CBIS Training


Certified brain injury specialist training

Training Details  -  Curriculum Overview   -  Eligibility RequirementsAdditional Training Details -    Examination  -   Annual Renewal

Training Details

 A 3 day training from 9am-3pm is scheduled in the spring of 2020 for Friday, April 3; Monday, April 6; and Wednesday, April 8, followed by a 2 hour online proctored exam on Friday, April 24 from 10am-12pm.  If individuals do not pass the first exam they have a year from the date of their application to re-test.  The cost of the training, handouts and exam is $450 (textbook to be purchase separately for $90).  Interested in registering? Download the registration form.  

The Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) offers a voluntary national certification program for both entry-level staff and experienced professionals working in brain injury services. ACBIS provides staff and professionals the opportunity to learn important information about brain injury, to demonstrate their learning through an examination, and to earn a nationally recognized credential. 

The Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut offers the Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) training annually. If you or your organization are interested in learning more about the training, please contact Rene Carfi, at 860-219-0291, x306 or rcarfi@biact.org.

Certification is based on a comprehensive training manual that covers the following topics:

  • Brain Injury Overview
  • Neuroanatomy & Neuroimaging
  • Neuroprotection and Neuroplasticity
  • Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Disorders of Consciousness
  • Medical Complications
  • Fatigue and Sleep Disturbance
  • Aging with a Brain Injury
  • Physical, Cognitive, Neurobehavioral and Psychosocial Complications
  • Substance Misuse
  • Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Rehabilitation Treatment Philosophies and Approaches
  • Pediatrics and Adolescents
  • Families
  • Cultural Competency
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Military Populations
  • Care Management
  • Neuropsychology
  • Outcome Measurement
  • Return to Work
  • Participation

Certification is not restricted to any one profession or discipline. Rather, it is intended for anyone who delivers services specific to brain injury.  As a result, the book, training and exam cover a broad range of topics. 

Eligibility Requirements 

  1. Applicants must have had 500 hours of currently verifiable direct contact experience with an individual or individuals with brain injury. 
  2. Experience can be paid employment and/or academic internship.
  3. The qualifying experience must have included formal supervision or have been conducted while the applicant operated under a professional license. Volunteer work does not qualify.
  4. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Attendees will be provided a link to the training handouts at least 1 month prior to the first training date, and are encouraged to review the handouts in advance.  Hard copies of the handouts will also be available for attendees on the day of the trainings.  Please note: The cost of the training does NOT include purchase of The Essential Brain Injury Guide.  Attendees are responsible for purchasing the textbook (at a reduced cost) on their own through the Brain Injury Association of America’s bookstore

Official CBIS training is provided by Bonnie Meyers and Rene Carfi, Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainers (CBIST).   Bonnie has been working in the field of brain injury for 30 years. She holds a graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer. Bonnie has overseen brain injury services throughout the continuum of recovery, including sub-acute programs in rehabilitation hospitals as well as within a variety of community settings, including ABI waiver services, adult day programs, vocational/supported employment programs, and independent living programs. Rene has 20 years of experience in the field of brain injury, having previously held management positions at the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey for 17 years. She also served as Vice Chair of the New Jersey Special Education & Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force.  She holds a Master's degree in Social Work from Rutgers University.

CBIS Examination

The online exam will be given at a time and location designated by the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut.  Candidates must score 80% or higher on the certification examination. The exam can only be taken after all forms and fees have been submitted and processed and an approval email has been received by the applicant.

  • The exam is administered online.
  • There are 70 multiple choice questions.
  • Each applicant has exactly two hours to complete the examination (unless accommodations have been requested and approved under the ADA).
  • Candidates must score 80% or higher on the examination in order to receive certification.
  • The exams will be administered in a quiet room with no distractions.
  • No assistance of any kind may be given to or used by the examinee.

Since you will be attempting the certification as part of a group, you do not need to identify a proctor for your examination.

Notification of Exam Score: Candidates will receive immediate notification, from ACBIS, via email of their exam score upon completing the online examination. Information about individual candidates and examination results will not be released to any party other than candidates or group administrators. Candidates' scores are not released to anyone, including the candidate, by telephone. 

Retakes: Candidates who do not pass the examination on the first administration may take one retest within one year of the initial application date at no additional charge. An applicant who does not pass after two attempts is welcome to reapply when ready. BIAC will serve as the proctor for the first exam, but individuals will be responsible for securing their own proctor (a colleague or supervisor can serve as proctor) for retakes. 

Brain Injury Specialist Certification - Renewal 

ACBIS will email all CBIS individuals at the beginning of the renewal month as a courtesy reminder. There is a 2 month grace period for submitting renewal information and payment. 

In order to renew your CBIS, ten (10) contact hours of continuing education (CE) are required each year.

Continuing Education (CE) Options

The following list provides examples of continuing education options approved for CE requirements for CBIS. Continuing education hours may be distributed across the areas listed below. However, certificants must obtain CE hours from a minimum of 2 of the options listed below. 

  • Attendance or Presentations at State and National Conferences with lectures related to brain injury (all contact hours for BIAC’s Annual Professional Conference could be applied). For other professional conferences (i.e. ASHA), contact hours will only be applied for lectures specifically related to brain injury. This option applies to both conference attendees and conference presenters of brain injury related lectures.
  • College/University courses related to brain injury (contact hours can equal no more than 50% of required CE contact hours).
  • Facility In-Services related to brain injury (in-services, lectures, or workshops provided within work environment).
  • Webinars that are professionally oriented and related to brain injury. The following are examples of organizations providing webinars related to brain injury, including archived webinars, free webinars and webinars with a cost associated.
  • Journal Article Review: Certificants may read current (published within the past 3 years) brain injury related articles from journals that are peer reviewed or industry and association publications approved by professional and licensing organizations . Certificants should complete this Journal Article Review Form or written answers to questions posted at the end of the article (this is done by some journals) and maintain the form or written answers in personal files in case the renewal is audited, at which time they should be submitted. One contact hour will be awarded for each article reviewed.
  • Journal Study Groups: Certificants may organize journal study groups that meet regularly to review and discuss specific articles related to brain injury. These groups may be formed for the purpose of satisfying CBIS continuing education as well as other specific professional certification requirements (i.e., ASHA). Group members should take brief notes at their meetings. Group meeting notes may be submitted for CE documentation. One contact hour will be awarded for each meeting.
  • Published Articles: Authors of brain injury related articles can apply credits toward their CE requirement. Peer reviewed journals are preferred but are not required. Newsletter articles do not apply. Primary authors can receive 3 contact hours per article; secondary authors can receive 2 contact hours.

Renew your certification online