10 Hours | 10 CEs

This self-paced training program on Report Writing for Forensic Evaluations is presented by Randy Otto, PhD, ABPP.

It focuses on conducting well-constructed forensic psychological evaluations and how it is not enough to persuade judges, attorneys, and other referral sources. Examiners must also be able to effectively communicate what data they considered, what actions they took, and the opinions they formed and underlying reasoning. Because psychologists, in most cases, do not testify about their work, reports and affidavits are the vehicles they must use. Research on forensic examiners’ report-writing practices is reviewed; how forensic practice guidelines, the ethics code, and rules of evidence and procedure shape reports is considered; principles for the organization and structure of forensic reports are identified; elements of good (and bad) reports are highlighted using multiple examples. More focused matters such as the use of jargon; specificity in word choice; identifying sources of information; distinguishing between observation and inference; and common report writing errors are considered, as well. Finally, preparation of affidavits, and how their structure and substance differs from reports, is tackled.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the primary purposes of reports and affidavits that summarize their forensic evaluations

  • Describe the different functions of reports and affidavits

  • Describe common legal requirements of reports summarizing forensic psychological examinations

  • Describe APA’s ethics code and forensic practice guidelines shape reports summarizing forensic psychological evaluations

  • Describe 3 reasons to include competing hypotheses, disconfirmatory data, and alternative explanations in their reports

  • Practice writing reports that distinguish case facts and their inferences and opinions

  • Describe 2 ways to describe psychological test results in their reports

  • Describe definitions for various psychological constructs using language that is understandable to a lay audience

  • Describe common report writing errors

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.

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  • 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

    • Writing Forensic Psychological Reports

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 3

    Common Errors

    • Lesson 2 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 4

    Purposes & Rationales

    • Lesson 3 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 5

    Report Writing Principles - Part I

    • Lesson 4 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 6

    Report Writing Principles - Part II

    • Lesson 5 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

    • Organizational Exercise

    • Writing Forensic Reports

  • 7

    Report Writing Principles - Part II

    • Lesson 6 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 8

    Formats & Logistics

    • Lesson 7 Video

    • The Value of Specificity

    • Forensic Report Writing Evaluation

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 9

    Reviews & Affidavits

    • Lesson 8 Video

    • Sample Report - Daughtry

    • Sample Report - Affidavit

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 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!

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