How To Become a Registered Behavior Technician

What is the RBT Certificate?

A registered behaviour technician (RBT) is a behaviour therapist who has completed the RBT coursework and successfully passed the certification progress. An RBT works using applied behaviour analysis teaching principles with their students.

Becoming an RBT is a great first step if you are thinking about getting into the field of (ABA) Applied Behaviour Analysis or if you are already working in the field of ABA or the teaching field.

The RBT certification covers a comprehensive range of skills. These skills can be used if you are working with children with communication difficulties, behaviour problems, children who have difficulty completing self help skills or who have difficulty keeping up with the academic demands of the classroom.

Although best known for it’s use in teaching children with autism- ABA can be used to teach children, teenagers and adults.

In therapy sessions we teach children with different levels of ability including children with behaviour concerns and no other learning difficulties. ABA teaching principals can be used to increase the motivation of groups of students and to manage groups of adults and staff in the workplace.

Applied behaviour analysis involves using a set of principals so that you increase or improve your child’s communication, social, academic and self- help skills. The aim is that through your teaching you increase the positive behaviours- while reducing your student’s challenging behaviour.

In the RBT course you will be taught a variety of teaching techniques. These are used to help your student learn as many new skills as possible. You will learn about working with other professionals and how we can train other people to follow through on the programme that’s been set for your child. To achieve the best outcomes it makes sense that we teach parents, carers, siblings, teachers and other professionals how to follow through on the same techniques when working with the child. In this way the child gets the same message from all the important people in their life.

How do I qualify to do the course?

To complete the course you must be 18 years or older. You must have completed a high school level of education and completed a police background check.

If you pass these three criteria then you are eligible to enrol on an RBT course!

How does it work?

Step 1- Sign up and complete the 40 hour RBT coursework. You can complete this over five full days of instruction, as an online course or as a combination of direct teaching and online coursework. The coursework must be overseen and taught by a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA), a Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst or a senior behaviour therapist who has been recognised as competent to deliver the course by a BCBA or BCaBA.

You must complete the entire course within a 180- day timeframe.

In the course you will learn theory and practical activities to help you understand the list of competencies laid out on the RBT task list. You will need to complete three hours of material related to ethics on the course. Read the full list of competencies by clicking on this link the BACB.(Behaviour Analyst Certification Board)

When you finish the coursework you will earn a certificate of completion. This shows that you have finished the 40 hours of training, who you completed the training with and the dates the training took place.

Step 2- You need to set up an RBT account on the BACB website. This is where you will upload your newly earned completion certificate ?? You will upload your competency exam here too once you pass it!

Step 3- it’s time to schedule your competency assessment! You schedule this with the course instructor. The competency assessment is made up of:

An observation of you working with a learner where you must show certain skills being practiced. These are skills you will have covered on the course
You may be asked to role play certain skills
You may be interviewed on certain skills
To find our more information on what’s covered on the competency exam- click this link the BACB website:

It’s worth spending time studying and preparing for the exam so you pass it first time round! If you complete the competency assessment soon after the course it will mean the material will be fresh in your head.

The instructor who signs off on your competency exam is known as a your ‘RBT supervisor’ or the ‘RBT Requirements Coordinator’. This person will approve your application when you submit it to the BACB.

As part of the exam at least five sections of the competency exam must be observed taking place with a student to meet the passing requirements.

Step 4 – a copy of your police clearance (completed within the last 12 months) must be submitted to your ‘RBT supervisor’ or your ‘RBT Requirements Coordinator’. They will need to see this before they can approve your application.

Step 5- Well done! You’ve completed the coursework and successfully passed your competency assessment! You need to upload these documents to your online portal and pay an application fee to the BACB. This fee was 50 USD at the time of writing.

An email will be sent to your ‘RBT Supervisor’. They must complete the application from their side to confirm all the documents submitted are correct.

Step 6- Your application has been approved. It’s time to schedule a date to sit the online exam.

When you complete step 5- you will be sent an email from the BACB to confirm that you can schedule to sit the exam.

The online exam is a 90 minute multiple choice exam covering competencies from the RBT task list and RBT ethical guidelines. In the UAE the test for the exam is completed in Abu Dhabi and is scheduled through an organisation called Pearson Vue.

Step 7- Time to study! Review the material you covered in the course, learn the definitions related to the RBT task list, think through your response to scenario questions. One technique that works for some people is writing a practical example of a definition as it relates to a real life scenario. This helped me to retain some of the concepts!

Step 8- Hooray you’ve passed the online exam! Your name can be found on the RBT registry on the BACB website.

Step 9: What next? It’s time to find a supervisor. Supervision is completed by a BCBA or BCaBA.

The minimum requirement for supervision for an RBT is 5% of the work you complete with your clients. Initially the more supervision you can get the better. It will help to build up your confidence and allow you practice the skills you learned during the course- while getting immediate feedback from your supervisor. This feedback will help you to think about what you are doing in the session. It also gives you a chance to ask your supervisor questions.

If you can secure a position in a clinic that has BCBAs/ BCaBAs on staff this will help you get input and guidance from different people. This can help you learn a greater variety of skills at a faster pace.

We hope you have found this post helpful! Post your question or comment in the comment box below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *