6 Hours | 6 CEs

This self-paced training program on Assessing Civil Capacities is presented by Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP.

The training program begins with a discussion of assessment principles that apply to all civil capacity evaluations, regardless of their specific focus. Next, characteristics of good and bad civil capacity evaluations and the reports that summarize them are reviewed, using documents extracted from actual cases (i.e., report excerpts, test data, affidavits). Then, for a number of specific rights/capacities, the legal definition/operationalization is offered, followed by a discussion of appropriate assessment strategies. In addition to consideration of specific competencies including the capacity to testify, write a will (testamentary capacity), manage finances, and make health care decisions, related matters are discussed including undue influence and conducting guardianship/conservatorship evaluations.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe why civil capacities are typically less well-defined than criminal competencies and the extra efforts examiners should make when assessing civil capacities in response

  • Describe predicate impairment(s) that should be present if any opinion of impaired capacity is going to be offered

  • Describe key components of good civil capacity evaluations and the reports that summarize them

  • Describe errors that examiners are likely to make when conducting civil capacity evaluations and writing reports summarizing them

  • Describe the law defining the capacities to testify, execute a will, manage finances, and make health care decisions, and identify and employ resulting strategies for valid assessment of these psycholegal constructs

  • Describe rights that are often at issue in the context of guardianship/conservatorship proceedings and identify strategies for valid assessment of these rights

  • Describe “undue influence” as it applies to matters of legal decision making, and identify indicators of it

Presented By

Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Randy Otto is a licensed psychologist and is board certified in clinical psychology and forensic psychology (ABPP). He has been a faculty member at the University of South Florida since 1989. Although his primary appointment is in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, he also teaches in the Departments of Psychology, Criminology, and Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling. Dr. Otto’s work focuses on the involvement of mental health professionals in the legal system.
  • Intended Audience

    This self-paced course is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This self-paced course is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

    APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.


  • 1


    • Review Before Proceeding

  • 2


    • Lesson 1 Video

    • Psychological and Psychiatric Assessment of Decision-Making Capacity

  • 3

    Overarching Issues

    • Lesson 2 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 4

    Structuring Civil Capacity Assessments

    • Lesson 3 Video

    • Sample Affidavit

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 5

    Good Evaluations & Reports

    • Lesson 4 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 6

    Specific Civil Capacities

    • Lesson 5 Video

    • Dr. Jeter Report

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 7

    Undue Influence

    • Lesson 6 Video

    • "Undue Influence" and "IDEAL" Protocol

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 8

    Guardianship/ Conservatorship

    • Lesson 7 Video

    • Psycholegal Capacities by State

    • Guardian Report

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 9

    Specialized Assessment Tools

    • Lesson 8 Video

    • References

  • 10


    • Instructions

    • Evaluation

    • Submission Verification

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

  • Expert Instructors

    Professional training developed and delivered by the field's leading experts

  • CE Credit

    Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

  • Convenience & Flexibility

    Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!

Looking to train a group?

Custom training options for groups of 5 to 500+

Contact us to talk about group training rates and how we can make annual training and new staff onboarding simple!