RBT Renewal: How to Apply & Prepare
A series of tasks must be completed in order to renew your RBT certification. You should start the RBT renewal process about a month and a half before your expiration date.
A competency assessment must be completed not more than 45 days prior to your expiration date.
The RBT renewal application must also be fully completed. After you pay the renewal fee, your application documents can be uploaded to your online BACB account. If your application is accepted, you should be notified of your renewed certification within two weeks.
The registered behavior technician (RBT) certification is for paraprofessionals working in the field of behavior analysis.
RBTs are responsible for delivering behavior analysis services and interventions directly to clients. Although they must always work under the close supervision of a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) or RBT supervisor, RBTs must maintain their certifications to demonstrate they have up-to-date skills and knowledge of behavior analysis best practices and interventions.
Initial RBT certification is far more involved than the renewal process. In order to obtain initial certification, you must:
- Be a legal adult.
- Obtain a high school diploma.
- Pass a background check.
- Finish an accredited 40-hour training.
- Pass an initial competency assessment.
- Apply for certification.
- Take and pass the national RBT certification exam.
As soon as you pass the national exam, you are certified to work as an RBT. In order to maintain your certification, you must receive ongoing supervision of your work with clients, adhere to the RBT ethics code, and regularly renew your certificate.
Renewing Your RBT Certificate
Per the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), your RBT certificate must be renewed every year. The expiration date of your certificate is one year from the day you passed the RBT exam or the date you last renewed your certificate. You can confirm the exact expiration date in your online BACB account and on the Certificant Registry.
If you have been receiving ongoing supervision and have adhered to the ethics code, you are likely eligible to renew your certificate. Renewing your certificate takes some time, so it is important to complete the steps of the renewal process diligently.
The Renewal Process
The Registered Behavior Technician Handbook created by the BACB provides clear instructions for how to renew your certificate. While you must renew your certificate annually, you cannot renew it any sooner than 45 days before your expiration date.
The timeline of the renewal process is as follows:
- No more than 45 days before the renewal date, complete a competency assessment.
- Once the assessment is complete, you must complete the renewal application.
- Once the application is complete, pay the $35 renewal fee and submit your application.
- Wait up to two weeks.
- Receive a renewal notice by email.
The Renewal Competency Assessment
The renewal competency assessment is required each year to ensure the ongoing proficiency of RBTs in performing critical behavior technician skills, explains the BACB. Because RBTs regularly perform hands-on activities with clients, the competency assessment is a valuable tool for ensuring a certain standard of care is being delivered.
Here are some key features of the competency assessment:
- The assessment must be administered by a BACB-certified behavior therapist (BCaBA, BCBA, or BCBA-D) who has completed the required eight-hour supervision training and is a designated responsible assessor.
- An assistant assessor may conduct some or all of the assessment, but the responsible assessor is still professionally and ethically accountable for the assessment.
- The assessment cannot be completed more than 45 days prior to the renewal date.
- The assessment may be conducted over one or multiple sessions.
- It can be conducted in person, live over the internet, or by observation of recorded videos made specifically for the purposes of the competency assessment.
The competency assessment is an opportunity for RBTs to demonstrate their skills for working with clients. It is not a written test but rather an assessment of how RBTs perform certain tasks. RBTs can be evaluated performing tasks with a client, through roleplaying exercises, or through a live interview.
What if I Missed My Recertification Date?
If you miss your renewal date for any reason, you still have the chance to renew your certificate. It is essential that you renew your certification as soon as possible, as your certification automatically expires if it is not renewed on time.
If it has been 30 days or less since the expiration date, you just need to submit the standard renewal application with the additional $50 late fee. If it has been more than 30 days since the expiration date, you will have to reapply for certification and meet all current certification requirements.
Preparing for RBT Renewal
In preparation for your RBT renewal, you must make sure that you have all of the documents needed to submit a completed RBT Renewal Application. To guide you through the renewal process, the BACB provides a renewal checklist with steps and tips for how to complete each part of the application process.
The renewal checklist suggests the following:
- Update your name and contact information on your BACB account, if necessary.
- Review the RBT Handbook, including the certificate maintenance requirements.
- Complete your renewal competency assessment.
- Fill out the entire renewal application.
- Pay the renewal fee, either online or by mail-in check.
- Upload all application documents, including the renewal application and your competency assessment into your online BACB account.
Once all of the above renewal steps have been completed, you just have to monitor your email and BACB account for any communication coming from the BACB. If more information is needed, you will need to submit it before your certification can be renewed. If no additional information is required, you just need to wait for an email that confirms your RBT certification has been renewed for another year.
RBT Renewal. (January 2020). Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
RBT Renewal Competency Assessment. (October 2019). Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
Registered Behavior Technician. Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
Registered Behavior Technician Handbook. (May 2020). Behavior Analyst Certification Board.