Our Continuing Education Series offers specific conferences, webinars, and events throughout the year that educate communities and professionals on brain injury.

Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS)

Michigan leads the nation in Certified Brain Injury Specialists, a certification awarded by The Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) for both entry-level staff and experienced professionals working in brain injury services. ACBIS provides staff and professionals the opportunity to learn key information about brain injury, demonstrate their learning in a written examination, and earn a nationally recognized credential.

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

  • Incidence and epidemiology of brain injury
  • Continuum of services
  • Brain anatomy and brain-behavior relationships
  • Functional impact of brain injury
  • Effective treatment approaches
  • Children and adolescents with brain injury
  • Health and medical management
  • Family issues
  • Legal and ethical issues

Certification is not restricted to any one profession or discipline. Rather, it is intended for anyone who delivers services specific to brain injury survivors.

All new paid applicants receive a one-year subscription to The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. This reflects a commitment to ensuring that Certified Brain Injury Specialists have access to the latest brain injury research, treatment, and practice information

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. 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.


  • Set up an Account with the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)
  • Complete the BIAA User Account Set-up Form and create a User ID and Password
  • You will receive a confirmation e-mail with a registration number.
  • SAVE this e-mail, but DO NOT use the application link provided because you will pay BIAMI directly with the demographic form
  • The Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI) needs to know you wish to apply
  • Mail, fax, e-mail this form with payment to BIAMI.
  • BIAMI will send you a confirmation e-mail with a link to the CBIS application and a payment confirmation number to use on your actual application.
  • Important Note: You have ONE year to take your exam from the date of your application. Those who do not complete the process in a timely manner must reapply and pay the fee again.

ACBIS Training

Official ACBIS training is provided by our Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainers (CBIST) and is offered throughout the year. Training is not required to sit for the examination. You may complete self-study if you wish.

BIAMI's Certified Brain Injury Trainers

The Association is grateful to our core team of volunteer Certified Brain Injury Trainers and their organizations for their commitment to education:

  • Cindy Barrus, PT, MM, CBIST
  • Spectrum Health Rehabilitation & Nursing Center
  • Michael O'Connor, OTR\L, CBIST
  • O'Connor Occupational Therapy Services, PLLC
  • Martin Waalkes, PhD, CBIS
  • Hope Network Rehabilitation Services

Webinar Training Live Webinars are scheduled when there is a timely and pressing issue in the brain injury community the BIAMI community is interested in. Pre-recorded webinars are available upon request to those applying through BIAMI or those who purchased the training.

The Essential Brain Injury Guide 5.0 may be ordered through the BIAA Marketplace.

For more training resources, visit our ACBIS Training Overview page.

Certification Examination

Candidates must pass the certification examination with a score of 80% or higher. The exam can only be taken after all forms and fees have been submitted, processed, and an approval email has been received.

You must arrange your own individual proctor for the exam. If you cannot find a proctor, BIAMI will proctor individuals for a fee of $50. Please call the office to schedule your test.

Notification of Exam Score: Candidates will receive immediate notification via email of their exam score upon completing the online examination.

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 further prepared.


In order to maintain certification, both Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS) and Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainers (CBIST) are required to pay annual renewal fees and either (1) satisfy continuing education requirements or (2) retake and pass the examination.

The annual renewal requirements and instructions on how to submit your materials are listed on the BIAA's page regarding the certification renewal process. Renewals may be handled online.

Eisenhower Center
Special Tree
Community Connections
Lightouse Neurological Rehabilitation Center