Ohio Guardian ad Litem Rule Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Rule 48 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio (Sup. R. 48) sets standards regarding the appointment, responsibilities, training and report requirements of guardians ad litem (GAL) and for the responsibilities of appointing courts. The rule, which became effective March 1, 2009, applies in all domestic relations and juvenile cases in common pleas courts where the court appoints a guardian ad litem to protect and act in the best interest of a child. Sup. R. 48, Division (A). 

The answers on this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page may quote or paraphrase the language of Sup. R. 48.  The language of the Rule is controlling. Citations to Sup. R. 48 are provided with each answer and in the paragraph above.

  1. Text of Sup. R. 48 as adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio
  2. How do I qualify for appointment as a GAL?
  3. Is there tuition to attend the Guardian ad Litem Judicial College courses?
  4. Do I get full credit for a GAL course if I am late or leave early?
  5. When and how do I get my Certificate of Completion after attending a course?
  6. Are CLE credits given at Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College GAL courses?
  7. May I take a course offered by a provider other than the Supreme Court of Ohio or Ohio CASA/GAL Association to meet the education requirements of Sup. R. 48?
  8. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Am I required to take the training?
  9. Are both attorney and non-attorney GALs required to take the training?
  10. I have taken a GAL course in the past. Will it meet the requirements of Sup. R. 48?
  11. How will I know if I'm confirmed for a Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College course for which I registered?
  12. How do I cancel my registration for a Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College course?
  13. Whom should I call with questions about the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College’s GAL education courses?

1. Text of Sup. R. 48 as adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Return to top

2. How do I qualify for appointment as a GAL?

In order to be appointed as a guardian ad litem, you must complete the educational requirements found in Sup. R. 48 (E) and complete the application process established by local courts under Sup. R. 48 (G) in the courts where you wish to serve.

Return to top

3. Is there tuition to attend the Guardian ad Litem Judicial College courses?

The courses are offered free of charge to students. Individuals who are not interested in serving as guardians ad litem should not attend.

Return to top

4. Do I get full credit for a GAL course if I am late or leave early?

The education requirements in Sup. R. 48 (E) have no provisions for "substantial" completion of a course by attendance for less than the full amount of time required. Participants must attend the full training to receive a certificate of completion.

Return to top

5. When and how do I get my Certificate of Completion after attending a course?

Your Certificate of Completion will be available in your OhioCourtEDU account within 7 days after the course. Log in to OhioCourtEDU and select Help, then Access Certificates for a guide on accessing your certificate. If you did not attend the entire course (e.g. late arrival or left early), your Certificate will be marked with partial credit only and you will need to retake the course to meet the education requirement under Rule 48.

Return to top

6. Are CLE credits given at Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College GAL courses?

The GAL courses offered by the Supreme Court of Ohio are designed to meet requirements of the Commission on Continuing Legal Education for continuing legal education credit hours for attorneys.

Return to top

7. May I take a course offered by a provider other than the Supreme Court of Ohio or Ohio CASA/GAL Association to meet the education requirements of Sup. R. 48?

Sup. R. 48 (E)(2) provides, "The pre-service training course must be the six hour guardian ad litem pre-service course provided by the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Ohio CASA/GAL Association's pre-service training program, or with prior approval of the appointing court, be a course at least six hours in length that covers the topic areas in division (E) (3)." (Emphasis added).

Please note that The Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College does not approve or pre-approve other organizations’ guardian ad litem course offerings to be in compliance with Sup.R. 48.  Requests to do so cannot be accommodated.

Return to top

8. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Am I required to take the training?

The 30-40 hour Ohio CASA/GAL Association's pre-service training satisfies the educational requirements of Sup. R. 48 for pre-service training and the Ohio CASA/GAL Association's 12 hours of in-service training satisfies the 3 hour continuing education requirement. See the answer to Question No. 10 below.

Return to top

9. Are both attorney and non-attorney GALs required to take the training?

Sup. R. 48 (E) requires all guardians ad litem appointed in juvenile and domestic relations courts to comply with the education requirements without distinction based on profession.

Return to top

10. I have taken a GAL course in the past. Will it meet the requirements of Sup. R. 48?

Sup. R. 48 (E)(8) states, "Attendance at an Ohio Guardian ad Litem Training Program approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio or at an Ohio CASA/GAL Association pre-service training program at any time prior to the effective date of this rule shall be deemed compliant with the pre-service training requirement."

  1. Completion of the following courses before March 1, 2009 satisfies the pre-service training requirement:
    1. A six hour pre-service course previously offered by The Ohio Network of Children's Advocacy Centers (ONCAC) titled the Ohio Guardian ad Litem Training Program, or
    2. A six hour pre-service course offered by the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College titled the Ohio Guardian ad Litem Education Program Pre-Service Course, or
    3. The 30-40 hour Ohio CASA/GAL Association's pre-service training.

Return to top

11. How will I know if I’m confirmed for a Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College course for which I registered?

You will receive an email confirmation upon registration. You may also log in to OhioCourtEDU and select Learning, then My Courses.

Return to top

12. How do I cancel my registration for a Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College course?

To cancel your registration, log in to OhioCourtEDU. Select Learning, then My Courses. Locate the course and select Withdraw. If you cannot attend the course, you MUST notify us three days prior to the course. Late cancellations and “no shows” are still costs incurred by the Supreme Court and will cause other GALs to be closed out due to space limitations.

Return to top

13. Whom should I call with questions about the Supreme Court of Ohio Judicial College’s GAL education courses?

OhioCourtEDU@sc.ohio.gov or Tel. 614.387.9445.

Return to top