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How to Pass the RBT Competency Assessment

How to Pass the RBT Competency Assessment

The RBT competency assessment is an essential step in becoming a registered behavior technician.

The test is mandated by the Behavioral Analyst Certification Board (BACB) and assesses if you have the practical skills, knowledge and ability to perform the tasks required of an RBT.

Being a Registered Behaviour Technician (RBT) is a rewarding career. With demand for the role expected to grow by at least 12% each year, it is also one with security.

As RBTs work with children and behavioral analysis, the RBT competency assessment is a mandatory exam, necessary for accreditation.

This article will help you start your preparation by sharing details about the test process and other ways to best prepare.

How to Become an RBT

A Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is a paraprofessional who works directly with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

RBTs play a crucial role in the implementation of behavior analysis services.

To become an RBT, individuals must complete specific requirements, which typically include:

  • Education and training – RBTs undergo specific training to learn the principles and techniques of applied behavior analysis (ABA). This training is typically provided by a BCBA or other qualified trainers.

  • Competency assessment – RBT candidates must demonstrate their skills and knowledge through a competency assessment. This assessment evaluates their ability to implement ABA techniques effectively.

  • Supervision – RBTs work under the supervision of a BCBA or other qualified supervisors. Supervisors provide guidance, oversight, and regular feedback to ensure quality services and adherence to ethical standards.

  • Ethical requirements – RBTs must adhere to the ethical guidelines established by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). This includes maintaining client confidentiality, respecting client rights, and promoting the welfare of clients.

Once these requirements are met, individuals can apply for RBT certification through the BACB.

Once certified, RBTs can provide direct ABA services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

These services typically involve:

  • Implementing behavior intervention plans
  • Collecting data on client progress
  • Assisting with skill acquisition and behavior reduction programs

What Is the 40-Hour Training Program?

The 40-hour training program refers to the specific training requirement for individuals seeking to become Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs).

It is a standardized training program established by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the organization responsible for certifying RBTs.

The 40-hour training program is designed to provide individuals with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to implement applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques effectively.

The program covers various topics related to ABA, including:

  • Introduction to behavior analysis – This includes an overview of the principles and concepts of behavior analysis, understanding the functions of behavior and the importance of data collection.

  • Measurement – This covers the different methods of collecting and recording data on behavior, including frequency, duration and latency measures.

  • Assessment – The training program teaches various assessment techniques used in ABA, such as functional behavior assessments (FBAs) and preference assessments.

  • Skill acquisition – This section focuses on teaching strategies and techniques for promoting skill development, including prompting, reinforcement and shaping.

  • Behavior reduction – The training program covers strategies for addressing challenging behaviors, such as functional communication training, extinction and differential reinforcement.

  • Documentation and reporting – RBTs learn how to maintain accurate records, write progress notes, and communicate effectively with supervisors and other team members.

The 40-hour training program can be completed through various formats, including in-person workshops, online courses or a combination of both.

It is important to choose a training program that is approved by the BACB to ensure that it meets the required standards.

After completing the 40-hour training, individuals must also pass a competency assessment to demonstrate their understanding and application of the learned material.

Once the training and assessment requirements are fulfilled, individuals can apply for RBT certification through the BACB.

What Is the RBT Initial Competency Assessment?

The RBT initial competency assessment is the second stage of your certification and can only be taken once you have successfully finished the 40-hour training program.

Deciding when to complete the test is essential as it also cannot be completed more than 90 days before submitting your final RBT certification application.

The test is mandated by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) and assesses if you are skilled enough to work as an RBT.

The RBT assessment can only be administered by those with BACB certification and eight hours of supervision training.

As well as administering the test, the assessor is also responsible for:

  • Ensuring the test meets BACB requirements
  • Ensuring the test meets quality standards
  • Maintaining all assessment records
  • Signing the assessment

If you prefer, the person who delivered your 40-hour training program can also be your assessor.

What Does the RBT Competency Assessment Measure?

The RBT initial competency assessment measures:

  • Measurement – Data and graphs, continuous measurement and discontinuous measurement
  • Assessment – ABC data and preference assessments
  • Skill acquisition and behavior reduction – Discrete-trial teaching, naturalistic teaching, chaining, shaping, discrimination training, stimulus control transfer, prompting, token systems, crisis/emergency, antecedent interventions, differential reinforcement and extinction
  • Professionalism and requirements – Session notes, client dignity, professional boundaries, supervision requirements, clinical direction

As you can see, there are a lot of concepts and skills assessed making RBT competency assessment practice essential.

What to Expect During the RBT Initial Competency Assessment

The RBT competency exam consists of 20 tasks to be completed through:

  • Role-plays – The assessor will observe and evaluate your performance with a colleague or assistant assessor acting as the client.
  • Interactions with clients – Your assessor will evaluate your skills while working with a client.
  • Interviews – Your assessor will ask you to demonstrate your understanding of the concepts and give examples through an in-person or online interview.

Tasks 1 to 3 assess your measurement skills and will use interviews, client interactions and role-plays to evaluate your performance.

Tasks 4 to 5 will use role-plays or clients to measure your assessment skills.

Tasks 6 to 15 will also only use role-plays or clients to assess your skill acquisition and behavior-reduction abilities. At least three of the tasks must be with clients.

Tasks 16 to 20 assess your professionalism and requirement skills. Task 16 can be completed by role-play, with a client or in an interview. Tasks 17 to 20 all take the interview format.

The RBT competency exam should take between one to three hours to complete.

RBT Competency Assessment
RBT Competency Assessment

How to Prepare for the RBT Initial Competency Assessment

The RBT training and competency assessment covers a lot of subject areas, so you will need to prepare before taking the test.

Below are five of the best ways you can prepare yourself.

Step 1. Understand the Assessment

Knowing exactly what the test assesses, and how, is essential to your success. There is nothing worse than entering an exam and being overwhelmed by the process because you have no idea what to expect.

Forums such as Reddit and Quora are great resources as the contributors tend to be those who have taken the assessment, or are about to.

They provide a lot of advice and can give great insights.

The BACB assessment sheet and task list will also help you better understand the exam and what is expected of you.

Step 2. Review Your 40-hour RBT Course Notes

Your 40-hour RBT course is designed to give you all the tools and information you need to succeed.

Read through your notes and course material to familiarize yourself with the concepts and identify any areas you still need to improve.

Dedicate more time to those concepts you don’t fully understand.

Step 3. Get an Online Study Preparation Package

An RBT competency assessment study guide or preparation pack will explain everything you need to know and offer lots of advice for each assessment area.

You will need to pay for them. But, if you are serious about your career, then it is an investment well made.

Step 4. Take Online Practice Tests and Quizzes

Completing a practice RBT initial competency assessment online will help you with time management and confidence as the more you do something, the more familiar it becomes.

You can also ask a friend, family member or colleague to work through some role-plays.

Acting out scenarios is incredibly difficult for some people. The only way to work through those nerves and stress is to practice until it becomes second nature.

Step 5. Rest and Relax Before the Assessment

When we are focused on something as important as our careers, we tend to forget to look after ourselves.

The day before your assessment, take the time to do something enjoyable, even if it is just for an hour.

The night before, ensure you get a good night's sleep.

On the morning of the RBT initial competency assessment ensure you eat a nutritional breakfast and drink lots of water.

Lack of sleep, dehydration and poor nutrition result in a slower thinking process. If you want to perform your best, take care of yourself.

What Happens After the Assessment?

The passing score for the RBT initial competency assessment is 80%. This means you can only get four questions wrong.

You will find out your results immediately after the assessment is completed.

If you pass, your assessor will give you the completed assessment form which you will need to submit when applying for the RBT final exam.

Before submitting, ensure your assessor has:

  • Initialed each task
  • Checked the box to confirm if that task was completed in an interview, role-play or client format
  • Signed and dated the form

If you fail, you will have to book another competency assessment to reassess those tasks you failed.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best way to prepare for the RBT competency assessment is to find out as much as you can about the exam, read through your training program notes and materials to identify those concepts you still need to develop, take a practice RBT initial competency assessment online and work through role-plays with friends, family or colleagues.

The RBT competency assessment is the second stage of your RBT accreditation process. It consists of 20 tasks measuring different skills and concepts.

The assessor will evaluate your knowledge through role-plays, client interactions and interviews. The assessment should take no more than three hours.

Without the correct preparation, the RBT competency assessment can be difficult to pass. There are a lot of procedures, concepts and skills measured and such a short space of time.

The test format of role-plays and client interactions can also make it more difficult as it is not a standard assessment process. However, if you have taken the time to prepare – for example, using RBT competency assessment study guides – you should be able to pass with confidence.

After completing your 40-hour training program, you need to schedule your RBT competency assessment. Your training program facilitator will provide you with all the information about how to book an assessor. If you prefer, your trainer can also be your assessor for the test.

The best way to prepare for the RBT competency assessment is to find out as much as you can about the assessment, read through your training program notes and materials to identify those concepts you still need to develop, take a practice RBT competency assessment online and work through role-plays with friends, family or colleagues. If you have the budget, you can also invest in a preparation pack.

The RBT competency assessment is a series of 20 role-plays, client interactions and interviews all designed to assess whether you are ready to take the final RBT exam.

The RBT competency assessment takes between one and three hours to complete. Though, as there is no official time limit, it can take longer if needed.

You can find sample questions for the RBT competency assessment online on BT Exam Review. Your training facilitator might also have a preparation pack and example questions for you to work through.

The purpose of the RBT competency assessment is to see if you have the practical skills and knowledge to become an RBT.

Yes, it is possible for you to take the RBT competency assessment online with an accredited assessor.

Yes, it is possible to fail the RBT competency assessment. To pass you will need to score at least 80% or 16/20.

You can get a complete guide for the RBT competency assessment online on BT Exam Review. Your training facilitator should also provide preparation packs for you to work through.

Final Thoughts

The RBT competency assessment can be quite intense. You must demonstrate lots of practical skills and knowledge in real-life situations.

However, with the right preparation and confidence in your abilities, you will be able to pass.

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