Want to measure and help people build the foundation skills they need for success?
You've come to the right place.
We have delivered more than 720,000 assessments (so far).
ESG is a leader in online assessments and training solutions.
More than 600 organizations use our assessments.
We are the trusted, reliable solution.

Who We Are

We are Canada’s leader in online skills assessments and learning solutions.

The Essential Skills Group Inc. (ESG) is a national leader in the development of innovative, integrated web applications that test and build foundational skills, such as reading, writing, numeracy, digital skills, and problem-solving. We can test almost any skill in any language.

People assess their skills online and compare their scores with a specific occupational or educational goal. There’s no waiting for results – they immediately receive a customized results report and a separate learning plan that features free online learning resources.

To date, our web applications have delivered more than 720,000 online assessments and customized learning plans, making ours the most widely-used online foundational skills assessment in Canada.

More than 600 organizations currently use our web applications. Our clients include governments, post-secondary institutions, sector councils, researchers, associations, Indigenous groups, NGOs, and private sector companies from across Canada. We also do testing in Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, India, Mexico, and Columbia with people who want to assess their English proficiency.

ESG is led by Michael Herzog, MBA, and Divona Herzog, MCE, and backed by a solid team of IT experts and specialists.

Who We Are

We are Canada’s leader in online skills assessments and learning solutions.

The Essential Skills Group Inc. (ESG) is a national leader in the development of innovative, integrated web applications that test and build foundational skills, such as reading, writing, numeracy, digital skills, and problem-solving. We can test skills in any language.

To date, our web applications have delivered more than 720,000 online assessments and customized learning plans, making ours the most widely-used online foundational skills assessment in Canada.

More than 600 organizations currently use our web applications. Our clients include governments, post-secondary institutions, sector councils, researchers, associations, First Nations, NGOs, and private sector companies from across Canada. We also do testing in Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, India, Mexico, and Columbia with people who want to assess their English proficiency.

ESG is led by Michael Herzog, MBA, and Divona Herzog, MCE, and backed by a solid team of IT experts and other specialists.

The Need for ESG

There are approximately 12 million Canadians who lack sufficient foundational skills such as reading, writing, numeracy, and problem-solving. These people face real challenges coping with the demands of a knowledge-based economy. They generally earn less money, are unemployed more often, have more accidents at work, and have greater difficulty learning new skills, as compared to those with higher foundational skills. We want to make a difference in the lives of these individuals.

48%

Percentage of Canadian adults who have
insufficient reading skills

40%

Percentage of Canadian workers who have insufficient foundational skills for their job

55%

Percentage of Canadian adults who have
insufficient numeracy skills

48%

Percentage of Canadian adults who have
insufficient reading skills

40%

Percentage of Canadian workers who have insufficient foundational skills for their job

55%

Percentage of Canadian adults who have
insufficient numeracy skills

Skills We Assess and Develop

READING

The ability to understand reading materials in the form of sentences and paragraphs. We use this skill to scan information, skim for overall meaning, evaluate what we read and integrate information from multiple sources.

NUMERACY

The ability to use numbers and think in quantitative terms. We use this skill when doing numerical estimating, money math, scheduling and budgeting math and analyzing measurements or data.

PROBLEM-SOLVING

The ability to engage in the process of evaluating ideas or information to reach a rational decision. We use this skill when we solve problems, make decisions, think critically, and plan and organize job tasks.

MECHANICAL APTITUDE

The ability to apply mechanical and physical principles to determine how objects work and
move. We use this skill to understand how to use a jack to fix a flat tire or assemble a cardboard storage box.

WRITING

The ability to write text and documents. We use this skill when we organize, record, document, provide information to persuade, request information from others and justify a request.

DIGITAL SKILLS

The ability to use different kinds of computer applications and other related technical tools. We use this skill when we operate cash registers, use word processing software, send emails and create spreadsheets.

COMMUNICATION

Speaking and listening – the ability to use speech to give and understand thoughts and information. We use this skill to greet people, take messages, reassure, persuade, seek information and resolve conflicts.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL

The ability to work with others (collaborate), overcome setbacks (adapt), and develop new ideas (be creative/innovate). We use these skills to work as a team, deal with change, and find solutions.

Skills We Assess and Develop

READING

The ability to understand reading materials in the form of sentences and paragraphs. We use this skill to scan information, skim for overall meaning, evaluate what we read and integrate information from multiple sources.

NUMERACY

The ability to use numbers and think in quantitative terms. We use this skill when doing numerical estimating, money math, scheduling and budgeting math and analyzing measurements or data.

PROBLEM-SOLVING.

The ability to engage in the process of evaluating ideas or information to reach a rational decision. We use this skill when we solve problems, make decisions, think critically, and plan and organize job tasks.

WRITING

The ability to write text and documents. We use this skill when we organize, record, document, provide information to persuade, request information from others and justify a request.

DIGITAL SKILLS

The ability to use different kinds of computer applications and other related technical tools. We use this skill when we operate cash registers, use word processing software, send emails and create spreadsheets.

COMMUNICATION

Speaking and listening – the ability to use speech to give and understand thoughts and information. We use this skill to greet people, take messages, reassure, persuade, seek information and resolve conflicts.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL

The ability to work with others (collaborate), overcome setbacks (adapt), and develop new ideas (be creative/innovate). We use these skills to work as a team, deal with change, and find solutions.

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