Using the CFI Online Training Module: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

If you do not find the answer to your question, you can always contact our support team.


The DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) (APA, 2013) is a 16-question interview guide to help behavioral health providers better understand the way service users and their social networks (e.g., families, friends) understand what is happening to them and why, their prior experiences with care, and the types of supports they feel would be helpful. To date, thousands of clinicians and other behavioral health providers around the world are utilizing the CFI to have open, empathic, and judgment-free conversations with service users about their views and experiences, with the goal of improving their engagement in services, the quality of treatment and service delivery, and recovery outcomes.

The New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence and the Center for Practice Innovations at Columbia Psychiatry (CPI) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, have partnered to develop a 50-min online training module to provide behavioral health providers with an overview of how to utilize the CFI in multiple inpatient and outpatient settings. The module includes video-taped interviews with individuals in recovery who offered their personal stories to demonstrate the use of the CFI in multiple settings, interactive features for active learning, and tools to plan the CFI implementation in your practice, programs or services. In a recent evaluation of module users in New York State, a large majority positively rated it, feeling that it not only improved their understanding of how to conduct a CFI-based interview, but that it would result in practice changes (Aggarwal et al, 2018).

If you are outside of New York State, the CFI module can be accessed by paying a user fee depending on your country of residence. Please click here and then click “Register” to find out what fee applies to you. Payments are made through PayPal using a credit or debit card. This can be done without setting up a PayPal account.

If you are a provider in a not-for-profit program or a service funded, licensed or certified by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism Services (OASAS), or NYS Veterans Affairs, you may be able to access the module at no cost through a learning management system funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health. If you do not currently have access to the Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) Learning Community , please contact to request access to the CFI module. Otherwise, If you already have access to the CPI Learning Community, you can take the CFI module by using your current login information.

Continuing education credits are not available to providers outside of New York State or private practitioners (including those in NYS) who complete the CFI module.

Continuing education credits are only available to NYS providers in the public behavioral health system who are eligible to access the free-of-cost module through the Center for Practice Innovations website. To receive CEUs, you must complete the module via the CPI platform. Please keep in mind that only providers who work for a program funded, licensed or certified by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism Services (OASAS), and NYS Veterans Affairs, or other non-profit organizations can access the module via the CPI platform.

This training module should take about 55 minutes to 1.5 hours to complete. You may pause the module and come back to it at a later time. The module is set up to bookmark where you left off.


Your progress is saved automatically as you continue through the module as long as you are logged into your account. Logging out while using the module will prevent access to the module and will not save your progress. This training additionally requires the use of cookies to track training progress. Please be sure that cookies are enabled for your browser before continuing and do not clear your browser cache until you have completed the training to avoid losing your progress. Clearing your browser cache and cookies may result in a loss of data and may require users to start the module over from the beginning.

  1. In your web browser go to
  2. At the top of the website’s page go to “CFI Training Module” and then click “Register”. If you have already registered, you may click on the Login button and sign in, then skip to Step 9 to access your module homepage.
  3. On the following page click “Register” to find out which method of accessing the module will be best for you.
  4. If you are given “Contact CPI” as your option, then follow the directions given on that page to continue.
  5. If you are given “Subscribe” as your option, then click “Subscribe” to continue.
  6. Select the appropriate country and job position that applies to you.
  7. On the following page you will provide your login and user information to use the module. If the site does not move on to the next page, please check that all required questions are completed.
  8. Once you are done filling in the user information, click Register you will be directed to a payment page. Payments are made through PayPal. To use PayPal you do not need to have an account. Payments are only accepted via credit or debit cards.
  9. After payment is completed, you will be directed to the login screen. Use the information you used to register to access your account. You will then be directed to the Welcome screen with your account information. From this page, you can access a variety of information, such as editing your profile or viewing your subscription information.
  10. To begin the module, click on “Purchased Content” and on the next page you will be able to access your module through the link “Begin Module”. If you have not completed the module and are returning to finish it, you will be prompted to continue where you last left off, you may click “Yes” to return to the last page you visited or “No” to start from the beginning of the module.
  11. After you complete the module, please complete a survey by clicking on the link “Survey”. Your feedback will help us evaluate the module and make future changes. Completing the survey is not required to obtain the Certificate.
  12. Once you have completed the module and passed the required test questions, you will be able to download and print your certificate by clicking the link “Certificate”.

In order to make changes to your account, please refer to the following:

  1. From the module homepage, click on the second tab beneath the welcome message titled “Edit Profile”.
  2. On this page you can change your email address and/or your password by typing in the new email and/or new password twice on the page and clicking “Update” to save the changes.

Please note that if you change your email address, the new email address must now be used to log into your account.

  • The module must be completed in order. You will move from page to page after each of the objectives for that section have been met. After you have completed the module once, you will be able to repeat any section in any desired order.
  • The module has several buttons on the border of the screen for use:
    • The “Menu” button outlines the key points that will be explained in the module.
    • The “Resources” button is to display resources that were used for the current slide displayed.
    • The “Help” button displays the explanation of these module buttons while in the module.
    • The “Transcript” button opens the transcript text.
    • The “Play/Pause” button plays or pauses the course.
    • The “Replay” button replays the page that you are viewing.
    • The “Audio” button plays or mutes the audio.
    • The “Back” button takes you to the previous page of the course.
    • The “Page Number section” shows you the page of the course you are on.
    • The “Next” button takes you to the next page of the course.
    • The “Exit” button exits the course.
  • Most of the module consists of video presentations that may begin once the section has been opened. If the video does not begin automatically you may start it by pressing the “Play” button, you may also use this button to pause the video if needed. The video player also features a video slider to rewind/fast forward to a part of the video, a volume control button, and a full-screen button that allows the video to become larger for viewing.
  • Once a video has been played, you may continue to the next page by clicking the word “Next” in the phrase “Click Next to Continue” in the bottom-right corner of the page.
  • Some portions of the video do not feature a video player, but instead follow an audio guide which covers certain points on the current module page. You may also be prompted by the audio to click on blue links that may be displayed on the page for more information. Once the audio has completed for the page the “Click Next to Continue” button will appear in the bottom-right corner to click.
  • Some pages of the module may display an image with numbers on them, the audio guide will prompt you to click on each of these numbers to open more information or an accompanying video to watch. Once the video is complete you may click the “Close (X)” button — do not mistakenly click the Exit button as that would ask you to exit the module.
  • Some sections of the module may ask you to check off or drag and drop several phrases for the exercise. Follow the audio prompt for instructions on what to do on these pages before continuing, if you need to hear the audio again you may click on the Replay button or read the audio in text through the Transcript (T) button. After completing the activity, you may continue through the module.

Once the module is complete, the final step will be to complete an evaluation consisting of 10 questions covering all the material from the course, a passing score of 80% or higher is required to complete this section. Each question consists of a multiple-choice question where you will submit one answer per question, upon clicking submit you will be shown the correct answer and whether the answer chosen was right or wrong. If a score of 80% or above is not received, you will need to close the module and start the evaluation again to get a higher score. If the module shuts downs or crashes at any point during the evaluation the module will have to be closed and the evaluation will have to be started again from the beginning. However, your answers should still be saved. Once a score of 80% or higher is achieved, you have completed the course and can close out the module.

Training content cannot be printed directly from the training. The ability to copy/paste text from within the module training is also not possible at this time.

The survey should take about 5-10 minutes to complete after finishing the training module and receiving an 80% or higher on the evaluation section.

Yes. You must complete the training module online and take the final evaluation in order to receive a certificate of completion.

Cancellation is simple. From the main screen after you log into your account you have two options on the Welcome screen in the Subscriptions tab – there are two links, one for “Cancel” and one for “Abandon”.

The “Cancel” option will remove your access to the module. Clicking on this option will bring you to a confirmation page that you will have to confirm by clicking the “Confirm” button. Once cancelled, you will still be able to access the survey and your certificate but will be unable to take the module again (it will display itself as “Module Unavailable” from your Welcome page). If you change your mind about the subscription, you can return to the Welcome page and click on the “Renew” link and confirm that you would like to repurchase your subscription. If you cancelled your subscription by accident, please contact Support to for assistance.

The “Abandon” option will remove your access and subscription from the account immediately. Clicking this link will take you to a confirmation page where you must click “Confirm” to finalize it — please note that this option is not reversible and there will not be a “Renew” button to reactivate your account. Your subscription will no longer be visible from the Welcome page and you will not be able to access the module, survey, or your certificate. If you abandoned your subscription by accident, please contact Support to for assistance.

If you run into any difficulties in accessing or using the module or to report any technical issues, please submit a request for assistance with our support team by clicking the button below.


Support Team

For general inquiries, please contact us by clicking the button below.


General Inquiries


We will do our best to respond within 24 hours.