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Become a Certified Interviewer and Trainer 

in the RBI Method

(RBI) Certification Institute 2015

Monday, July 13 through Friday, July 17

The Routines-Based Interview is used in many states and programs worldwide. About 24 selected applicants participate in the RBI Certification Institute each year, representing numerous states and territories. The Institute is an intensive hands-on instructional opportunity conducted by Robin McWilliam, Ph.D., and colleagues.  Training will include demonstration, practice and feedback; demonstration of competence will result in certification.  
View a flyer on the 2015 RBI Certification Institute.

Components of the Certification Institute include:

  • Families available to interview
  • Two concentrations: planning for children birth-3 years of age and 3-5 years of age
  • Feedback from multiple certified RBI instructors (coaches) throughout the week to prepare participants for their final compentency exam and interview before certification 
  • Follow-up assignments ensure competence before certification

Routines-Based Interview

What is the RBI?

The Routines-Based Interview is a tool for collecting systematic information about the activities that occur in a family’s and a classroom’s typical day and the roles of adults and children during the activities. It is designed to identify a child’s abilities and determine educational/therapeutic needs.

The RBI includes a discussion of home routines, so the classroom staff have the opportunity to learn what the child and family do during the majority of their day (i.e., at home). It also includes a discussion about the routines in the classroom, which allows the parent the opportunity to learn what the child does in school.

The method produces a list of functional goals; they are functional because the family and teachers choose them on the basis of the child’s abilities and needs within the context of family and community ecologies.

Biggest Benefits of RBI - Illinois


The purpose of the RBI Certification Institute is to train a cadre of expert interviewers who can train others to conduct the Routines-Based Interview.  In turn, the quality of IFSP/IEPs is expected to improve.  The Institute is one step in "scaling up" this practice that has been associated with more functional outcomes and greater satisfaction by families with the IFSP/IEP process.


Robin McWilliams, Ph.D.

The principal instructor will be Robin McWilliam, Ph.D., who provides training, technical assistance and consultation on the RBI throughout the U.S. and in Europe. McWilliam has described the RBI in his books Routines-Based Early Intervention and Working with Families of Young Children with Special Needs. Since then, he has conducted hundreds of popular workshops on the use of the interview; most workshops have included live demonstration with families in early intervention. His workshops are renowned for applied, provocative and evidence-based.

Target Audience

Professionals who have the opportunity to train others to plan IFSP/IEPs. Such professionals might include: supervisors, technical assistance or inservice providers (including those working on CSPD for Part C in their state), and faculty members. 

Institute Content

The face-to-face portion of the Institute will be 5 days (July 13-17, 2015).  Post-Institute activities are required for certification. 

Daily Schedule 

Training will occur from 9:00-4:00 pm all five days, with time on the first day (Monday, July 13) devoted to introduction to advanced issues regarding the RBI and to the Certification Institute and time on the last day (Friday, July 17) devoted to final issues regarding implementation of interviewing and training.  [Thirty (30) contact hours.] A typical midweek schedule will be as follows: 

           8:30 am Travel from hotel to Siskin
9:00 am Overview of day's activities and review
9:30 am Workshop
12:00 noon Lunch
1:00 pm Preparation for Interviews
1:30 pm Practice Interviews
3:30 pm Review Interviews
4:00 pm Adjourn with homework reading and suggestions

Attendance of all five days is mandatory for certification. Participants should plan to leave no earlier than 6:00 pm EST on Friday or anytime on Saturday.


Each of the following four main topics is competency based and has a performance checklist.

  • Structure of the RBI
  • High-quality interviewing
  • Writing functional outcomes
  • Training others to conduct RBIs and write functional outcomes
  • Multiple interviews with families
  • Practice completing interviews
  • Practice writing functional outcomes
  • Practice describing interviews
  • Feedback from experienced instructors all week long

Participants will receive the following materials at the institute:

  1. The RBI Manual
  2. A Power-Point presentation that can be adapted and used in future trainings
  3. A DVD or CD Rom with materials and video examples
  4. Readings

Pre-Institute Activities
Selected participants will need to complete a few tasks to prepare for the institute as follows:

  1. We strongly encourage participants to schedule a family to conduct a post-institute Routines-Based Interview, prior to attending the institute.  This will assist with preparation for the final interview that must be submitted for certification, and allow practice immediately after the institute, to implement what has been learned.
  2. At least, two (2) readings will be assigned and emailed, that will give insight to RBI methodology and process.

Post-Institute Activities
To become certified as Routines-Based Interview Trainer, participants will need to complete and pass a competency exam within 1 month of the close of the Institute (August 31).  After the exam, participants will need to practice interviewing,  and video record an interview (min. 1 hour/max. 2 hours) and mail it to the instructors, along with the resulting IFSP/IEP outcomes, within 3 months (November 1).  We will assess the quality of the interview and IFSP/IEP outcomes and issue certification to those meeting the compentency-based quality standards. 
*No videos will be copied or returned.  They are considered property of the Institute and used for training purposes only through the Child and Family Research Center.


The Institute faculty will develop quality standards for 
(a) interview competencies demonstrated during the training week, 
(b) outcome-writing competencies demonstrated during the training week,
(c) training competencies demonstrated during the training week, 
(d) interview competencies demonstrated on the post-Institute video recorded interview, and 
(e) outcome-writing competencies demonstrated as a result of the post-Institute video recorded interview.

 Application Procedures

Owing to the high demand for the RBI Certification Institute, the limited space, and the high caliber, we desire of the participants an application and curriculum vita/resume.


  • The application process is January 1 - March 31, 2015.
  • Applicant selection and notification by April 15.  Alternates will be selected in case any selected applicants are unable to attend. 
  • Nonrefundable Deposit by June 1 (Selected applicants ONLY)

Information Needed

  • Application
  • Curriculum Vita/Resumé

Selection Criteria

Participants will be selected on the basis of the following:

  • Evidence of opportunity to train others to conduct RBIs
  • Evidence of opportunity to demonstrate competence
  • Evidence of familiarity with recommended practices in early intervention
  • Evidence of knowledge of child development
  • Representation of numerous states/territories


For each selected Institute applicant, tuition is $985.  This cost does not include travel and lodging.  Cost includes:

  • expert instruction in a small group (only 24 participants admitted to the Institute)
  • opportunities to practice with real families
  • individualized feedback
  • lunch
  • materials to use in training
  • post-Institute review of taped interview
  • assessment
  • certification
  • CEUs for education ONLY (any/all other CEUs needed, selected participant(s) MUST obtain on their own.)

A nonrefundable deposit of $300 must be received by all selected applicants by June 1, 2015 to guarantee Institute participation. The balance of the tuition may be paid at anytime but must be paid by the first day of the Institute, July 13, 2015. Checks and credit cards are accepted.  All checks must be payable to:  Siskin Children's Institute, with RBI Institute on the memo/for line. Credit cards accepted only by phone and a confirmation of approval will be emailed.



 SORRY! Deadline for 2015 was March 31.  Thank you for your interest.



Contact Information

The Siskin Center for Child and Family Research, research@siskin.org423-648-1792