The RBT certification requires applicants to meet minimum age and education standards, obtain 40 hours of acceptable training, successfully complete a competency assessment, and a background check.
1. Age and Education
RBT applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have demonstrated completion of high school or equivalent/higher at the time of application. If an applicant is applying from a country that does not offer a high school diploma equivalent, the applicant must demonstrate that they have remained in full-time education for the duration required in their country.
2. Background Check
RBT applicants must undergo a background check within 180 days of submitting a completed RBT Certification Application. A BCaBA, BCBA, or BCBA-D will confirm that the applicant has successfully completed a background check comparable to that commonly required for those working as home health aides, childcare professionals and/or teachers in the community where services will be provided.
All RBT applicants must complete a 40-hour training covering the RBT Task List (2nd ed.) as part of the requirements to qualify for RBT certification. The duration of the training must be at least 5 days but not more than 180 days. Detailed instructions are available in the RBT 40-Hour Training Packet.
While the BACB does not provide this training, there are several ways to locate an RBT training program.
- Within an agency – Many agencies and/or supervisors design and conduct their training in-house, and the training is provided to new hires.
- External agency – There are several companies that have developed live or online courses in which anyone can enroll.
- University coursework – Many programs are embedding this training within their courses and offering training certificates for use toward RBT applications.
40-Hour Training Transition
Applicants who have completed the 40-hour training based on the RBT Task List (1st ed.) and will be applying for RBT certification on or after November 1, 2019, will need to either:
- Complete a new 40-hour training that meets the new training requirements.
- Complete an abridged version of the training covering (a) the new task list items (i.e., implement shaping procedures, implement token economy procedures, actively seek clinical direction from the supervisor in a timely manner) and (b) one hour devoted to the BACB’s supervision requirements for RBTs so their training meets the new requirements. This entire training will need to be completed within 180 days to meet the 40-hour training duration requirement.
With either option, the applicant will be required to submit one training certificate indicating that the 40-hour training was based on the RBT Task List (2nd ed.).
4. Competency Assessment
Two different versions of the competency assessment have been created: one for the initial application and one for the renewal application. The RBT Initial Competency Assessment is required for initial certification as an RBT and 3 skills must be demonstrated with a client. The RBT Renewal Competency Assessment is required for recertification as an RBT and 5 skills must be demonstrated with a client. Details regarding the administration of the assessment are included in each of the documents. The assessment involves direct-observation and interview competencies based on tasks found on the RBT Task List (2nd ed.). The assessment is complete when the behavior technician demonstrates competency in each task as determined by the assessor. The assessment must have been completed no longer than 90 days prior to submitting a completed application.
Applicants must take and pass the RBT examination. Authorization to take the examination is only provided to applicants who have submitted a complete certification application to the BACB, including all documentation necessary to demonstrate that they have met all of the criteria above. The RBT examination will be based on the RBT Task List (2nd ed.).
Ongoing Practice and Maintenance Requirements
RBTs are required to adhere to the RBT supervision requirements, including maintaining an RBT Requirements Coordinator or RBT Supervisor on record with the BACB.
RBT applicants and RBTs must adhere to the RBT Ethics Code and Self-Reporting Requirements. The RBT Ethics Code contains 31 elements that are organized into three sections: Responsible Conduct, Responsibility to Clients, and Competence and Service Delivery. Please review all RBT Ethics and Discipline information.
I’m a current RBT—do I need to reapply to meet the new requirements, including taking the certification examination based on the RBT Task List (2nd ed.)?
Do supervisors need to retake the 8‐hour Supervision Training now that there is a 2.0 version?
I have my RBT certification—when do I need to submit the new Renewal Competency Assessment?
I completed the 40‐hour training last year, but my RBT certification application has not yet been approved. Do I need to take a new 40‐hour training based on the RBT Task List (2nd ed.)?
Can I use the Initial Competency Assessment for my renewal? Can I use the Renewal Competency Assessment for my initial application?
Do current RBTs need to reapply to meet the new requirements, including taking the certification examination based on the RBT Task List (2nd ed.)?
If I lose my certification and need to re-apply, do I need to re-take the 40-‐hour training?
I did not pass the examination within my one‐year examination authorization period—will I need to complete a new 40-‐hour training when I re-apply?