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ACBIS - General Information

General Certification and Testing Information

All new paid applicants will receive a one-year subscription to the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation.

Application Fees:

Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer (CBIST): $300

Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) - Individual:  $300

CBIS - Group Rate (fees per person):

Cost Level

Candidates per Group

Cost per Person





Over 30


See the Group Administrators Page for more information about the current ACBIS Group Application Process.

See the CBIS Page for more information about the current CBIS Application and Testing Process.

Note: Application fees are non-refundable unless the applicant does not meet eligibility requirements; then a $35.00 cancellation fee applies.

Renewal fees:

CBIS and CBIST: $60 annual renewal fee

Term of Certification:

The initial term for both CBIS and CBIST certification is one year.

Notification of Certification:

CBIS candidates who have submitted all required application materials demonstrating eligibility and full payment, who have passed the examination, and whose completed files have been reviewed and approved, will receive their CBIS certificates via email no later than two days after passing the online examination. Approved candidates may then use the designation "CBIS".

In addition to the above, CBIST candidates must also attend one CBIST teleconference (held quarterly) in order to use the designation "CBIST".

Certification Denial:

Any one or more of the following conditions may result in denial of certification:

  • Failure to achieve a passing score on the CBIS Examination.
  • Failure to complete the Renewal Requirements each year.
  • Revocation of a professional license for violation of code of ethics.
  • Falsifying any information on application or required documentation.
  • Cheating on examinations.
  • Failure to pay the required fees.

Appeal Process:

An appeal process is available to applicants who are denied certification and who wish to have their eligibility for CBIS reviewed by the ACBIS Board of Governors. Applicants must make their request for an appeal in writing to the ACBIS Board. The Board will review the facts regarding the denial and investigate any of the mitigating factors related to an applicant's eligibility. The decision of the ACBIS Board is final. Written notice will be provided to the applicant within 90 days of the initiation of the appeal process.

Maintaining Certification:

To maintain certification, both CBISs and CBISTs must submit their annual renewal application and fee AND satisfy the continuing education requirements (see renewal process).

Special Accommodations:

Please visit this section of the ACBIS website for information on requesting examination accommodations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I have to go through Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) before becoming a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer (CBIST)?

No. All that is required is to meet the eligibility criteria for CBIST, achieve a passing score (80%) on the examination, and attend one training session via telephone.

Are applicants required to demonstrate practical skills as part of the certification process?

Although the Performance Based Assessment (oral evaluation required under the previous guidelines) is no longer necessary, there is a scenario section on the examination. This section includes questions regarding real-life scenarios that require the applicant to apply his/her knowledge to clinical situations. These scenarios are presented as reports that describe persons with brain injury. The report describes their background, explains their brain injury, summarizes their evaluation results, and lists the components of their rehabilitation program. The scenarios, or cases, include both children and adults who are in various situations and settings and are intended to be similar to real-life individuals that a person working in brain injury may encounter.

Once certified, how long is the certification period?

The certification period is one year. The certificant is required to submit a renewal application and fee every year.

How does a CBIST differ from a CBIS?

CBISTs are approved to provide official ACBIS training to CBIS candidates. They must demonstrate advanced skills in brain injury (i.e., working in brain injury settings, doing professional presentations, conducting trainings) and must provide documentation that those skills are being maintained through continuing education.

When can I begin to use the CBIS credentials after my name?

The CBIS credentials for either CBIS or CBIST cannot be used until official notification of certification. An ACBIS certificate is sent following application approval, passing score on the examination, and payment of fees.

Do I need to apply for CBIS on a group basis or can I do so individually?

Applicants can apply for certification as an individual or as a member of a group.

Are the fees the same for individual and group rates?

No, there are different fees for individuals and groups. Group fees are prorated based upon the size of the group being trained and certified. The fee schedule above provides an outline of those fees.

What is a Group Administrator?

A Group Administrator facilitates the certification process for a group of 5 or more CBIS candidates. This person represents the group throughout the certification process and acts as a liaison between ACBIS and the group. Guidelines and Instructions for Group Administrators are available here.

What are the advantages of being a CBIS?

Certification as a Brain Injury Specialist provides recognition of an individual's advanced training and work experience in brain injury services. The certification does not ensure that an individual is well-suited for employment (see disclaimer). Rather, the completion of the certification process demonstrates the certificant's commitment to learn about brain injury rehabilitation and to maintain that knowledge through continuing education. The certification also shows that the certificant is dedicated to providing improved quality of care for persons with brain injuries.

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