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Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists

ACBIS Information


The Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) offers a voluntary national certification program for both direct care staff and professionals working in brain injury services.

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 is to 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, achieving a 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 individuals or as members 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. Click here to view 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. 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.

How do I request accommodations for an ACBIS examination?

ACBIS provides reasonable testing accommodations, guided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, to certification candidates with documented disabilities. Candidates should review the information and complete the Request for Accommodations form (below) to be considered for accommodations. 


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