The Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) is the most widely used outcome measure after traumatic brain injury, but it is increasingly recognized to have important limitations. It is proposed that shortcomings of the GOS can be addressed by adopting a standard format for the interview used to assign outcome. A set of guidelines are outlined that are directed at the main problems encountered in applying the GOS. The guidelines cover the general principles underlying the use of the GOS and common practical problems of applying the scale. Structured interview schedules are described for both the five-point GOS and an extended eight-point GOS (GOSE). An interrater reliability study of the structured interviews for the GOS and GOSE yielded weighted kappa values of 0.89 and 0.85, respectively. It is concluded that assessment of the GOS using a standard format with a written protocol is practical and reliable.