What is the OBM Specialist Certificate?
Making meaningful changes in an organization requires diligence and thorough analysis. If the goal is to make a difference that truly impacts the organization, it is essential to properly assess the situation, focus on the appropriate areas, and involve the right people. Companies often waste valuable time, effort, and money on rolling out the easiest intervention possible, implementing “flavor-of-the-month” initiatives or programs that “sound good” but do not address the root cause of concern for the organization. The OBM Specialist Certificate was designed to prepare students for the process of designing and rolling out a project.
With our new OBM Specialist Certificate coming out of its beta test and launching this June, we have received tons of questions about it, so we thought we would put together a Q and A blog to help answer some of the most common questions.
1. What led to the development of the OBM Specialist Certificate?
ABA Technologies created an OBM Certificate in 2016, which included 2 on-demand prerequisite courses (Essentials of Organizational Behavior Management and Learning in the Workplace) and one project-based course with coaching from an instructor (OBM Applied!). Over the years of offering the older OBM Certificate, we learned that students wanted more practice with identifying and navigating an OBM project prior to completing one in their workplace to increase their chances of successful application and achievement of targeted business results. The two prerequisites in the older OBM Certificate, although great OBM courses, did not necessarily cover topics that prepared students to begin their own OBM project. The first time students saw all the OBM project tools in action was when they applied them to their project in the final course. Additionally, some students could not complete the final part of the OBM Certificate because they were not employed, did not have the support to do a project, struggled with identifying a business opportunity for an OBM project, or lost their project or job during the course.
Lessons learned from this version led to the development of the new version: the OBM Specialist Certificate (one course). An updated project-based course (which requires students to implement their own project in their workplace with coaching from an OBM instructor) is coming soon and is expected to be available in the fall of 2021. Students who pass the OBM Specialist Certificate will be eligible to take the project-based course.
2. How is the OBM Specialist Certificate different from the previous OBM Certificate?
The OBM Specialist is designed for anyone- behavior analysts with or without prior training in OBM and individuals with no formal training in behavior analysis/OBM. The OBM Specialist Certificate is also open to individuals who are not currently employed or do not have access to a project, as students are no longer required to demonstrate successful application of OBM in their workplace to obtain the certificate. Instead, the OBM Specialist Certificate is designed to be a true prerequisite to applying OBM in your workplace. It gives students exposure to OBM methods and tools, guidance on handling common challenges that arise when implementing a project, and experience applying the methods and tools by following a case study and practicing with a simulated project. The goal is for students to end this certificate program with a better understanding of how to apply OBM in the form of a project, from identifying a business opportunity to making lasting improvements in an organization. Achievement of these learning objectives should increase students’ chances of successfully applying OBM in their workplace and achieving targeted business results.
3. I want to implement an OBM project in my workplace and receive coaching from an OBM instructor. Will ABA Technologies offer a course like this?
Yes! Students who successfully complete the OBM Specialist Certificate can enroll in our upcoming project-based course. In this course, students will be placed in a small cohort of students and assigned to an OBM instructor/coach. Each student will be required to implement an OBM project in their workplace and demonstrate successful application of OBM methods and tools. They will receive coaching and feedback from an OBM instructor and cohort of students as they apply OBM in their project. We plan to select a handful of students to complete the beta test in the Summer of 2021 while we implement suggestions for improvement. We expect to advertise this course to larger groups of students in the fall of 2021. Check back for updates.
4. How long does it take to complete the OBM Specialist Certificate?
The course content is split into sections called “Modules.” There are 5 main modules in the Canvas course, each dedicated to a different phase of the SPACE model for applying OBM. The modules will become available to students as the course progresses (i.e., every 10 days, a new module opens). The final required module opens approximately 40 days after the start date of the course, but students are given 90 days to complete all requirements. Although students must complete it in a particular timeframe, the course is fully online and self-paced. Each module includes readings, videos, activities (completing knowledge checks related to the OBM material and the simulated project), and a discussion question. Students may spend an estimated 3 hours per module. Time to complete each module might vary based on reading speed, familiarity with OBM, quiz question re-takes, etc.
*Note, course durations might change each term, as we are continuously making improvements to the course.
5. What is the “Foundations” Module?
In our efforts to disseminate behavior analysis and OBM, we have designed this course to be friendly to individuals who do not have formal training in behavior analysis. Completion of the Foundations module is optional but is strongly recommended for students who do not have training in behavior analysis. The content in this module does not count toward the BACB CEU calculation.
6. When I complete this course, will I be certified in OBM?
The OBM Specialist Certificate is a professional development certificate that is worth continuing education units for Behavior Analysts and Human Resource professionals (just like our older OBM Certificate). Students can use the continuing education units earned in this certificate to maintain their certification that they already have from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Please note that the OBM Specialist Certificate is not a certification. Being certified (i.e., having a certification) implies that a governing body (such as the BACB) oversees the standard requirements for training and certification. At this time, there is no single governing body that defines the standards for training or “certifying” OBM professionals.
7. Do I need a textbook for the OBM Specialist Certificate?
Due to popular demand, a workbook is available for students who wish to have printed materials to use as a reference tool and as guided notes while they complete the certificate program. The workbook includes study questions, glossaries of key terms, and guided notes, along with a printed version of the digital OBM Specialist Certificate Toolkit. At this time, there is no required textbook. Students will get access to the interactive SPACE Model Toolkit pdf when they begin the course.
8. When is the next term of the OBM Specialist Certificate?
ABA Technologies plans to offer a new term of the OBM Specialist Certificate every 6-8 weeks, starting in June 2021. Check for updates on term details and registration.
This course can help professionals of all levels of an organization. Whether you own your own business, oversee a department, provide supervision to employees, or plan to provide supervision in the future, the OBM Specialist Certificate can help you achieve your goals. The lessons learned in this course can provide valuable insight on being a better project team member and prepare you to lead an OBM project.