The reliability and validity of three MDS scales for ADL, cognition and depression are described. The scales consist of items of the Minimum Data Set of the Resident Assessment Instrument and are available just after an MDS assessment. Data collection took place in nine Dutch nursing homes (N = 227) and consisted of three MDS assessments within one month to determine reliability. Several criterion measures were assessed in order to determine convergent validity. Intra- and inter-rater reliability and internal consistency were determined as well as correlation coefficients of the criterion measures and the MDS scales. All three MDS scales appear reliable, especially the ADL-Hierarchy has very good psychometric properties (intra- and inter-rater Intra Class Correlation were 0.81 and 0.83, respectively). Convergent validity of the ADL-Hierarchy and the Cognitive Performance Scale is good, the Depression Rating Scale appears valid in residents with moderate cognitive disorders at the most, but the results are more difficult to interpret in residents with severe cognitive disorders. The MDS scales appear useful in clinical practice and for research purposes in the Dutch nursing homes.