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with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Study Topics: Skill Acquisition (Part 1)

As mentioned in the previous RBT Study Topics posts, “The Registered Behavior TechnicianTM (RBT®) is a paraprofessional who practices under the close, ongoing supervision of a BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA. The RBT is primarily responsible for the direct implementation of behavior-analytic services. The RBT does not design intervention or assessment plans.” (

The RBT Task list is a document which describes concepts that an RBT must be familiar with in order to provide applied behavior analysis services.

There are many topics on the RBT task list including: Measurement, Assessment, Skill Acquisition, Behavior Reduction, Documentation and Reporting, and Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice. (

The Skill Acquisition category of the RBT task list includes the following concepts:

  • C-01 Identify the essential components of a written skill acquisition plan
    • A skill acquisition plan is the written plan which is developed by the Behavior Analyst that contains information about behavior programming for the purposes of teaching certain skills.
    • The essential components of a skill acquisition plan include a description of the target skill being taught, materials needed for teaching, prompting strategies to be used, the consequences for correct or incorrect responding, mastery criteria, reinforcement strategies, and plan for generalization and maintenance.
  • C-02 Prepare for the session as required by the skill acquisition plan.
    • To prepare for the session, have your materials and the environment set up so that you can run the plan as designed. Also, be sure to have reinforcement items easily accessible.
  • C-03 Use contingencies of reinforcement (e.g., conditioned/unconditioned reinforcement,
    continuous/intermittent schedules).

  • Conditioned reinforcement refers to reinforcement that gets its value by being paired with another reinforcer (It is “conditioned.”). Unconditioned reinforcement refers to reinforcement that does not need to be learned or conditioned. For example, some examples of unconditioned reinforcers may include food, drink, escape from pain, and physical attention. Conditioned reinforcement may include things such as tokens, money, praise, grades, toys, etc.
  • Continuous schedules of reinforcement refers to giving reinforcement for every occurrence of the behavior while intermittent schedules of reinforcement refers to only some instances of the behavior producing reinforcement.

Other Articles You Might Like:

RBT Study Topics: Skill Acquisition: Part 2

RBT Study Topics: Skill Acquisition: Part 3

image credit: DeeMPhotography via Fotalia


Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Study Topics: Skill Acquisition (Part 1)

Heather Gilmore, MSW, BCBA

Heather is a freelance writer, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and social worker. Heather takes interest in topics related to parenting, children, families, personal development, health and wellness, applied behavior analysis, as well as Autism, ADHD, Depression and Anxiety. Contact Heather if you would like to inquire about obtaining her freelance writing services.You can view more articles and resources from Heather at and email her at [email protected] can also advertise your autism services at one of Heather's websites: is the developer of the "One-Year ABA Parent Training Curriculum."


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APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2019). Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Study Topics: Skill Acquisition (Part 1). Psych Central. Retrieved on February 22, 2020, from