GAF Training


Outcome evaluation is a critical component of providing mental health services. Not only are these evaluations helpful in assessing one’s level of functioning or measuring the outcome of treatment, they are becoming more and more critical to the survival of programs in this era of increasing demand for accountability. The paperwork you do every day generates the data upon which outcome evaluations are based and the accuracy of the information you provide is vitally important to this process. This data is used to inform service providers, supervisors, directors, management, state legislators, congress, and others that the services we provide make a positive difference in the lives of the people we serve. In this course, you will learn how to better use the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale as one of these evaluative tools. While reviewing procedures and “tips” for using the GAF scale, you will be challenged to apply your skills in a variety of interactive exercises to help reinforce your learning. You will also have the opportunity to compare your responses to those of “expert” raters to check for accuracy. This course is appropriate as a review for experienced mental health clinicians as well as an introduction for less-experienced mental health clinicians. NOTE: The GAF scale in this course was created in accordance with diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV (the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it has been dropped from the DSM-5 (the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). This course is being made available to customers since some states and other bodies require use of the GAF scale.


Hours: 2.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

Georgia Paraprofessionals


Course Details

Course Code: EL-GAF-WORK-0
Hours: 2
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 12/31/2018
Learning Objectives:
Explain the key role of reliability ratings in determining GAF scores.
Demonstrate consistency and accuracy of your GAF ratings.
Apply knowledge of the DSM-IV-TR process for making GAF ratings

I. Section 1: Introduction A. Course Contributor B. About This Course C. Learning Objectives II. Section 2: Introduction to the GAF Scale A. The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale B. Clarifying DSM-IV-TR Procedures for Using the GAF Scale C. A Note on Reliability D. One More Word of Caution III. Section 3: Case Examples A. Instructions B. Case Example 1: Mary C. Case Example 2: John D. Case Example 3: Elizabeth E. Understanding These Case Examples IV. Section 4: Improving Your GAF Scale Ratings A. Overview of the GAF Scale B. GAF Scoring: 91 - 100 C. GAF Scoring: 81 - 90 D. A Note on High GAF Scores E. GAF Scoring: 71 - 80 F. GAF Scoring: 61 - 70 G. A Quick Review! H. A Note on Lower GAF Scores I. GAF Scoring: 51 - 60 J. GAF Scoring: 41 - 50 K. GAF Scoring: 31 - 40 L. GAF Scoring: 21 - 30 M. GAF Scoring: 11 - 20 N. GAF Scoring: 1 - 10 O. Practice Quiz P. Steps for Completing Your GAF Score Q. Step 1: Collecting Information R. Step 2: Review the Information S. Step 3: Assign a Rating T. The Modified GAF Scale U. Using the M-GAF V. Symptoms Versus Functioning V. Section 5: More Case Examples A. A Reformatted GAF Scale B. Case Example 1: Jason C. Completing Jason’s GAF Score D. Case Example 2: Maria E. Completing Maria’s GAF Score F. Case Example 3: Bruce G. Completing Bruce’s GAF Score VI. Section 6: Conclusion A. Summary B. References

Expert Reviewer: John Santopietro, MD
Dr. John Santopietro is Chief Medical Officer at Community Health Resources, a community mental health and substance abuse agency that provides care to 10,000 patients a year. He has held administrative and clinical positions in community mental health, hospital-based mental health, and state-run mental health systems. Dr. Santopietro received his BA from Yale University and his MD from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed his internship/residency in psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital, Harvard University Medical School, and went on for a fellowship at the Austin Riggs Center, Harvard University Medical School. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, President–Elect of the Connecticut Psychiatric Society, and a member of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and the American College of Physician Executives. He is a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, and teaches medical students and residents in psychiatry. Dr. Santopietro also serves as a gubernatorial appointee on the State of Connecticut’s Department of Mental Health and Addictions advisory board. Disclosure: John Santopietro, MD has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Kevin Fawcett, Ph.D.
Dr. Kevin Fawcett is a clinical psychologist in San Diego, CA. Dr. Fawcett runs a private practice where he provides therapeutic services for individual adolescents and adults, couples, as well as families. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), teaching courses on the psychology of personal development. He received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, San Diego (2009). His clinical training involved work at the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Children’s Hospital San Diego and the Clinical Services program at Catholic Charities, San Diego. He later completed his post-doctoral training working with college students in the Wellness Center at PLNU. Disclosure: Kevin Fawcett, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
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Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
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To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
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