Guidance for RBTs During COVID-19

The COVID–19 pandemic continues to raise a lot of fear and questions for many people around the world, and our RBTs are no exception. First, rest assured that you're not alone during this challenging and unprecedented time. We're doing our best to offer guidance that allows you to make sound decisions about your livelihood and enables you to maintain your certification while responding to your questions as quickly as we can. We encourage all RBTs to take a moment to review the following information.

RBTs Who Are Unable to Provide ABA Services
If you've been furloughed or lost your job because of the pandemic, you do not need to report this to the BACB. Also, you will not lose your certification just because you're not working. One of the RBT maintenance requirements is to receive ongoing supervision for 5% of the hours that you provide behavior analysis services. However, if you're not providing or billing for services, you don't need supervision for the month and your certification will remain active as long as you still have an RBT Supervisor or Requirements Coordinator on record with us.

RBTs Who Are Providing ABA Services
If you're currently able to provide services, you must meet the RBT supervision requirements, but we may be more lenient about requirements that involve interacting with clients (e.g., the number of RBT–client observations). It's very important to maintain detailed documentation in case you're asked to complete a BACB requirements audit. That documentation should include information about how the pandemic has impacted your services, supervision, etc., and the steps you and your supervisor took to try to meet the requirements. While there's no need to report these details to us right now, you should document them now and report them to us when you submit your annual RBT Renewal Application. For more guidance on meeting BACB requirements during the COVID–19 pandemic, please read our March 17 post, "COVID–19 Update from the BACB," on this┬ápage.

RBTs Who Don't Anticipate Using Their Certification Soon
If you don't expect to use your RBT certification any time soon, you can apply for voluntary inactive status. To help provide some financial relief for our certificants, we're waiving all fees for those applying for voluntary inactive status through June 30, 2020. This option is only available if you haven't yet reached your certification expiration date, which is listed in your BACB account. While on voluntary inactive status:

  • your certification is listed as "inactive" on the Certificant Registry
  • you may not practice, bill, or represent yourself as an RBT
  • you don't need to submit renewal applications
  • you may remain inactive for up to two years
  • you must complete the RBT Request to Return from Voluntary Inactive Status form when you're ready to reactivate your certification.

Please note, you may not reapply for voluntary inactive status until you have completed at least one renewal cycle after returning from voluntary inactive status. Voluntary inactive status is beneficial because it allows you to pause your certification. When you're ready to reactivate it within the two years you're allotted, you don't have to meet all of the eligibility requirements again.

RBTs Who Are Due to Renew Their Certification Soon
If your RBT certification renewal is coming up, a process that includes completing the RBT Renewal Competency Assessment, and you are practicing, coordinate with your supervisor/assessor about meeting the renewal requirements.

If you're not practicing and are unable to complete the RBT Renewal Competency Assessment, we have temporarily extended the reinstatement period (i.e., the grace period that kicks in immediately following your certification expiration date) from 30 days to 90 days for RBTs renewing in March 2020 and April 2020. If you plan to practice again soon, this extension gives you more time to complete your renewal requirements, including your RBT Renewal Competency Assessment. We'll waive the late fee in these situations and your annual certification expiration date won't change. We'll also continue to evaluate this extension to determine whether we'll apply it to individuals with renewal dates later than April 30, 2020. Please note, during your reinstatement period, you're considered inactive and may not practice. If you don't meet the renewal requirements at the end of the 90 days, your certification will be considered expired and you'll need to reapply and meet the current requirements.

Have Questions About Providing Services?
If you have questions about how to provide services during this time (e.g., whether you can provide telehealth services), speak with your supervisor, employer, and/or professional associations. As a certification board, the BACB cannot provide specific direction or recommendations on these topics.