Frequently Asked Questions


Please click on a topic below to view common questions. Once you have chosen your topic simply click any question to reveal the answer.

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General Questions

  • What is the value in becoming a Certified Autism Specialist?
    • Recognition for voluntarily meeting rigorous professional standards beyond professional and regional licensing requirements.
    • Enhancement of professional reputation and credibility
    • Increased opportunity for career advancement and/or increased earnings.
    • Listing on the online public registry of autism professionals
  • What is the value in having my staff certified?
    • Litigation is a major concern in schools. Attorneys and parent advocates want evidence that staff are highly trained to work with the students in their care. District administrators report that being able to show documentation of having a Certified Autism Specialist in the classroom has been an answer to this question. In addition, schools have found that certification of support staff (such as paraprofessionals) has also been a major benefit.
    • Clinic and agency administrators have found that holding their Certification as an Autism Specialist has enhanced their professional and local reputation. Particularly, when numerous staff members are also certified.
    • Increased parent confidence in your support of children with autism
    • Can assist in procuring grant funding
    • Assists in compliance with special education law
    • Demonstration that your district, clinic, or agency has a strong commitment to ongoing professional development and support of children on the autism spectrum
    • Access to a community of autism professionals who have demonstrated their commitment to providing quality care
  • What is included in the price of certification?
    • Application and processing
    • Background and verification checks
    • Autism Competency exam
    • Listing on the online public registry of autism professionals
    • Monthly newsletter with updates and news in autism
    • Certification for 2 years
    • A digital badge is also available upon request
  • What will I get?

    You will be issued a certification number valid for two years that will be made available on our public search by any third party. You will also receive an official certification card by mail. CAS will receive a certificate via mail and have the option to have this framed. All certificants will also receive monthly autism news updates via email.

  • What is the difference between a Certificate, Certification, and Licensure?

    A Certificate represents successful completion of a body of coursework focused on a specific area and sometimes includes an examination of knowledge. Completion of the courses indicates a significant commitment on the part of the student to make the Certificate topic an area of expertise.

    Examples of Popular Certificates: Continuing Education Certificate of Completion, High School Diploma, General College Degree

    A Certification is essentially the process of publicly attesting that a specified quality or standard has been achieved or exceeded. Professional certifications,  such as those obtained through a credentialing program like IBCCES,  use a formal process to identify and acknowledge individuals who have met a recognized set of standards. Usually these standards include formal education, documented work experience, and an exam of knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the job. When an individual meets the standards, he or she receives certification from a certifying agency. Certifications are nearly always offered by a private, non-governmental agency. These agencies are typically made up of industry experts who identify and acknowledge those who have met a set of approved industry standards. Certification is voluntary and usually represents recognition of the expertise itself. Completion of the certification requirements indicates a significant commitment on the part of the applicant to make the Certification topic an area of expertise. An individual takes the certification exam because they want to enjoy the benefits of certification which may include career promotion, increase in compensation and many other benefits.

    Examples of Popular Certifications: Microsoft Certification, Certified Autism Specialist, Six Sigma Certification

    Licensure usually refers to a state-based regulatory system, where a professional is required to document education, work experience, and perhaps some examination of knowledge level in order to legally provide a given type of service. It grants permission to an individual to engage in an occupation if it finds that the applicant has attained the degree of competency required to ensure the public health, safety, and welfare will be reasonably protected. Licensing it always based on the action of a legislative body. Once a licensing law has been passed it becomes illegal for anyone to engage in that occupation unless he or she has a license. The health care professions are typically licensed at the state and/or local level, but not usually at the federal level.

    Examples of Popular Licenses: Physical Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, Registered Nurse

  • Why is an independent third-party certification important?

    Third-party certification, such as is provided by IBCCES, is the only method of certification that is independently developed and verified, thereby removing conflict of interest and providing significant meaning.

    The classifications of certification methods are:

    • First-party certification, which is a self-declaration. “I am an autism expert” or “I specialize in autism.”
    • Second-party certification, which is when a company, university or training provider creates its own verification program for candidate certification. “I am an autism specialist because I meet the criteria defined by the single organization who provided my training.”
    • Third-party certification verifies that a product, process or service meets defined, industry-independent criteria or standards as reviewed by an impartial party. “I am an Autism Specialist because I meet the criteria defined by the impartial association (IBCCES) who maintains the industry’s standard.”

    Historically, second-party certification has been the norm in the field of Autism. Due to the problems with second-party certification, more and more people, training providers and organizations are moving to and incorporating the IBCCES third-party certification.

  • How is an IBCCES certification different from a state, government, or professional license?

    A state, government, or professional license shows that you have met the set-upon criteria to perform a specific job in that area. IBCCES certification as a Certified Autism Specialist or an Autism Certificate is not profession-specific, it is content-specific. The CAS or AC is used in conjunction with your license to demonstrate that you specialize and have additional training in autism within your profession. IBCCES credentials are a voluntary enhancement of your license and dedication to the field of autism.

  • How is a CAS different from a university degree in autism?
    • A University Autism Certificate is proof that you have completed a course or group of courses. IBCCES will accept these certificates, provided they are within the last 2 years, towards the 14 CE hours needed. The CAS and AC certifications demonstrate a higher level of an ongoing commitment to autism as an additional 14 CE hours are needed every 2 years. The field of autism is frequently changing and this ongoing commitment is needed
    • IBCCES autism certification also recognizes that an individual works in the field of autism. A university does not recognize this real life experience
  • How is the CAS different from a BCBA credential?
    • The BCBA is behavior specific. Many BCBA’s do work with students with autism, however, no autism training is required. The CAS and AC are autism specific. Many BCBA’s choose to also receive their CAS to demonstrate their commitment to autism.
    • An ABA certification is the study of a specific type of therapy that is used for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. ABA education hours are accepted for the CAS and AC, but IBCCES does not require professionals to be certified in ABA.
  • Will the CAS allow me to bill insurance for autism treatment?

    Each professional should verify the insurance coverage policy guidelines in your area prior to any service. States/ countries vary. Only licensed professionals are eligible to bill insurance under law. The CAS designation is an added credential that demonstrates a level of expertise when specifically treating autism. Individuals billing as a SLP, OT, PT, BCBA, etc. should strongly consider registering as a CAS upon eligibility as further support for billing for clients with autism.

  • Is the CAS certification accepted as an insurance verification for autism services?

    IBCCES does not specialized in insurance reimbursement regulations, however current CAS have been successfully reimbursed for services with their CAS certification. Reimbursement is typically based on the particular insurance company you are working with, and will need to be verified through that company.

  • Is the certification recognized in other states/countries?
    • Certified Autism Specialists and Autism Certificants live and work throughout the United States and throughout the world
    • IBCCES uses the same stringent criteria that is used by state and governmental licensing boards
    • The CAS and AC credentials are a testimony to an individual’s commitment to ongoing professional development in the field of autism. Practice is limited to the individual’s professional license and area rules and guidelines.
  • How do I let people know that I am certified?
    • You can use the designation, CAS or AC following your name. A certification would follow your degree and license when writing out your name. For example, you could write: Jane Smith, M.S., NCSP, CAS.
    • CAS will receive a certificate via mail. You have the option to have this framed.
    • You may use the IBCCES, CAS, or AC logo as appropriate to indicate your credential. Please refer to our logo usage guide for specific guidance and to download logos.
    • CAS and AC receive a wallet card and can let individuals know that you are searchable in our database.
  • What is a digital badge?

    Digital badges are a powerful new tool that allows professionals to share their accomplishments across the web. Each digital badge is unique to the user and verifies that that person has completed the rigorous process of becoming a Certified Autism Specialist or Autism Certificant. Digital badges allow the user to store, access and securely share their credentials and are always verified and current. Read more here.

  • How can I use my digital badge?

    Digital badges can be used in various ways, listed below are some of the most common ways they are used:

    • Shared via e-mail to notify colleagues or employers of recent accomplishments
    • Added on online social media profiles such as Linkedin
    • Shared via social media sites such as facebook or twitter
    • Attached to your digital signature
    • Add to a company/personal website
    • Click here to view the digital badge sharing guide for instructions
  • How do I receive my digital badge?

    Once you have been approved for as a Certified Autism Specialist or Autism Certificant, you can notify us at to receive a link to your digital badge profile.

  • Is there an additional cost for a digital badge?

    No, anyone that is a current Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) or Autism Certificant (AC) may request their digital badge by e-mailing us at

  • What are the benefits of using a digital badge?

    A digital badge is a great way to share your accomplishment of becoming a Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) or Autism Certificant (AC) with your personal and professional network. It is 100% verifiable and provides a brief explanation of what your credential signifies.

  • How do I share my digital badge?

    Once you’ve requested your digital badge by e-mailing you will receive a link to an online profile and instructions on how to share your digital badge.

  • What happens when my digital badge expires?

    When your digital badge expires, it will disappear from anywhere that you have it posted, and you won’t be able to use it again until you’ve renewed your credential.

  • What information is included in my digital badge?

    Your digital badge will include your name, your credential number, the date it was issued, when it expires, your current status and description of what the credential signifies.

  • My digital badge disappeared. How do I get it back?

    When your credential has expired, your digital badge will disappear. Click here to read more about maintaining your certification and renewals.

  • How do I change my account username/password?
    If you forget your password you can mark that you have forgotten it when logging in.  You will then be able to change it.  Within your account you can change your password by clicking the “Change Password” link next to your name.
    Your username is your email address.  If your email address changes you can log into the system with your old email address and then change it under the Identity tab.

Certification Requirements

  • What do I need for certification?
    • Transcripts are needed if applying for the Certified Autism Specialist designation
    • CE certificates with the accumulation of 14 CE hours within the last 24 months
    • Professional license numbers (if applicable)
    • Names and contact information for 2-3 references in order to verify your experience
    • A photo for identification
    • All areas of the application completed thoroughly
    • A passing score on the applicable Autism Competency exam
  • What steps do I need to take to become certified?
    1. Apply and process payment
    2. Complete all areas of the application
    3. Upload documentation including transcripts and CE certificates
    4. Provide contact information for your references who will verify your experience
    5. Submit for verification and approval
    6. Complete the Autism Competency exam. Directions will be sent to you after you submit your application
  • How long is the certification process?

    You will have a total of 90 days to complete your training (if applicable) and exam. If additional time is needed, please feel free to contact Melissa McDaniels at

    Time for application: Approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to fill out and submit.

    Autism Training:  14 CEUs (14 hours). We do accept outside training that has been received within the past two years. Please see “certification requirements” for details.

    Autism Competency Exam: Autism Certificate: 60 minutes, online. Certified Autism Specialist: 90 minutes online.

  • What type of CE hours are required?
  • How do I prove my 14 hours of autism education?

    1 CEU is 60 minutes. You will need to request proof of attendance. The application will ask for the dates, contact hours, presenter name, and who sponsored it. Please refer to our CE Guidelines for additional information.

  • What area of autism education should I pursue?

    The IBCCES industry standards list the ten areas of competency in which autism education may be earned. Professionals should seek autism education that will enhance their direct scope of practice in which they work or desire to work.

  • What is the cost of the exam?

    The cost of the exam is included in certification.  You may only take the exam as a CAS or AC applicant.

  • What is the format of the exams?

    All items are multiple choice.

  • How long are the exams?

    The Certified Autism Specialist exam is approximately 60 questions. You have 90 minutes to complete the exam. The Autism Certificate exam is approximately 40 questions. You have 60 minutes to complete the exam.

  • Is there a study guide for the exam?

    A study guide is available upon request. Additional fees may apply. A content outline is also provided for your reference as it applies to the IBCCES Ten Areas of Autism Competency.

  • Are the exams open book?

    No. Using any resources during the exam, including assistance from others would result in a violation of cheating. Cheating violations are taken very seriously by IBCCES. IBCCES also considers unauthorized sharing of exam content with others or using outside assistance to be a violation of the terms and conditions and constitutes cheating. Cheating or permitting cheating (such as letting someone copy your answers or providing information on the content of the exam questions to others), will be cause for disqualification. In such an event your application fees will not be refunded or deferred. You may also be subject to damages including, but not limited to, the cost of replacing the compromised question(s) and reconstruction of the exam.

  • Can I retake the exam?

    Yes, you may retake the exam if you do not pass.

  • Once I have taken the examination, how soon will I know the results and what score information will I receive? If I do not pass, may I review my answers or challenge specific items on the examination?

    You will be notified upon completing the exam whether or not you have passed. You will be provided with the percentage of correct responses. No additional information is provided. Content may not be challenged.

  • I have an idea for an exam question. May I submit it?

    Yes. We are always seeking to expand our test bank with up to date autism competency questions. You may submit possible exam questions to Due to test security, you will not be notified if your question(s) will be included on a later exam.

  • I have my Autism Certificate, but now meet the qualifications for a designation as a Certified Autism Specialist. Can I upgrade?

    Yes, you can contact IBCCES to upgrade your designation at any time. You will simply pay the difference in price and will be sent a link to take the CAS exam. The IBCCES board will determine if you must also submit additional CE hours depending on how close you are to your renewal date. Contact IBCCES for details specific to your situation.

  • How do I appeal a denial of my application?

    IBCCES will permit appeal of certain decisions by staff.  IBCCES deadlines, fees, examination content, specific test questions, and/or answers may not be appealed.  To file an appeal send an email to with “Request for Appeal” in the subject line.  Your appeal must be received by the IBCCES within thirty (30) days of the date of the decision being appealed.

  • I am currently working on my Master’s degree. Can I apply?

    The CAS requires a Master’s degree unless you have a Bachelor’s degree and ten years of experience in one of the qualifying fields. You will most likely be eligible for the Autism Certificate that does not require a Master’s degree, but does require experience in the field and 14 CE hours in autism every two years. You can upgrade to the CAS designation once you have your Master’s degree and 2+ years of experience. Contact IBCCES if you wish to upgrade.

  • I have been working in a field that provides support for those with autism for ten years, but do not have a Master’s degree. Can I apply for a CAS?

    You will need to provide proof of your BA degree (copy of transcripts) and provide proof of consistent employment for ten years. A supervisor or current principal is required to verify your employment.

Certification Renewals



  • What is Credentialing?

    Credentialing is an umbrella term used to refer to concepts such as professional certification, certificate programs, accreditation, licensure, and regulation.

    • A certification program is designed to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform a particular job, and, upon successfully passing a certification exam, to represent a declaration of a particular individual’s professional competence.  In some professions, certification is a requirement for employment or practice.
    • Similarly, licensure tests an individual’s competence but is a mandatory process by which the government grants time-limited permission for that licensed individual to practice his or her profession.
    • In contrast to certification and licensure, an assessment-based certificate program is an educational or training program that is used to teach learning objectives and assess whether those objectives were achieved by the student.
    • Accreditation is the process by which a credentialing or educational program is evaluated against defined standards and is awarded recognition if it is in compliance with those standards.

    These are just some of the concepts that fall under the umbrella of credentialing.  We encourage you to explore our website to learn more about IBCCES and the credentialing industry.

  • Who verifies the IBCCES credentials?
    • IBCCES credentials are governed and approved by our professional board that frequently reviews all policies and procedures of the IBCCES. The board is comprised of a wide spectrum of esteemed members of the community including autism experts, a credentialing specialist, university professors, BCBA, Former State Director of Special Education in Colorado, and several board members from the Autism Society of America
    • The IBCCES is a proud member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, as well as the Better Business Bureau
    • The CAS is recognized by school districts, autism organizations, and is a credential criteria that has been viewed and considered by insurance providers
  • Can you recommend any programs or resources?

    We encourage you to seek out the suggested resources and products which have been IBCCES reviewed to address one or more areas of autism competency

About Advanced Training


Online ABA Training FAQ’s

  • How do I access the Online ABA Training?

    Once your account has been created, a system generated access code will be sent via e-mail to your registered e-mail address.  Additional instructions for account activation will also be included in the e-mail.

    Every course registrant will have access to a dedicated User Dashboard, and will be able to sign-up and access the course by logging in to their account.

    Note that you will have to confirm and activate your user account in order to access your dashboard.  You can do this by clicking the account activation link indicated in the e-mail.

    If you do not see the e-mail in your primary inbox, try checking your spam folder.  If for reason you did not receive the auto generated e-mail(s), kindly e-mail us at with the subject line “Activate Account/Resend Access Code.”

  • How long do I have to access the course?

    You have a total of ten weeks to complete the course, beginning with the registered start date.  This gives you about one week per session, including the final exam, plus two extra weeks to review the materials or re-watch the videos.

    Please note:  We can give you one extra week extension free of charge, but beyond one week, you will have to pay the reactivation fee to complete the course.

    There is a $50 extension fee to continue access to the online courses past the allotted time.

  • I would like to start the course at a later date. Is this possible? How do I reset my course start date?

    We always have our clients’ best interests in mind and we do provide exceptions in certain cases.  You may be eligible to delay the start of your course if you have not yet completed the first session.  Please contact for more information.

  • Where can I download the e-books and guided notes?

    The download links for the e-books and the guide notes can be found on the Customer Courses page on your User Dashboard.

    The guide notes for each session can be downloaded as soon as you unlock a session by passing the post test of the previous sessions.

    Detailed info on your test results can be viewed from the same page by clicking the blue arrow down button to the right of page.

  • Can I skip the tests and proceed directly to the webcasts?

    The tests are an important part of the learning process and each participant is required to complete them for each session before they can move forward to the next session.

    The pre-test must be completed before you can view the corresponding session’s webcast.  As soon as you complete the pre-test, you will be redirected to the webcast viewing page.

  • How much time do I have between each session?

    After you pass a post-test, you should be able to move to the next session right away.

    Our system does have an automatic delay timer that will prevent anyone from going through the session too quickly.  The amount of time allotted for each session depends on the length of the video/webcast for each session.

  • I already watched a majority of the video and I want to move on to the post-test questions. Can I skip the rest of the video?

    Our system has an auto-timer and delay function that serves to discourage participants from moving through each session too quickly.  You will not be able to

    move on to the post-test unless you have watched the entire video for the current webcast you are on.

  • Are the webcasts eligible for CEU’s? If so, which type of CEU’s are they?

    In addition to counting towards your Advanced Certified Autism Specialist certification, the ACAS training is eligible for 18 BACB Type 2 CEU’s. The AAC training is eligible for 8 BACB Type 2 CEUs, and 20 NASW CEUs.

  • How long is the Advanced ABA Exam?

    The Advanced Certified Autism Specialist and the Advanced Autism Certificate exams are 40 questions each. They are in multiple choice format.

Online ABA Training Troubleshooting Guide