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Academy of Certification of Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS)

Brain Injury Certification Trainings

The Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut provides trainings created through the Academy of Certification of Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS), including national Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) trainings and Brain Injury Fundamentals (BIF) trainings. ACBIS is part of the Brain Injury Association of America.

Please continue to check back in 2023 for updated information and for new class dates. Please also look for updated information in our e-newsletter, BUZZ.

ACBIS – What is the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists?
The mission of the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) is to provide education, training, certification, and ongoing resources for specialists in the brain injury community. In 1996, the Brain Injury Association of America established ACBIS as a standing committee of the association to address these training needs. ACBIS operates under its own by-laws as approved by the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America. ACBIS Committee Members are experienced professionals in the field of brain injury rehabilitation who volunteer their time and expertise to develop a certification program that meets the needs of the brain injury community.

Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS)
Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS)
Brain Injury Fundamentals (BIF)

Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) Training


  • BIAC typically offers this training annually, usually in the Fall
  • Following a 3-day class, there is exam shortly thereafter. 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 purchased separately for $90).
  • Certification is based on a comprehensive training curriculum 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. 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, Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer (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.

CBIS Examination

The examination is administered online with automated proctoring; ACBIS recently changed their testing platform in 2021 and is no longer requiring in-person test administration. Candidates will be responsible for self-enrolling and accessing the examination within the platform once their eligibility has been determined and their applications have been approved. 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 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.

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.


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.

Brain Injury Fundamentals Certification Training


The Academy of the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) now offers a Brain Injury Fundamentals (BIF) Certificate, and the Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut will be offering training to obtain this new certification beginning in 2021. The new certificate addresses the unique needs and challenges of those who care for or who encounter individuals with brain injury.

Training Details

This is a one-day training followed by an open book, open notes online quiz that attendees complete on their own. If individuals do not pass the first quiz, they have unlimited opportunities to retake the quiz. The cost of the training, workbook and quiz is $250.

Direct care staff, facility staff, family members, first responders, counselors, other specialists in the community.


  • Cognition
  • Guidelines for interacting and building rapport
  • Brain injury and behavior
  • Medical complications
  • Safe medication management
  • Families coping with brain injury

The course is grounded in adult learning principles, maximizing participant engagement and application through an interactive workbook. Using real-life scenarios to anchor the course concepts, participants learn about the challenges people face following brain injury and the types of support they need. This essential program will help candidates understand different types of behavior, manage medication safely, and provide support to families and friends. After completing intensive training, candidates will complete an open book, open notes online quiz on their own time (the quiz does not need to be proctored. The quiz can be retaken as many times as needed to pass. Upon successful completion of the quiz candidates will receive a certificate that is valid for three years.