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.
What is the Certified Brain Injury Specialist and how do I apply?
Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) is a credential for individuals who assist persons with brain injury to restore, maintain, and promote optimal health. CBIS is the next step in professional development and has been widely recognized and respected for many years in the field of brain injury. The requirement for this certification includes having a high school diploma equivalency and 500 hours of verifiable direct contact experience with individuals with brain injury. Click here for more information on the full application process
What are the advantages of being a Certified Brain Injury Specialist?
CBIS 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.
Do I need to apply on a group basis or can I do so individually?
ACBIS 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 is the format of the ACBIS examination?
The ACBIS examination is administered online and scheduled for a two-hour time frame. Each application includes two attempts within a one-year period from the date of application submission. We no longer require the Performance Based Assessment (oral evaluation required under the previous guidelines). We have also removed the scenario sections on the examination. The exam is 70 multiple choice questions.
When can I take the ACBIS examination?
The ACBIS examination can only be taken after all forms and fees have been submitted and processed and an approval email has been received by the applicant. Both examination attempts must be taken within a one-year period from the date of application submission.
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.
Who can proctor the ACBIS examination?
An acceptable proctor is a current CBIS or CBIST, supervisor, or professional colleague working within the brain injury field. The proctor does not need to be ACBIS certified; however, he/she cannot hold an open application. Once an eligible proctor is identified, he/she will need to register (at no cost) by completing this form: Proctor Account Set-Up Form.
How does a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer differ from a Certified Brain Injury Specialist?
CBISTs are approved to provide official ACBIS training to CBIS candidates. They must have received a minimum of a bachelors degree from an accredited four-year institution. They are required to demonstrate a minimum of five years’ experience in the field of brain injury and present advanced skills in brain injury (i.e., developing guidelines or protocols for brain injury programs, conducting brain injury related trainings, publishing articles on brain injury rehabilitation) by providing documentation that those professional skills are being maintained through continuing education. For more information regarding the full application process, click here.
Do I have to become a Certified Brain Injury Specialist before becoming a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer?
No. Qualified candidates can directly apply for the CBIST. CBIS certificants may also transition to CBIST once they are eligible.
How long is the certification period for CBIS or CBIST?
Once certified, the certification period is one year. Certificants are required to submit a renewal application and fee every year. Click here to learn more about the annual renewal process.
When can I begin to use the CBIS or CBIST credentials after my name?
The 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.
Where can I find a list of current certificants?
Please click here for our current ACBIS certificant listing.
What is the Provisional Certified Brain Injury Specialist and how do I apply?
The Provisional Certified Brain Injury Specialist (PCBIS) certification is an opportunity for students enrolled in an accredited University program to join the expanding group of professionals seeking to offer optimal care for individuals with a brain injury. Click here for more information on eligibility and application process.
How long is the certification period for PCBIS?
Once certified, the certification period is three years. Those interested in transitioning to CBIS must do so within the three-year period. For more information on the transition process, click here.
Is training required to receive the certification and/or certificate?
Training is not required to sit for the ACBIS examination. Candidates pursuing the Provisional Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Certified Brain Injury Specialist or Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer certification may complete self-study.
Training is mandatory for the Brain Injury Fundamentals program in order to receive the Brain Injury Fundamentals certificate.
How do I find or schedule an ACBIS training?
Official ACBIS training is provided by Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainers (CBIST) and is offered at many Brain Injury Association state affiliate conferences and events and through many service providers across the country. If you are interested in attending a training, please contact any of the trainers located on this map. If none of the options are feasible, please email us.
Official Brain Injury Fundamentals training will be provided by approved Fundamentals instructors and may be offered at specific Brain Injury Association state affiliate conferences and events. There are no available trainings at this time. Please fill out this form to be contacted when trainings are available.
How long is a typical training session?
The length of an ACBIS training course is dependent on the trainer and his/her teaching plan. Typically, CBIS trainings are held over a multi-day period, and the recommended time length is 8 to 12 hours.
In piloting the Fundamentals training program, we found that the training may take 7 to 12 hours.
What is the Brain Injury Fundamentals Program and how do I apply?
Fundamentals is a training and certificate program that addresses the unique needs and challenges of those who care for or encounter individuals with brain injury. This program is designed for non-licensed direct care staff, facility staff, family members and friends, first responders, and others in the brain injury community. For more information on the full application process, click here.
How does Fundamentals differ from CBIS?
Fundamentals is a training and certificate program that addresses the unique needs and challenges of those who care for or encounter individuals with brain injury. This program is designed for non-licensed direct care staff, facility staff, family members and friends, first responders, and others in the brain injury community. It covers topics such as guidelines for interaction, brain injury and behavior, and families coping with brain injury. For more information on the Fundamentals certificate program, click here.
CBIS is a credential for licensed health professionals who work in the brain injury field and are committed to maintaining up-to-date knowledge of the latest brain injury research, treatment, and practice information. To qualify, candidates of the certification program must meet certain academic requirements and possess at least 500 hours of brain injury service experience. Once certified, certificants must sustain a growing knowledge of brain injury rehabilitation through continuing education. The credential must be renewed annually. For more information on the CBIS certification program, click here.
How long is the certificate period for Fundamentals?
The certificate is valid for three years. Upon expiration, certificate holders must repeat the course to renew the certificate.
What is the Practical Training Workbook?
The Brain Injury Fundamentals Practical Training Workbook is a paperback, 7 module, 83-page text that is intended to accompany official Brain Injury Fundamentals trainings. Using the stories of two individuals to anchor core brain injury concepts, the interactive workbook uses practical strategies and examples to help readers learn about the challenges people face following brain injury and how they are supported.
How do I become a Brain Injury Fundamentals Instructor?
In order to apply as a Fundamentals instructor, you must either be (1) a current CBIST certificant or (2) a current CBIS certificant that has held the certification for three years or more. For more information on the full application process, click here.
ACBIS Information Next
Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) Next
ACBIS Fundamentals Next
Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer (CBIST) Next
Provisional Certified Brain Injury Specialist (PCBIS) Next
ACBIS Alliance Next
Business Professional Council Next
We are here for you.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has temporarily closed its physical office and staff are working remotely during regular business hours.
We want to assure you that we are still here to support all the individuals we serve. If you’re looking for resources, please call our National Brain Injury Information Center at 1-800-444-6443.