Children's Hospital Boston The Brazelton Institute Harvard Medical School


New Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale Training Program for 2016

newborn looking at a red ballThe Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) (Brazelton, 1973, Brazelton, 1985, Brazelton and Nugent, 1995, 2011), now in its fourth edition, is the most comprehensive examination of newborn behavior available to researchers today. The NBAS contains 28 behavioral and 18 reflex items and is designed to examine individual differences in newborn behavior. It assesses the baby's capabilities across different developmental areas (autonomic, motor,state and social-interactive) and describes how infants integrate these areas as they adapt to their new environments.

The Scale can be used to study the effects of wide range of perinatal variables such as prenatal exposure to alcohol, tobacco, cocaine and other drugs, low birth weight, environmental toxins, caesarian section and other pre- and perinatal variables. It is also used in cross-cultural and prediction studies.

The two-day training will cover underlying theory, content and uses of the NBAS and an examination of the administration and scoring procedures. This will be followed by scheduled mentoring sessions in preparation for the final reliability check. After certification, trainees will be able to:

  • Understand key concepts about newborn behavior
  • Administer and reliably score the Scale at the 90% level of inter-rater reliability in research or clinical settings.

Training faculty include, Yvette Blanchard, Sc.D., PT., Joanna Hawthorne, Ph.D., and J. Kevin Nugent, Ph.D.

Training will take place on April 4-5th, 2014 at the Brazelton Institute. Another NBAS training session will take place in the Fall.

Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) Training Dates

2016 Schedule

Pending participant level, training may be rescheduled. BI will confirm dates one month prior to training.

Two-Day Training
  • June 4 - 5, 2016 at Boston Children's Hospital
Please contact Mai Nguyen-Kim at: for further details.

Space is limited. Participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

The NBAS Certification Process

NBAS training and certification takes place in four phases:

  1. Two-day Workshop
  2. Self-Study and Practice Phase (including on-line supervision and conference calls)
  3. Assessment of trainee's administration and inter-rater reliability scoring competence by NBAS trainer
  4. Certification.
As soon as the Brazelton Institute receives the trainee's Registration Form and full payment, a Training Packet will be sent with the all materials necessary for training. This packet includes:
  1. The Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale Manual, 4th Edition.
  2. The NBAS Testing Kit.
  3. The NBAS Instructional Video.
It will also include details of the NBAS workshop. The trainee should study the manual carefully and view the videotape before attending the two-day workshop.

Phase 1: Two-day training workshop at the Brazelton Institute.
This individualized workshop will first review the theoretical framework on which the NBAS is based and then examine contents and uses of the Scale. At the heart of the workshop is the study of the administration and scoring procedures.

Phase 2: Self-training phase:
Trainees then administer and score the NBAS up to 20 babies in their own setting. On-line mentoring will be offered during this stage and between 6- 8weeks after the workshop, a conference call will be scheduled to allow all trainees and faculty to discuss trainees' experiences with administration and scoring. It is recommended that this phase be completed within six months. If it takes longer than one year, the trainee will be asked to pay an additional fee for certification.

Phase 3:
When trainees deem themselves ready for certification, they will make three videos of their NBAS examination (with a healthy full-term baby - birth to two months) and submit it with the completed scoring form to the Trainers at the Brazelton Institute. The video will then be examined by the Trainer to evaluate the trainee's administrations skills and reliability in scoring. Both administrative competence and scoring reliability at the 90% agreement level are required to receive certification. If the trainee does not meet the reliability criteria, he or she will need to practice on more babies and attempt it again for an additional charge.

Phase 4:
If the trainee has been successful, he or she will receive an NBAS certificate of reliability from the Brazelton Institute. (It should be noted that the certificate does not authorize NBAS examiners to train other people. However, it is appropriate for a certified examiner to help colleagues prepare for their certification session.)

The fee for the NBAS course and certification is $2,500 (which includes the workshop, workshop materials, manual, video, NBAS kit and on-line supervision) and must be paid at the time of registration.


Off-Site NBAS Training Program
Off site training is offered for a minimum of five trainees. The fee is $2,500/person and travel and accommodation for the NBAS trainer.


[ About Our Website ] [ Brazelton Institute Home ]

Copyright © 2004-2016, Boston Children's Hospital. All rights reserved.

The Brazelton Institute
1295 Boylston Street, Suite 320, Boston, MA 02215 USA
phone: (857) 218-4354 · fax: (617) 730-0060