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, child care professionals and/or teachers in the community where services will be provided. The supervisor must attest to the following statement:
- I have confirmed, as the RBT Requirements Coordinator or RBT Supervisor, the applicant’s compliance with the Background Check required by the BACB. In my professional opinion and to the best of my knowledge, the applicant’s history did not reveal a matter that would preclude employment as an RBT.
All RBT applicants must complete a 40-hour training covering the RBT Task List as part of the requirements to qualify for RBT certification. 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.
Alternative Pathway An alternative pathway is available so as to not disadvantage existing behavior technicians who had already received quality training that otherwise would have met the RBT requirements. Training obtained prior to January 1, 2015, which was not completed within a 180-day period, may be acceptable if it can be demonstrated (by attestation from a BCBA or BCaBA) that (a) the training covered the required content from the RBT Task List and met all other related training requirements and (b) since completion of the training, the applicant has continued to perform RBT Task List duties at an acceptable level. RBT Alternative Pathway Attestation Form
4. Competency Assessment
The RBT Competency Assessment is the basis for the key eligibility and renewal requirements for the RBT certification. The assessment must be administered by a BACB certificant following completion of the 40-hour training requirement. The assessment involves direct-observation competencies based on tasks found on the RBT Task List. 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 (i.e., trainee portion, supervisor portion, and payment). Detailed administration instructions are available in the RBT Competency Assessment.
Applicants must take and pass the RBT examination. Authorization to take the examination is only provided to applicants who have submitted a complete RBT certification application to the BACB, including all documentation necessary to demonstrate that they have met all of the criteria above.
RBT applicants and RBTs must adhere to the RBT Ethics Code. 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.