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What to Expect on the RBT Competency Assessment

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:

Measurement

  1. Continuous measurement
  2. Discontinuous measurement
  3. Data and graphs

Assessment

  1. Preference assessments
  2. ABC data

Skill Acquisition and Behavior Reduction (three of tasks 6-15 must be demonstrated with a client)

  1. Discrete-trial teaching
  2. Naturalistic teaching
  3. Chaining
  4. Shaping
  5. Discrimination training
  6. Stimulus control transfer
  7. Prompting
  8. Token systems
  9. Crisis/emergency
  10. Demonstrate one of the following:
    1. Antecedent interventions
    2. Differential reinforcement
    3. Extinction

Professionalism and Requirements

  1. Session notes
  2. Client dignity
  3. Professional boundaries
  4. Supervision requirements
  5. 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.

1. How old is your child or dependent?

2. What are your goals for your child?

3. Has your child been given a formal diagnosis of autism?

4. What types of behavior is your child demonstrating?





Please select a value.

Readiness

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Readiness program. This individualized, evidence-based program teaches young children skills they need to accelerate their learning and gain independence. Using imitation and naturalistic learning techniques, your child will develop useful skills in the areas of speech and language, cognition, and self-awareness. A program for children ages 0-3. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Foundations

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Foundations program. This program gives preschool and school-age children the structure to achieve important social, emotional, and intellectual milestones, helping them test within their peers’ range. With 25+ hours of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy per week, your child will develop social skills and better self-awareness for school and home. A program for children ages 4-7. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Breakthroughs

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Breakthroughs program. Specifically designed for children who have limited hours due to school schedules, this program removes life barriers by developing communication, social, and self-help skills. We teach your child to engage in appropriate behaviors, helping them interact with peers and develop relationships. A program for children ages 8-11.

Interactions

Your answers indicate that your child may be best treated in the Interactions program. Through guided social skills groups twice a week, this program helps improve social functioning in children ages 5 to 16. Parent or caregiver participation is crucial to this program; our certified staff provides training for successful participation.

Independence

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Independence program. Geared toward older children, this program includes more in-depth skills that will help your child function independently. Taught skills include functional communication, self-management, and financial literacy. A program for individuals ages 12-25. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Your Child My Be Suited to Multiple Programs

Independence

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Independence program. Geared toward older children, this program includes more in-depth skills that will help your child function independently. Taught skills include functional communication, self-management, and financial literacy. A program for individuals ages 12-25. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Strategies

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Strategies program. The most age-encompassing of our programs, the goal of Strategies is to reduce challenging behaviors and issues with aggression. These behaviors interfere with independence and community participation, so we work to mitigate those challenges and encourage safe, appropriate behavior for individuals of any age. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Strategies

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Strategies program. The most age-encompassing of our programs, the goal of Strategies is to reduce challenging behaviors and issues with aggression. These behaviors interfere with independence and community participation, so we work to mitigate those challenges and encourage safe, appropriate behavior for individuals of any age. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Breakthroughs and/or Interactions

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited to the Breakthroughs or Interactions programs. These programs treat similar symptoms, so Therapeutic Pathways will need to meet with you and your child before we can place them within the appropriate program.

Specifically designed for children who have limited hours due to school schedules, Breakthroughs removes life barriers by developing communication, social, and self-help skills. We teach your child to engage in appropriate behaviors, helping them interact with peers and develop relationships.

Through guided social skills groups twice a week, Interactions helps improve social functioning in children. Parent or caregiver participation is crucial to this program; our certified staff provides training for successful participation.

*This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Your Child My Be Suited to Multiple Programs

Breakthroughs and/or Interactions

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited to the Breakthroughs or Interactions programs. These programs treat similar symptoms, so Therapeutic Pathways will need to meet with you and your child before we can place them within the appropriate program.

Specifically designed for children who have limited hours due to school schedules, Breakthroughs removes life barriers by developing communication, social, and self-help skills. We teach your child to engage in appropriate behaviors, helping them interact with peers and develop relationships.

Through guided social skills groups twice a week, Interactions helps improve social functioning in children. Parent or caregiver participation is crucial to this program; our certified staff provides training for successful participation.

*This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.

Strategies

Your answers indicate that your child may be best suited for the Strategies program. The most age-encompassing of our programs, the goal of Strategies is to reduce challenging behaviors and issues with aggression. These behaviors interfere with independence and community participation, so we work to mitigate those challenges and encourage safe, appropriate behavior for individuals of any age. *This is a suggestion based on the answers you submitted. Please contact Therapeutic Pathways at (209) 422-3280 to discuss which program would best suit your child.