COVID-19 Waivers Retired

In April of 2020, we released two temporary waivers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Compassionate Exception Attestation for Experience/Fieldwork: We temporarily waived the observation-with-a-client requirement for trainees accruing experience or supervised fieldwork hours without access to clients.
  • Compassionate Exception Attestation for RBT Initial and Renewal Competency Assessments: We temporarily allowed with-a-client tasks to be assessed in role-play situations with client surrogates.

Now, with the advent of widely available COVID-19 vaccines and evidence that organizations have adapted their policies, these waivers are no longer in effect. Here is what this might mean for you:

  • For those who used the experience/fieldwork waiver, any experience or supervised fieldwork hours accrued on or after January 1, 2022, must meet the observation-with-a-client requirement. Be sure to retain the completed and signed attestation and, if audited, submit the attestation to the BACB.
  • For those who used the RBT Initial and Renewal Competency Assessments waiver, all with-a-client tasks documented on materials submitted on or after January 1, 2022, must be performed as stated in the Competency Assessment instructions.

Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit the Contact Us web page.

COVID-19 Vaccine Considerations for BACB Certificants

March 21, 2022, Update: The following information was based on sections 1.01, 2.02, and 2.05 of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts and has since been updated to reflect the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts.


The BACB commends all of its certificants who have endeavored to place the safety and needs of clients and staff at the forefront of their action plans to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The following information is being provided to our certificants as they make critical decisions about accessing COVID-19 vaccines.

The BACB offers the following considerations as certificants begin to move forward in the wake of newly available vaccines for COVID-19. This information does not constitute legal or medical advice, but it is consistent with the following standard from the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts:

  • 3.01 Responsibility to Clients: “Behavior analysts act in the best interest of clients, taking appropriate steps to support clients’ rights, maximize benefits, and do no harm. They are also knowledgeable about and comply with applicable laws and regulations related to mandated reporting requirements.”

Certificants should also consider the recent guidance provided by the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs for physicians from the November 2020 AMA Special Meeting. Specifically, the AMA (n.d.) states that:

  • “When … there is an available, safe, and effective vaccine, physicians have a responsibility to accept immunization absent a recognized medical contraindication or when a specific vaccine would pose a significant risk to the physician’s patients.”
  • “Physicians who are not or cannot be immunized have a responsibility to voluntarily take appropriate action to protect patients, fellow health care workers and others … including refraining from direct patient contact when appropriate.”
  • “Physician practices and health care institutions have a further responsibility to limit patient and staff exposure to individuals who are not immunized, which may include requiring unimmunized individuals to refrain from direct patient contact.”

The BACB urges certificants to consider the AMA’s guidance when making personal decisions and creating organization-level policies about accessing COVID-19 vaccines. Should the BACB receive a Notice of Alleged Violation related to this topic, the review committee would likely consider the following questions in determining whether a violation occurred:

  • Was there a vaccine available to reduce the negative impacts of the pandemic?
  • If the certificant could not be safely immunized or refused the vaccine for personal reasons, did they take and follow appropriate actions to protect clients, stakeholders, co-workers, supervisees, trainees, and others from potential exposure?
  • If the certificant was responsible for organization-level practices, did they take appropriate measures to protect clients, stakeholders, co-workers, supervisees, trainees, and others from exposure to nonimmunized individuals?

Reference

COVID-19 Vaccine Considerations for BACB Certificants

In the wake of newly available COVID-19 vaccines, certificants are faced with critical decisions that concern the safety and health of their clients, coworkers, and staff members, among others. To offer guidance on accessing COVID-19 vaccines as a behavior analyst, the BACB has compiled considerations from the American Medical Association and the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts.

To learn more about these considerations, please visit our BACB COVID-19 Updates web page.

RBT Remote Testing Restrictions Beginning March 1, 2021

When in-person testing was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BACB sought approval from its accrediting body to participate in an exception program that offered flexibility for RBT candidates by permitting remote testing, with the understanding that additional data collection and security measures would be required. Remote testing became available for the RBT certification program on April 15, 2020.

On March 1, 2021, in response to typical examination-security concerns associated with remote testing, the BACB will begin restricting remote testing in select geographic regions as needed. If remote testing does not appear as an option at the time of examination-appointment scheduling, it is due to these restrictions, and in-person testing will still be available.

To learn more about the RBT remote testing restrictions, please visit our BACB COVID-19 Updates web page.

RBT Remote Testing Restrictions

When in-person testing was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BACB sought approval from its accrediting body to participate in an exception program that offered flexibility for RBT candidates by permitting remote testing, with the understanding that additional data collection and security measures would be required. Remote testing became available for the RBT certification program on April 15, 2020.

On March 1, 2021, in response to typical examination-security concerns associated with remote testing, the BACB began restricting remote testing in select geographic regions as needed. If remote testing does not appear as an option at the time of examination-appointment scheduling, it is due to these restrictions, and in-person testing will still be available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Remote testing was approved in 2020 by the NCCA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maintaining this examination-delivery method requires additional security measures, including restrictions when necessary, to meet the security requirements for the administration of high-stakes examinations.


The BACB continually monitors data from all of our examinations. When suspicious scores in any geographic region reach a particular threshold, we restrict access to remote testing in that region for an undetermined period of time to prevent lapses in examination security.


RBT candidates will be aware of the restriction at the time of scheduling their examination. If remote testing does not appear as an option at the time of examination-appointment scheduling, it is due to these restrictions, and in-person testing will still be available.


As an RBT Supervisor, you will need the help of the RBT candidates under your supervision to determine whether they are in a restricted area. Because restricted areas are updated regularly, the BACB is not able to provide additional information about geographic regions to supervisors or RBT candidates.

 

August 2020 Newsletter

We are pleased to announce the publication of the August 2020 BACB Newsletter (PDF download)

In this issue:

  • Changes to the BCaBA Task List (5th ed.)
  • When to conduct a standardized assessment (e.g., the Vineland)
  • Common supervision issues
  • Why RBTs must know their BACB account details
  • How to protect yourself from professional identity theft
  • COVID-19 reminder: Experience/Fieldwork Requirements

Temporary Allowances for Experience/Fieldwork and Competency Assessments

Due to social distancing requirements during the COVID–19 pandemic, the BACB will allow temporary deviations for certain "with a client" requirements. As of March 1, the "observation with a client" sub–requirement that applies to Experience and Fieldwork will be temporarily waived for those without access to clients.

In addition, all RBT competency assessments received as of April 28, 2020 will allow "with a client" tasks to be fulfilled via "role play."

To learn more about COVID-19-related changes or news from the BACB, please visit our BACB COVID-19 Updates web page.

Online Proctored Testing Now Available for RBT Candidates

March 21, 2022, Update: RBT remote testing restrictions are now in place. See the RBT Remote Testing Restrictions post for details.


On April 15, 2020, live, online proctored testing became available for all RBT candidates via Pearson VUE’s online delivery system, OnVUE.

With advanced features that include ID verification, session monitoring, browser lockdown, and recordings, the OnVUE platform includes security features that are necessary for remote testing. RBT candidates should note the following important information:

  • Once a candidate’s application for certification is approved, they will receive a link to schedule their remote, proctored certification examination with Pearson VUE per the usual examination scheduling process.
  • Candidates who request accommodations for the RBT certification examination must test at in-person Pearson VUE testing centers; the OnVUE platform is unable to provide candidates with testing accommodations other than adjustable font, extra time, and color contrast.
  • Pearson VUE strongly recommends using a high–speed internet connection for online testing and encourages candidates to test during less popular wireless access times. Bandwidth issues greatly affect the delivery of online testing, and such issues are beyond Pearson VUE’s‚ and the BACB’s‚ control.

Guidance for RBTs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID–19 pandemic continues to raise a lot of fearsand questions for many people around the world, and our RBTs are no exception. We encourage all RBTs to take a moment to review the general guidance we've developed to help you navigate this challenging and unprecedented time.

To learn more about COVID-19’s impact on the BACB and certificants, please visit our BACB COVID-19 Updates web page.

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. 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.

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. 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 are 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.

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.