MAINTAINING THE RBT CREDENTIAL

Overview

The primary RBT maintenance requirement is to satisfactorily complete the 12-task direct observation RBT Competency Assessment (based on 20 Task List Elements). The rationale for this requirement is that, since the RBT is a front-line worker who implements behavior analysis procedures, annual demonstration of satisfactory implementation of the 12-tasks in a precise and timely manner is of utmost importance to the ongoing success of a behavior plan.

The ability to correctly perform job tasks is the most important aspect of an RBT’s effectiveness; more so even than his or her knowledge of the concepts underlying the procedures. Therefore, frequent (annual) reassessment of that skill set is an important aspect of consumer protection.

In light of the education and training of the BCBA and BCaBA to assess the RBT in behavior plan implementation and data collection, the behavior analyst performing the RBT Competency Assessment is best able to assess, in practice, the ongoing successful performance of core task-list skills is an appropriate way to ensure maintained competence. Although the RBT Competency Assessment is initially required as an eligibility requirement, it occurs in such close proximity to the written examination and after the RBT’s education and training eligibility requirements, that it functionally serves as an additional initial skill assessment and recertification verification that the core-skills have not deteriorated. Other typical recertification activities, particularly continuing education events, are not generally designed or readily available for the high-school educated front-line practitioner.

Required Actions:

We highly recommend completing maintenance requirements, including online applications, no later than 15 days from the credential expiration date. This allows sufficient time to address any processing problems well in advance of the credential expiration date. All online applications must be completed on or before the credential expiration date in order to avoid lapses in credentialing and late fees. Renewal applications may be completed up to 45 days prior to the due date. After the expiration date, individuals have 30 days to reinstate their credential following the procedures described here.

The RBT may not be related to, superior to, or the employer of the certificant providing training, assessing competency, providing supervision, or serving as the Responsible Certificant. Employment does not include compensation paid by the RBT for supervision services. Please see the following relevant sections of the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code: 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.07, and 5.0.

Fee Structure

Renewal – annual fee $35
Late Fee $50
Insufficient Funds/Returned Check $45
Voluntary Inactive Application $25
Request to Return from Inactive $25

Supervision

Purpose. The purpose of supervision is to improve and maintain the behavior-analytic, professional, and ethical repertoires of the RBT and facilitate the delivery of high-quality services to his or her clients. Effective behavior-analytic supervision includes:

  • Development of performance expectations
  • Observation, behavioral skills training, and delivery of performance feedback
  • Modeling technical, professional, and ethical behavior
  • Guiding the development of problem-solving and ethical decision-making repertoires
  • Review of written materials (e.g., behavior programs, data sheets, reports)
  • Oversight and evaluation of the effects of behavioral service delivery
  • Ongoing evaluation of the effects of supervision

Structure. Each RBT must obtain ongoing supervision for a minimum of 5% of the hours spent providing applied behavior-analytic services per month. Supervision must include at least 2 face-to-face, synchronous contacts per month, during at least one of which the supervisor observes the RBT providing services. In-person, on-site observation is preferred. However, this may be conducted via web cameras, videoconferencing, or similar means in lieu of the supervisor being physically present. Although only one observation is required, the BACB encourages direct observation of service delivery as much as possible. At least 1 of the 2 supervision sessions must be individual (i.e., RBT and supervisor), but the other may occur in a small-group meeting.

Group Supervision. Some supervision may be conducted in groups. Groups are interactive meetings in which 2-10 RBTs who share similar experiences participate. If non-RBTs are present during the meeting, their participation should be limited so as to increase the interaction opportunities of supervisees.

Non-practicing RBTs. If an RBT is not currently providing behavior analytic services, then the monthly supervision is not required in order to maintain the credential. However, the RBT must still complete annual renewals (including the Competency Assessment) in order to maintain the credential.

Unsupervised RBTs

If an RBT does not have a Responsible Certificant, the RBT will be removed from the RBT Registry. In other words, the RBT will be “delisted.” A delisted RBT will remain delisted until he/she obtains a Responsible Certificant and is properly supervised or until his/her credential expires. A delisted RBT may want to request Voluntary Inactive Status rather than allow his/her credential to expire in delisted status.

A delisted RBT:

  • May not practice as an RBT. Practicing as an RBT is defined as engaging in any tasks identified in the RBT Task List.
  • May not sign or bill as an “RBT.” This includes signing any client records or billing forms as an RBT. The RBT may represent to potential employers that the RBT will no longer be delisted once the RBT secures a new Responsible Certificant; and
  • Must report critical information to the BACB while delisted. “Critical information” includes any investigations by professional, healthcare, and regulatory organizations, and charges or actions that might impact the RBT’s criminal background check or status with the BACB. “Critical information” also includes any physical conditions, mental conditions, or substance addictions that could impair the RBT’s ability to competently provide behavior-analytic services and/or jeopardize public health and safety.
  • May return to being listed on the website Registry if they have their new Responsible Certificant contact the BACB to inform the BACB that the RBT no longer needs to be delisted.

Active Duty/Reserves Status Policy

Any individual called to active military duty in the United States armed forces may apply for a temporary reservation of their certification status or eligibility to cover the period during which they are called to active military duty (not to exceed two [2] years). Certificants called to active duty who wish to request reserve status will be prohibited from representing that they are BACB certified (or supervising experience designed to comply with BACB standards) until reinstatement of their certification.

Upon being called to active duty, the individual shall notify the BACB and provide a copy of their official call up notice. The BACB will place the individual on reserve status during the active duty period. Following completion of their active duty, or two (2) years, whichever is earlier, the individual must contact the BACB to update their certification status. When the individual becomes active again, the certification cycle or eligibility window will resume.

Self-Reporting Requirements

Inactive Policy

1. Description

Inactive status is for certificants who need a break from maintaining their credential for a period of time. RBTs who are granted voluntary inactive status may remain inactive for up to 2 years. Inactive RBTs are not permitted to practice, bill, or represent themselves as an RBT and will not be listed on the RBT registry. Inactive RBTs will not be required to submit the annual RBT renewal application (including updated Competency Assessments and fees). RBTs may not again apply for inactive status until at least one full recertification cycle has been completed.

2. Application Requirements

RBTs who wish to request inactive status will need to:

  • Complete and submit the RBT Application for Voluntary Inactive Status prior to their credential end date.
  • Include in the application a one-time, non-refundable check of $25, to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
  • Allow at least two weeks for processing.

3. Reactivation Requirements

At the end of the 2 years, or when the RBT wishes to reinstate their credential, they will need to:

When the individual becomes active again, their certification cycle will resume (e.g., a certificant having 8 months until the end of their cycle will pick up at the same point when they resume).

If you fail to return from inactive status, your RBT credential will expire and you will be required to requalify under the then-current requirements to become credentialed again.