The Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Competency Assessment is one of the requirements to become an RBT. The assessment contains a total of 20 tasks to complete and is administered by a board-certified professional.
Let us help you prepare for the test. Keep reading to learn what’s expected to successfully pass your assessment the first time. Visit our website to learn more about being an RBT at a renowned autism center like Therapeutic Pathways.
What is a Competency Assessment?
Similar to how a medical student must pass the board exam to become a physician, a Behavior Technician (BT) must pass an Initial Competency Assessment (and written examinations) to become a registered ABA professional.
This assessment isn’t the only requirement needed to become an RBT but the Competency Assessment builds on what the BT learns in their 40-hour training program, testing their ability to carry out required tasks. The Assessment is complete when the BT demonstrates competency in each task as determined by the assessor (more on this below).
You must demonstrate proficiency in the terminology, implementation, and evaluation of various behavior mechanisms as defined by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
The assessment can only be administered after completing your 40-hour training. The assessment cannot be completed more than 90 days before submitting an RBT certification application.
What’s on the Test?
You must complete 20 tasks for the RBT Competency Assessment. We won’t go into all 20 in this blog, but you can access a detailed copy of the RBT Task List (2nd edition) for free online. It may be helpful to print out this page and follow along with it as you prepare for the Assessment.
On a high level, you’ll be evaluated on your knowledge and implementation of the following:
- Continuous measurement
- Discontinuous measurement
- Data and graphs
- Preference assessments
- ABC data
Skill Acquisition and Behavior Reduction (three of tasks 6-15 must be demonstrated with a client)
- Discrete-trial teaching
- Naturalistic teaching
- Discrimination training
- Stimulus control transfer
- Token systems
- Demonstrate one of the following:
- Antecedent interventions
- Differential reinforcement
Professionalism and Requirements
- Session notes
- Client dignity
- Professional boundaries
- Supervision requirements
- Clinical direction
Although it seems extensive, the assessment is typically completed in an hour. To learn more about the roles and responsibilities of BTs and RBTs, visit Therapeutic Pathways’ Careers page.
Who Administers the Assessment?
Not just anyone can administer the RBT Competency Assessment. Only BACB-certified individuals (BCaBA, BCBA, or BCBA-D) with the required 8-hour supervision training may administer the assessment.
In addition to implementing the assessment itself, the assessor must ensure that the test is conducted in accordance with the requirements set by the BACB; maintain all records of all assessments; ensure that the assessment meets quality standards; and sign the Initial Competency Assessment.
You may also have an assistant assessor conducting the assessment. Because the assistant does not need a BACB certification, they must be alongside the responsible (main) assessor at all times. The responsible assessor may delegate some of the assessment to the assistant, but they are professionally and ethically accountable for all of the assistant’s actions.
The BACB allows your assessor to be the same person who implemented your 40-hour training course.
What to Expect When Completing the Assessment
As an RBT applicant, all of your training and hard work has led up to this moment. The RBT Competency Assessment may be conducted in person or through the internet over one or more sessions.
During the test, the assessor will observe you performing each of the tasks listed above, after which, they will evaluate whether the task was performed satisfactorily. Based on the specific set of tasks, you may be asked to engage in one of three assessment types:
- With a client – The assessor will observe and evaluate how you perform the task with a client.
- Role-play – The assessor will observe and evaluate how you perform the task with another person acting in the role of a client.
- Interview – The assessor will conduct a live interview, whether in person or online, during which you must describe or discuss in detail the relevant concept and provide examples when applicable.
If you don’t demonstrate competence (proficiency) in a task, the assessor may provide you with corrective feedback and at a later date the assessment will then be re-administered to identify if competency is now demonstrated.
What to Expect After Completing the RBT Assessment
After completing the RBT Competency Assessment, you will prepare for your RBT Exam. We start by assisting you in creating an account with the BACB where we help upload all the required documents to complete the process and pay for the application fees. The RBT exam can be taken either on site or at a Pearson location. Leading up to your exam, we have a variety of methods to assist you in passing the exam the first time. You will have access to RBT mock exams, study sessions, and our own RBT jeopardy where you will review the concepts you’ll need to know to successfully pass the exam.
At Therapeutic Pathways, we hire the best of the best to create a healthy, unique working environment built on confidence and trust. Visit our Careers page to learn more about the opportunities available to you.