided for the client.

Use of the RAI system in Finland

The content of the RAI instruments is maintained and developed by interRAI, an international network of researchers. InterRAI also owns the rights to the RAI instruments.
In Finland, usage of RAI assessment system started in 2000. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) maintains the Finnish versions of the RAI instruments and ensures that they are used in compliance with the terms and conditions of interRAI’s license agreement.

In 2018

  • a RAI assessment was performed on approximately 40% of clients in long-term care and on 35% of clients of regular home care.
  • more than half of the municipalities that use RAI instruments for home care performed systematic RAI assessments on more than 50% of the clients aged 75 or over.
  • in home care, the municipalities achieved a RAI assessment coverage of up to 70%. 

In Finland, RAI instruments are most frequently used for assessing the clients in home care and in long-term care for older people. In recent years, RAI has also been adopted in the services for the disabled persons.

THL generates benchmarking data and performs research based on the RAI assessments that help to develop the client oriented and high quality services. THL has a statutory assignment to compile and store the data generated by RAI assessments performed in Finland. This data is stored and utilized in accordance with THL’s data security policy.


RAI Online courses teach you how to use the RAI system, the RAI assessment data and RAI benchmarking data for developing services. These online courses are in Finnish and available for everyone free of charge.
THL's Online Courses (in Finnish)


THL's RAI extranet (organisations' pages, password for the benchmarking databases) (in Finnish)

THL's RAI extranet for the software suppliers (in Finnish)

Note! You need a personal username to log into the databases. If necessary contact the RAI contact person in your organisation or rai(at)