Responsible Certificants

Responsible Certificant refers to a BACB certificant (BCaBA, BCBA, BCBA-D, or FL-CBA) who has completed the 8-hour supervision training. They may serve in the capacity of either organizational compliance officer or direct supervisor of one or more Registered Behavior Technicians.

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) refers to the BACB-credentialed individual who implements programming designed by others. If an RBT has multiple employment settings, the RBT is responsible for identifying and selecting a Responsible Certificant in each setting, and coordinating with the Responsible  Certificants to track total supervision hours across settings.

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 for Behavior Analysts: 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.07, and 5.0.

Responsible Certificants Who Serve in the Capacity of a Compliance Officer

A certificant (i.e., BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA) who acts as an organization’s compliance officer is (a) accountable for ensuring that the RBT is receiving supervision according to the BACB’s requirements, and (b) responsible for managing communications with the BACB regarding the RBT. The BACB does not limit the number of RBTs one Responsible Certificant may have in this capacity. All Responsible Certificants are required to be actively certified and to have completed the 8-hr Supervision Training prior to serving in the Responsible Certificant role.

Obligation to the BACB. If requested by the BACB, the Responsible Certificant will provide detailed information including, but not limited to, how many hours per week the RBT is delivering behavior-analytic services, a detailed supervision log, and the names of the RBT’s supervisor(s).

Responsible Certificants Who Serve in the Capacity of a Supervisor

Supervisor refers to the certificant (i.e., BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA) who is responsible for the RBT’s 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/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 behavioral case conceptualization, problem-solving, and 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 trainees.

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 in order to maintain the credential.

Reporting and Documentation Obligations of the Responsible Certificant

The Responsible Certificant must report all of the following to the BACB immediately (within 30 days from the date of occurrence or request):

  1. The name of any RBT for whom they are serving as the Responsible Certificant. Notice of the willingness to serve in the capacity of a Responsible Certificant should be sent via the form on our Contact Us page;
  1. The name of any RBT for whom they are no longer serving as the Responsible Certificant. Notice of the desire to be removed as the Responsible Certificant should be sent via the form on our Contact Us page, along with a copy to the RBT;
  1. Notice of any investigations, complaints, charges or convictions involving RBTs for whom they are named as the Responsible Certificant. Matters to be reported under this provision are identified in 10.02 of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (Compliance Code). Notices of 10.02 mandatory reporting matters should be sent via the form on our Contact Us page with a copy to the RBT; and
  1. Timely response to any audit-related documentation requirements. The BACB may audit a Responsible Certificant for documentation of compliance with the following:
    1. conduct of the training and assessment
    2. completion of the criminal background check and resolution of any background check clearance issues
    3. compliance with BACB supervision requirements
    4. handling of complaints against RBT trainees

Reporting and Documentation Obligations of the of RBT

The BACB requires each RBT to retain documentation of the following:

  1. Completion of the training and assessment;
  2. A list of all Responsible Certificants and the dates that each Responsible Certificant served*;
  3. Documentation that supervision was conducted in accordance with the BACB’s RBT supervision requirements (5%, 2 face-to-face meetings, 1 direct observation); and
  4. Documentation of compliance with the mandatory reporting requirements identified in Section 10.02 of the Compliance Code.

*RBTs working at multiple organizations: Because coordination across agencies would pose a number of practical and legal challenges, it is strongly recommended that certificants only serve as Responsible Certificants for RBTs working in their same agency or organization. If an RBT works in multiple organizations, the RBT is individually responsible for identifying and securing a Responsible Certificant in each organization and obtaining the required monthly supervision (5%, 2 face-to-face meetings, 1 direct observation) within each organization.

For example, an RBT working 20 hours at Organization A and 20 hours at Organization B will need to retain documentation of a Responsible Certificant that supervises 5% of the RBT’s services provided in Organization A and 5% of the services provided in Organization B. The 2 face-to-face meetings and the direct observation will also need to be documented for services provided in each organization.

Responsible Certificant Process

Initial RBT Application

The responsible certificant will receive an email with instructions for their portion of the application which includes:

  1. Attesting to applicant being over the age of 18
  2. Attesting to the applicant’s completion of a background check within 180 days of the application date, and;
  3. Willingness to provide oversight of the RBT’s supervision

After the supervision portion of the application is completed, the applicant will be emailed with instructions on completing the application and remitting the application fee.

Newly-approved RBTs will appear in the RBT Registry within a week of their application approval. Their name will appear along with the name of the Responsible Certificant. Please note that RBTs will not receive a certificate; the registry will be the only source of confirmation of their registration status.