Frequently Asked Questions: OBM 1 Specialist Certificate 

Answering your FAQs about the new OBM 1 Specialist Certificate 

How is the OBM Specialist 1 Certificate different from the previous OBM 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!). The series was designed for individuals with formal training in behavior analysis. Over the years of offering the older OBM Certificate, we learned that students wanted more practice identifying and navigating an OBM project before 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 of the OBM project tools in action were when they applied them to their project in the final course. Lessons learned from this version led to the development of the new version. Our current OBM Certificate series is now designed for anyone- behavior analysts with or without prior training in OBM and individuals with no formal training in behavior analysis. 

The first course in the series, which teaches individuals the OBM model and tools (the OBM Specialist Certificate) is now 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 that certificate. Instead, the first course is designed to be a true prerequisite to applying OBM in your workplace. It gives students exposure to OBM methods and tools and experience applying the methods and tools by following a case study and practicing with a simulated project. The course comes with a fillable PDF toolkit that includes content and tools that follow ABA Tech’s SPACE Model for applying OBM (Scope, Pinpoint, Assess, Change, Embed). This course is designed to prepare students for the second course in the series, OBM Practical Mission Training. They will learn about applying OBM in the form of a project, from identifying a business opportunity to making lasting improvements in an organization.

I've Completed the OBM Specialist 1 Certificate. How can I get experience and mentorship in OBM?

We’re designing the second course in the series to help students get practice applying OBM.

When will the second course in the serious (OBM Specialist 2) be available? 

We are currently in the process of “beta testing” this course with a select group of students.

When I complete OBM Certificate series, 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 related disciplines. Students can use the continuing education units earned in this certificate to maintain a professional certification that they already have from a certifying body, like the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). There is currently no certifying body that oversees training and certification specifically for OBM. Although there is growing recognition of ABA Tech’s OBM Certificate series as a meaningful credential, the program is not intended to offer a professional certification at this time. The term “certification” should be used by accredited programs that are designed to result in a professional certification. In the United States, programs that result in professional certification should be accredited by a recognized national or international accreditation body, like the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Here is some more information on this topic from the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA).

What are the prerequisites?

1. OBM Specialist 1 Certificate 

There are currently no prerequisites for the first course in the series (OBM Specialist Certificate). You do not need to have a certification from the BACB or any particular degree to complete the course and obtain the certificate. We have an optional "Foundations" section in the course that covers some of the basics of behavior analysis and OBM, for individuals who are not formally trained in behavior analysis, are newer to it, or simply want a refresher of behavior analysis and its application in organizations. 

2. OBM Specialist 2 Certificate

Individuals who wish to complete the second course in the OBM series must have completed or be enrolled in the OBM Specialist Certificate.

Is there a required textbook for any of the courses in the series? 

Students are currently not required to purchase a textbook for any of the courses in the series. Both courses come with everything needed to complete the course. Students will get access to the interactive SPACE Model Toolkit pdf when they begin the first course. Due to popular demand, a workbook is available here for students who wish to have printed materials as a reference tool and guided notes while completing the first course in the series (the OBM Specialist Certificate). The workbook includes study questions, glossaries of key terms, and guided notes, along with a printed version of the digital OBM Specialist Certificate Toolkit.

Which courses are required to earn the certificate? 

There are different “levels” of OBM certificates. Each course in the OBM Certificate series results in its own certificate. However, individuals must get the certificate for the first course in the series (OBM Specialist Certificate) before they can get the certificate for the second course in the series.

How long does it take to complete the 1st course in the series (OBM Specialist Certificate)? 

Although students must complete the course in a particular timeframe, the course is fully online and self-paced. All course content for the OBM Specialist Certificate can be accessed in the online learning management system once they register for the course. The content is split into sections called “modules”. There are 5 required modules, which consist of of reading material, videos, activities (completing knowledge checks related to the OBM material and the simulated project) and a discussion question. Students may spend an estimated 2-3 hours per module. Time to complete each module might vary based on reading speed, familiarity with OBM, quiz question re-takes, etc. There are “suggested” due dates along the way, but students can complete the requirements whenever they want, as long as it is before their access to the course ends. Please see the duration of access to the course prior to registering.

Who is the OBM Certificate series for?

This program is designed for anyone- including behavior analysts (with or without prior training in OBM) and individuals with no formal training in behavior analysis. We highly recommend the OBM Certificate series to anyone interested in gaining education and experience in OBM, whether they want to apply it in their current professional role, or transition into an OBM related role.  

Many of the students who complete the program are working in clinical applications in the ABA field. The program gives students exposure to and experience applying OBM methods and tools. They will finish the first course 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. They will finish the second course with experience actually applying it in their own organization, with coaching from an OBM instructor and a small group of classmates. Many students have applied this in their clinical ABA jobs to improve things like intervention integrity, onboarding, supervision, training processes, billing processes, staff/client scheduling, etc. 

This program is also a great option for individuals who want to apply OBM as a consultant, assisting external clients with organizational improvements. We have had students who completed the program for this same reason, and are incorporating the tools and model covered in the course to enhance their work as a consultant.

What type of jobs do OBM professionals have?

People with OBM training and experience hold a variety of OBM oriented jobs. Here are just some examples of titles:

  • Leadership Development Manager 
  • Continuous improvement consultant
  • Organizational Development Practitioner
  • Manager of Learning and Development
  • Manager of Operational Excellence 
  • Consultant/Senior Consultant 
  • Director of Change Management and Communication
  • Director of Global Learning 
  • Director of Safety Solutions 
  • Director of Talent Development

Do I need a certification from the BACB to get an OBM job?

The main purpose of the BACB certification is to protect consumers of behavior analytic services (mainly clinical services) so it is necessary for people who would like to do clinical applications of behavior analysis. Individuals who do not want to apply the science clinically and who want a strictly OBM job currently do not need a BACB certification. However, the coursework that makes you eligible for a BCBA certification is strongly recommended if you want to get an OBM job. It will help to prepare you to practice OBM, as it provides you with the foundational knowledge in the science that OBM is grounded in.



Questions About the OBM Specialist Certificate?


OBM Certificate Special Savings


Special Pricing: $895  $650

Continuing Education: 21 BACB Learning CEUs, 3 of which may be used as Supervision CEUs

Student Toolkit: This program comes with a fillable PDF toolkit that includes content and tools that follow our SPACE (Scope, Pinpoint, Assess, Change, Embed) Model for applying OBM.



Allison King, PhD, BCBA

Ryan Curran, MS, BCBA

Download the SPACE Model

OBM Specialist Workbook