Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #273
CE Offered: BACB
The Registered Behavior Technician™ (RBT®) Credential: Training Outcomes and Concerns
Sunday, May 28, 2017
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 2A
Area: PRA/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership Foundation)
CE Instructor: Justin B. Leaf, Ph.D.

In 2014, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) initiated a program for providing the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential. Since its inception, there are now thousands of individuals with the RBT credential. There are many variables contributing to the rapid adaptation of this minimal standard for the training of paraprofessionals and direct care staff. As a result, empirical studies evaluating the most efficient and effective training methods that lead to generalization and long term maintenance are warranted. This symposium includes two studies that evaluate the effects of various training methods as it relates to the RBT credential. In addition to establishing effective training practices, some have documented concerns with respect to the RBT credential as a whole. The third paper in this symposium outlines these concerns and potential remedies. Taken together, the papers presented here provide an empirical and conceptual evaluation of the newly introduced standards within the field of ASD intervention.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): autism, certification, RBT, staff training

A Comparison of Highly-Structured Versus Self-Paced Training Protocols: Increasing Training Efficiency for Behavior Technicians

(Applied Research)
LAUREN LESA LANIER (CARE, LLC; Endicott College), Thomas L. Zane (Endicott College), Janet A. Schaefer (CARE, LLC)

While training modalities continue to be a concern, access to training resources for direct service providers and program supervisors are more readily available today. A multitude of both formal and informal training programs in applied behavior analysis (ABA) can be accessed via didactic, hands-on, remote and hybrid formats for direct service personnel. Additionally, the supervisory role has been improved with the application of formal certification through university programs. Among the available certifications, the most widely known and utilized is available through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The BACB was established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services (BACB, n.d.). This board oversees formal certification on four levels; doctoral, master's, bachelor's, and paraprofessional. The purpose of this study is to compare a highly supervised, structured training protocol utilizing detailed feedback from a certified professional, peer discussion, and a specified timeline to the current self-paced model utilized within a remote training agency in order to facilitate more efficient training of Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) candidates. More efficient completion of training protocols required for the RBT certification will ensure patients seeking ABA services are able to access those services more quickly due to the increased volume and availability of trained staff. This fits within the clients right to effective treatment and current research, which shows individuals progress more adequately when ABA programs are started as soon as possible.


An Evaluation of Generalizability and Maintenance Outcomes for Competency-Based Training Provided In-Vivo Versus Role Play

(Applied Research)
SOLANDY FORTE (Endicott College; CCSN: Center for Independence), Michael F. Dorsey (Endicott College), Mark J. Palmieri (CCSN: Center for Independence), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)

It is often necessary for the behavior analyst practitioner to work across a variety of settings including home, school, and community, in which it is common practice for behavior analysts to provide training to caregivers and direct staff who may have limited knowledge and experience within the field of applied behavior analysis. A review of the competency-based training literature supports this staff training approach as meeting the generally accepted standards to be considered an evidence-based practice. In 2013, the Behavior Analysis Certification Board initiated an effort to establish minimal standards for the training of paraprofessionals and direct care staff in the delivery of educational and treatment services based on the principles of applied behavior analysis. This new standard and certification is known as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). The purpose of this study was to evaluate if there is a difference between the generalizability and long-term maintenance of newly acquired skills, to novel opportunities for implementation, for trainees whose competencies were conducted in-vivo with clients versus through role play. The study was designed to evaluate the initial training outcomes as well as the generalizability and maintenance of such a competency-based training model.

Concerns About the Registered Behavior Technician™ in Relation to Effective Autism Intervention
(Service Delivery)
JUSTIN B. LEAF (Autism Partnership Foundation), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership Foundation), Mitchell T. Taubman (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Abstract: In 2014, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB®) initiated a program for credentialing behavior technicians. The new credential, Registered Behavior Technician™ (RBT®), is for providers of behavioral intervention to a wide range of individuals with mental health needs and developmental delays, including individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The RBT® would represent the entry-level position within the range of the BACB® credentials. Despite the increasing acceptance of this newest level of credential from the behavioral community, the authors of this paper have substantial concerns with the RBT® credential as it relates to the delivery of intervention to individuals diagnosed with ASD. This paper presentation will detail these concerns and propose remedies that would ensure that individuals diagnosed with ASD receive effective behavioral intervention.



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