Stress Indicator Tool (SIT)

The Stress Indicator Tool is available for free to pilot for a maximum of 50 employees.

To access the audio description click here.

Disclaimer: The stats quoted in this video were accurate at time of creation. See HSE website for most up-to-date stress statistics.

What is the Stress Indicator Tool?

The Stress Indicator Tool is an online survey designed to gather data anonymously from employees, which can be used in the risk assessment element of HSE's Management Standards approach.

Obtaining and understanding this information helps identify areas to improve to prevent and manage work-related stress.

The reporting functionality is automated, so you don't have to spend time collating data or inputting the results manually. This helps avoid data entry errors, making the information collected more accurate and reliable. The report then summarises the views and experiences of employees and provides recommendations for future improvements.

Benefits of using Stress Indicator Tool

  • Intuitive system that reduces admin time and resources used
  • Survey available in multiple language templates
  • Options to customise - add branding, write a personalised introduction, choose appropriate demographic questions and tailor the terminology to reflect your workplace
  • Automatic analysis of the responses generates a summary report of the results and provides recommendations to address identified issues
  • Directly focus and compare results against departments, job roles, locations, age etc.
  • Functionality to create bespoke reports to highlight potential priority areas
  • Access to a wealth of HSE resources

Beta: Remote working (optional add-on)

An additional set of questions have been developed in collaboration with the University of Hull that can be used alongside the Health and Safety Executive's Stress Indicator Tool (SIT). This is to take account of significant changes to working practices, including technological innovations that have altered the ways people work. There have been no changes to the original Stress Indicator Tool (SIT). The purpose of the additional question set is to explore stress risks that are of most relevance in the context of modern working practices, and to understand how these might be related to mental health outcomes. These additional question sets are currently available as a public beta.

Optional add-ons in more detail:

Remote working survey; an optional extra for organisations who employ remote workers. An additional set of questions that build on the existing 35-items to specifically explore risk for remote and hybrid workers.

The remote working survey has been developed as a diagnostic tool to assess risks that have been found to be present amongst remote and hybrid workers. It has been developed on the basis of rigorous qualitative research that explored stress risk for nearly 300 remote workers in varied roles from four public sector organisations. It was then developed further through testing of the scale's psychometric properties using data from over 3,000 workers in the public sector. This sample included office-based, site-based, community-based, home-based, remote and hybrid workers. The tool demonstrates good reliability and validity, and benchmarks have been developed from the public sector sample. Private sector benchmarks will be developed as the tool evolves.

White Paper - Future Work Design (PDF) (opens in new window)link opens in a new window

Remote Working Tool - User Guidance (PDF) (opens in new window)link opens in a new window

Mental health outcomes questions (four items about depression and anxiety from The Patient Health Questionnaire -4 or PHQ-4).

The mental health outcome questions are from a brief mental health screening tool. These have been added to the SIT because our research suggests it is important that an organisation not only understands where the stress risks exist, but also where the experience of stress exists. Stress risks (stressors) and experience of stress (strain) are not the same thing. For example, an organisation may find that 70% of their workforce has competing demands, whilst only 5% experiences friction within teams, but that the competing demands do not negatively impact health and wellbeing, whilst the 5% experiencing friction are also experiencing poor mental health. Thus, the presence of stress risk does not necessarily indicate the existence of stress.

Asking questions about mental health as part of the stress risk assessment enables organisations to pinpoint where in their workforce mental health is most at risk, so that interventions can have the greatest impact on protecting the health and wellbeing of the workforce. You cannot fix everything all at once, so being able to prioritise is key. Prioritising on the basis of greatest need and greatest likelihood of impact is a starting point for getting the best return on your investment for employee wellbeing (opens in new window)link opens in a new window. The ideal scenario is to explore where high stress risk correlates with poorer mental health outcomes - to do this properly requires correlational analysis, a feature that is not yet available in the automated tool, but which can be provided by our team of psychologists on a consultancy basis using the data collected in the new tool.

An optional 'self-generated identification code' (SGIC) which is an anonymised series of letters and numbers created by survey respondents so that year-on-year changes for individuals can be tracked (if the same people respond year-on-year) without compromising anonymity.

The self-generated identification code will enable in-depth research into stress risks in ways that have never before been explored. Research so far has revealed that 68% of respondents have been willing to provide a self-generated identification code on their first survey completion. Tracking participants anonymously but longitudinally offers huge power in understanding the effectiveness of interventions or the impact of other changes. Our research team anticipates that this will also enable exploration of potential relationships between stress risks at one time point that may lead to specific outcomes at other points in time - for example, if high workload in a specific team in year one appears related to poor mental health in year two, an organisation may use this to inform workload planning at the right time to prevent presenteeism and sickness absence in the longer term.

Beta: Add-ons

The optional add-ons are now available for beta testing, please provide any feedback on the

Free v Premium version

The tool is available either for free or as an enhanced premium version. The table below provides an outline of the differences between the two options:

Stress Indicator ToolFree Premium
GDPR CompliantYesYes
Fully Secure ISO27001 (data stored in the UK)YesYes
SurveyFree Premium
Fully Accessible versionYesYes
Suggested control measures based on scoresYesYes
Survey mobile compatible via browserYesYes
Survey via mobile app (offline mode) -Yes
Organisational set demographicsYesYes
Personalisation including company logo YesYes
Total number of employees50Licence size
Administration portalFree Premium
Set up multiple assessments -Yes
Set up organisational demographicsYesYes
Shared and linked accounts -Yes
Ability to download raw data -Yes
Auto reportFree Premium
Auto report with priority/focus areas YesYes
Ability to filter auto reports by demographics Yes (minimum of 10 responses required)Yes (minimum of 10 responses required)
Ability to download and share auto reportsYesYes
Remote workingFree Premium
Measures stress risks for remote workersAdd-onAdd-on

Free Stress Indicator Tool

Free Stress Indicator Tool (1-50 licence).
By signing up you accept the terms and conditions (PDF)

For help creating an account and setting up your survey visit our help page.

Premium Stress Indicator Tool

The Stress Indicator Tool remains available for free to organisations who want to use the tool for a maximum of 50 employees. For those organisations who require a larger licence, the following applies:

No. of Employees Year 1
subscription fee
Annual Charge for each consecutive year
up to 50FREEFREE
10,000+Price on-requestPrice on-request

The prices outlined allow administrative and user rights to the Stress Indicator Tool (all prices are excluding VAT). The initial cost includes system set up and configuration and the first year of support and maintenance. Licence permits use of the tool according to the appropriate number of people employed by the organisation. Should the number of employees increase, or you wish to expand the licence to cover other parts of the organisation, you will be required to upgrade to the next band.

Optional Remote working (pricing)

The prices outlined allow administrative and user rights to the Stress Indicator Tool (all prices are excluding VAT) and the additional costs for the option add-ons (including remote working). The initial cost includes system set up and configuration and the first year of support and maintenance. Licence permits use of the tool according to the appropriate number of people employed by the organisation. Should the number of employees increase, or you wish to expand the licence to cover other parts of the organisation, you will be required to upgrade to the next band.

Note: The remote working question requires a license for the Stress Indicator Tool and cannot be used independently.

No. of Employees Year 1
subscription fee
Annual Charge for each consecutive yearYear 1
remote-working survey
Annual Charge for each consecutive year
up to 50FREEFREE£65£30
10,000+Price on-requestPrice on-requestPrice on-requestPrice on-request

To enquire or purchase SIT or SIT plus remote working

Confirm the licence size you require per year and contact us for an official quote:


tel: +44 (0)1603 972959

Why should employers invest in mental health interventions?

A recent report from Deloitte shows a complex but positive case for employers to invest in the mental health of their employees, with an average return of £5 for every £1 spent (5:1). However, there is a large spread of potential returns from 0.4:1 up to nearly 11:1. Interventions with the highest returns tend to focus on preventative large scale initiatives, and on using technology or diagnostics to tailor support for those most in need.

Read full report

Case Study: 11% Improvement in Stress Sickness Absence

Scottish Power Energy Retail is an international energy company focused on growth, safety and service. They are one of the UK's top customer service suppliers of gas and electricity with around 5.2 million customers. The organisation recently took a dynamic and systematic approach to reducing work-related stress, as they realised the many benefits of doing so. Working in partnership with HSE they were able to improve their sickness absences by 11%.

Read full case study here

Related Information

SIT Terms and Conditions (PDF)

White Paper (PDF)


Existing customer login

Example SIT report

Example SIT report with Add-ons

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