Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI)

WHAT: The Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) is a single, efficient, valid, reliable fidelity survey designed to guide implementation and sustained use of SWPBIS. Using the TFI, teams measure the extent to which school personnel apply the core features of SWPBIS at all three tiers.

WHO: School Systems Planning Teams - a team of three to eight people including the administrator and district coach - with input from Tier I, II, and/or III teams. It is strongly recommended that the team complete the TFI with an external SWPBIS coach serving as a facilitator. (Coordinators and school teams can enter TIC results in PBIS Assessment.)

WHEN: First-year implementers take the TFI as an initial assessment, moving to administering the survey every third or fourth meeting. Schools reaching 70% fidelity at Tier 1, and 80% fidelity at Tier 2 and Tier 3, over three consecutive times may take annually.

WHY: The purpose of the School-wide PBIS Tiered Fidelity Inventory is to provide an efficient and valid index of the extent to which PBIS core features are in place within a school. It is based on earlier PBIS fidelity surveys (SET, BoQ, TIC, SAS, BAT, MATT). The primary purpose of the instrument is to help school teams improve. It is a guide for implementation for Tier I, II and/or III practices and also necessary for the Recognition Process.

Download the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) - pdf


Updates from The National PBIS Technical Assistance Center 

January 2017

Wording Changes in Questions for Tier I

In an effort to clarify specific survey items, the authors of the SWPBIS Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) have made some minor wording changes. These changes are small and do not change scoring or basic scoring criteria. Here are the updates you can expect:

  • Question 1.8 Scoring Criteria for a 0 score now reads: “Classrooms are not implementing Tier I.”
  • Question 1.9 Scoring Criteria for a 1 score now reads: “Formal system is in place and is used by at least 90% of staff OR received by at least 50% of students.”
  • Question 1.9 Data Sources now includes Staff Handbook as a possible data source.
There is nothing you or your schools need to do; the change will happen automatically. A new electronic version is available in PBIS Assessment Resources​. Feel free to start using this updated documentation now. For the official press release, visit the PBIS Apps news archive.

December 2015

70% is now the fidelity benchmark for Tier I

A recent publication from PBISApps* has changed the fidelity score for Tier I of the TFI from 80% to 70%. Originally, 80% seemed to be the likely goal for for Tier I implementation. A paper out for publication considered of the fidelity measures upon which the TFI was designed, namely the BoQ, TIC, and SET. The research shows the TFI Tier I most closely correlates to these surveys at 70%. There is no recommendation yet for Tier II and Tier III TFI criteria (continue to use 80% for those Tiers). If any of your schools use 80% mark for Tier I, let them know 70% is the goal for this survey.

 *For further information, please refer to the PBIS Apps Coordinator 2015 Fall/Winter Newsletter.

Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) Walkthrough

View this recorded webinar to learn how to fill out and submit the TFI in your school's PBIS Assessment account, as well as view the TFI reports.
View this video tutorial provided by PBISApps.org that describes the process and addresses FAQs regarding the Tiered Fidelity Inventory.
Also, review this Training Slide Deck provided by PBISapps.org.

How to generate the TFI Subscale Graph:

After the TFI has been completed by your team, the PBIS Assessments coordinator for your district will be able to generate a report from the PBIS Assessments site.
  1. When viewing your organization, to the far right of the organization name is an option for Reports
  2. Select Reports
  3. Once in Reports, select the options that enable you to report on each subscale. From the drop down menus: 
    1. Under Select Survey, select SWPBIS TFI 2.1 
    2. Under Select Report, select Subscale 
    3. Make sure the From Range includes the current school year.
Note: If your team has completed the TFI more than one time this school year, the generated graphs will include the subscale scores from each completion, with the dates for each completion clearly indicated under the scores. 
Sample TFI Sub-scale Report Showing Score Per Tier

Accessing the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI)

The TFI is available for free through PBISApps.org. Ask the Local PBIS Assessment Coordinator for your district to facilitate and open the survey for your school team.
  • If you are unsure who your Local PBIS Assessment Coordinator is, visit this webpage. The Local Coordinator can view this informational TFI recorded webinar for information about the TFI. 
  • If you do not already have a Local PBIS Assessment Coordinator, please fill out this form to identify a staff member. Follow directions on the form to submit. While you are working towards identifying this staff member, we can help open your TFI. Email eval@midwestpbis.org for assistance.


Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) Data Example

The Tiered Fidelity Inventory addresses all three tiers, and focuses on those elements of PBIS that are most "core" to achieving student outcomes. The tool provides useful graphs for data-based decision-making, like the example below.

Click on the graph to enlarge the image: