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Home » Pro » Reflections on Applied Behavior Analysis » RBT Study Topics: Professional Conduct (Part 1 of 2)


with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

RBT Study Topics: Professional Conduct (Part 1 of 2)

Registered behavior technicians should be familiar with the RBT task list developed by the BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board). There are a variety of skills that an RBT should be familiar with and be able to implement in practice when providing applied behavior analysis services.

One of the multiple categories of skills that the RBT task list addresses is the area of professional conduct.

To view the RBT Task List view it on the BACB website.

The Professional Conduct category includes the following items:

  • F-01 Describe the role of the RBT in the service delivery system.
  • F-02 Respond appropriately to feedback and maintain or improve performance accordingly.
  • F-03 Communicate with stakeholders (e.g., family, caregivers, other professionals) as authorized.
  • F-04 Maintain professional boundaries (e.g., avoid dual relationships, conflicts of interest, social
  • media contacts).
  • F-05 Maintain client dignity.

In this post, we will be discussing items F-01 and F-02.

F-01 Describe the role of the RBT in the service delivery system.

In human services, it is important to understand your role and boundaries of what service is being provided. Understanding the role of the RBT in the service delivery system is an important part of the position of being a registered behavior technician.

There are four credentials approved by the BACB.

The credentials include:

  • BCBA-D
  • BCBA
  • BCaBA
  • RBT

The RBT’s role involves implementing the service protocol designed by the supervisor which could be any of the other three credentials (including the BCaBA, BCBA, or BCBA-D). A BCaBA requires oversight by a BCBA or BCBA-D.

An RBT is the credential at a high school diploma level. The BCaBA is a bachelor’s degree level credential and is known as an Assistant Behavior Analyst. The BCBA is a master’s level degree credential. Individuals with this credential are known as Behavior Analysts. The BCBA-D credential is a doctoral level position. BCBA-D’s are also known as Behavior Analysts.

The RBT is required to provide the direct ABA service to the identified client including skill acquisition programs and behavior intervention plans.

The BACB presents a tiered service delivery model for the provision of behavior analysis services. In this model of service delivery, there are two possible organizational strategies. One includes multiple RBTs working under the direction of a BCBA or BCBA-D. The second one includes multiple RBTs working under the direction of a BCaBA while one or more BCaBAs can work under the direction of a BCBA or BCBA-D.

It is important to understand that the supervisor (BCBA-D, BCBA, or BCaBA) develops the treatment plans, makes modifications to treatment, and provides a majority of clinical recommendations to caregivers and other professionals while the RBT implements the service plans to the client and assists with some of the supervisory activities.

F-02 Respond appropriately to feedback and maintain or improve performance accordingly.

Responding appropriately to feedback and maintaining or improving performance accordingly is an important skill of RBTs. Part of an RBTs role includes taking feedback from a supervisor. The supervisor will be modifying treatment to help ensure the client is making progress on goals and to help with any behavioral concerns that arise.

To respond appropriately to feedback, the RBT should utilize active listening skills which involves listening to and comprehending what information the supervisor provides. An RBT should utilize the following tips in response to feedback:

  • Act professionally and respectfully
  • Implement changes recommended by the supervisor
  • Bring concerns to the supervisor in a clear and timely manner yet still understanding the supervisor’s role is to make the final decision in the treatment plan
  • Be consistent with the implementation of the feedback provided throughout treatment sessions
  • Document treatment modifications appropriately

Consider reviewing the book,
Ethics for Behavior Analysts, 3rd Edition

Other Articles You May Like:

RBT Study Topic: Behavior Reduction (Part 1 of 2)

Brief History of Applied Behavior Analysis

Parent Training Recommendations for ABA Professionals

RBT Study Topics: Professional Conduct (Part 1 of 2)


APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2019). RBT Study Topics: Professional Conduct (Part 1 of 2). Psych Central. Retrieved on July 17, 2019, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/child-therapist/2019/02/rbt-study-topics-professional-conduct-part-1-of-2/