LESSONS FROM THE FIELD: RBT Career Advancement
While we continue to bring to surface issues and begin to identify the root cause of BT/RBT turnover, we should also acknowledge, celebrate and share best practices from the field.
Here’s a contribution from J.J. Tomash, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CEO and Founder at BehaviorSpan regarding RBT Career Path…
We believe that the implementation side of ABA (RBT) has been very under-appreciated. It is equal in importance to the programming (BCBA) side. Once we realized this, we started making promotions for our RBTs, to reflect those that become great at implementing plans and teaching others. We have some amazing RBT’s, and we wanted d them to know they can stay with us forever and have fulfilling careers, full of advancement and appreciation. We also do a few times every year and offer substantial pay raises. We prefer to reward those that stay with us longer and pay them increasingly well. I look forward to a day when we have RBT’s with our company retiring, having had a fulfilling career, and having seen their job advance and reach its potential.
Our first level of promotion is to Lead RBT. Lead RBT’s are selected through nominations and discussions among the admin team and BCBA’s. We decide whether to offer them the opportunity to become a Lead-In Training (LIT). LIT’s must go through a training course where we not only validate that they are exceptional in the skills required of RBT’s (they will almost certainly have had this to be accepted) but teach them additional leadership skills to manage a team of three RBT’s that they will mentor and help manage. Towards the end of the training, they are given one RBT to mentor, and that RBT’s performance then begins to reflect on them as a leader. This tests if they have not only the competencies, but the active soft skills required to lead. If they do well, they are promoted to Lead RBT.
One of my lead tech guys is out this week but when he gets back, I will ask him to create a resource center on our website where we can keep a running list of ideas that others can reference.
Thanks for sharing JJ!