Registered Behavior Technicians are in high demand in the ABA field. If you're interviewing for an RBT position, make sure that you're asking the right questions so that you get a clearer idea of the type of clinical environment that you will be working in. The following questions should be asked in an interview so that you know the quality of the agency you are interviewing with and not just the amount they are willing to pay you.
1. How many clients are on the BCBAs caseload?
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board has published a guide for how many clients a BCBA should supervise. BCBAs who have smaller caseloads are better able to manage their caseloads and provide you the appropriate observations, feedback and supervision.
2. What training will I receive?
The initial 40 hours of RBT Training provides a great foundation for the RBT. However, RBTs should receive regular training on ABA principles and procedures in order to keep vocabulary and implementation of skills up to date. Our agency closes the first Monday of every month to focus on training. We also provide training daily at our morning meetings before clients arrive.
3. How is RBT Supervision tracked?
As an RBT, you are responsible for making sure you meet supervision requirements and that you have a record that 5% of your hours were supervised. You always want to maintain a log of your supervision hours for yourself and keep copies for your records.
4. How often does the BCBA observe me with my client and provide feedback?
Insurance typically authorizes program observation and feedback at 5% of the client’s authorized hours. Therefore, if a client is authorized to receive 30 hours per week of therapy, the BCBA is authorized for 1.5 hours or more per week to observe and provide feedback. The BCBA should observe you implementing sessions and provide feedback to you a minimum of 5% of the hours your client is authorized. It is possible if you are working home based that the BCBA may come out on a day that you are not scheduled. However, there should be some type of communication system to update you on program changes and so that you can provide feedback or ask questions.
5. How often are programs updated?
Programs should be updated a minimum of weekly with new targets. Program updates are completed during observations and supervision of the RBT. New targets should be added as old targets are met in order for you to have sufficient goals to work on during a therapy session.
6. How do we record data?
Data collection is a critical aspect of your job. Is data collected electronically and if so, what training is provided on the electronic system? Will you be given a tablet? Does it stay at the center or client home? What happens if it is lost, stolen or damaged? Is data collected via paper/pencil? If so, how often are data sheets collected and forms replenished? This question is vital to know if that you will have the proper tools to complete your role.
7. What crisis management program will I be trained on?
If you will be working with clients who exhibit behaviors that are a danger to others or themselves, you should be provided with crisis management training. A crisis management system that is used company wide is a sign that the company is on one accord when responding to crisis.
8. What supports do techs receive during crisis management?
BCBA support during crisis situations should be the standard in center based settings. Support may not always come in the form of the BCBA implementing crisis management procedures for you, but helping to remove items/people, taking data, ensuring that procedures are implemented correctly, and relieving staff as needed are all tasks that a BCBA can do to provide support during crisis.
9. How are parents involved in treatment?
The end goal of a great ABA program is to generalize skills to home and the community. As an ABA Center, we never know when services may have to end due to unforeseen circumstances. Due to this, parents should be involved in treatment at a minimum of 1 time per month. Parent involvement in treatment aids in faster skill acquisition as well as generalization. A great ABA agency prioritizes family involvement.
10. How often do I receive a performance review?
Annual performance reviews are a thing of the past. In ABA, we deal with real people and feedback on our performance should be frequent so that we are constantly helping our clients to become as independent as possible. Our agency provides monthly feedback that is tied to an incentive. Some agencies will not be this frequent, but you want to ask in the interview how often your performance is reviewed with you.
In your interview, ask if you can also speak with current employees. Current employees, especially RBTs, will give you honest and unfiltered feedback. Do your research when on the job hunt so that you are choosing quality ABA therapy providers over providers who lure you with high dollar signs and offer poor/no training and low quality services.
Quality over quantity!
Nikki Gray is a Board Certified and licensed behavior analyst. As the CEO & Founder of The Indiana Institute for Behavior Analysis, Nikki oversees and guides clinical and administrative procedures in order to ensure that clients receive the best care and that employees are supported and trained.