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For the public
Older New Zealanders who require care and support usually receive at least one interRAI assessment. Find out about the different assessment types, and how assessment information is used.

interRAI assessments: an overview

interRAI assessments are conducted by clinicians (nurses, physiotherapists, etc.) who have received specialised training to become interRAI assessors. The assessments vary in length and complexity, and are tailored to different situations according to the needs of the person being cared for.

interRAI assessments focus on ability - what a person can do, not what they can't. Each assessment builds a picture of a person's capability and needs, which can be used to form the basis of a care plan. 

It is important to note that while the interRAI assessment is a clinical decision support tool, it does not govern the support, interventions and care that each person receives. These decisions rest with either the District Health Board's Needs Assessment Support and Care (NASC) service, if the person lives in the community, or the person's residential care facility. Decisions made around care are informed by the information gathered by interRAI assessments.

interRAI and Te Ao Māori

interRAI assessments are designed to fit flexibly into local cultural context, wherever they are used around the world.

In New Zealand, the assessments are used in conjunction with the Meihana model. Additionally, assessors are expected to adhere to standards of cultural competency as set out by their professional bodies. For example, nurses must follow the Guidelines for Cultural Safety, Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Maori Health as expected by the New Zealand Nursing Council.

Assessment types

A basic screening assessment that provides clinical information to support decision making about the need and urgency for a comprehensive assessment, support and specialised rehabilitation services. It is used for continuing evaluation of those with non-complex needs, living in the community.

A comprehensive clinical assessment that informs and guides the planning of care and services in the community. It focuses on the person’s functioning and quality of life and helps support clinical decision-making when considering aged residential care.


The Community Health assessment and its accompanying supplements is a modular approach to comprehensive clinical assessment.

Everyone is assessed using the core assessment, then only those older adults with specific areas of concern receive one or more of the additional assessments:

  • Functional supplement
  • Mental health supplement
  • Deaf-blind
  • Assisted living.

The Community Health assessment together with the functional supplement has all the same items and clinical outcome scales as the Home Care assessment.


This assessment is for anyone living in aged residential care. It is a thorough and detailed assessment. People living in aged residential care receive an assessment on first entry to a care facility, whenever they move up or down in care level (for example, from rest home care to dementia care), and every six months. 

This assessment is for anyone who has received a palliative diagnosis with a prognosis meeting the criteria for assessment. It focuses on end-of-life care, comfort and safety.

Initially only available for use in the community, this assessment is now being trialled in aged residential care settings.

Information and security

If you have had an interRAI assessment, you are a health consumer and your rights are set out in the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights.

The Code ensures your right to see and understand your assessment, as well as your right to decide who else (family, friends, etc.) should have access to your information.

If you hold an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA) for someone else's affairs, you have automatic authority to see their assessments. The person who conducted the assessment can take you through it in detail - just ask. You may also like to see the accompanying care plan, to help you understand what decisions have been made about care.

A record of access is created every time a person's assessment records are accessed in the interRAI software system. This ensures information is kept safe and secure, and records are never accessed inappropriately.

Information entered into our interRAI software system is held securely, heavily protected by encryption and passwords. Information about real people is never used for training or marketing purposes.

See also our privacy statement