What is the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®? “The Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®) is a nonprofit corporation established to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services. The BACB® adheres to the national standards for boards that grant professional credentials.” (www.bacb.com)
What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®)? A Board Certified Behavior Analyst is an independent practitioner who also may work as an employee or independent contractor for an organization. The roles of a BCBA include:
Conducting descriptive and systematic behavioral assessments, including functional analyses, and providing behavior analytic interpretations of the results;
Designing and supervising behavior analytic interventions;
Implementing behavior and analytic services to teach new skills, as well as to address behavior management issues;
Teaching others to carry out ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions based on published research and designs and delivering instruction in behavior analysis.
How can I become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®)? Several local colleges and universities offer certification programs. Certification includes various tracks and components. Visit www.bacb.com for further options:
Possession of a minimum of a bachelor’s and a master’s degree;
Passing score on the Behavior Analyst Certification Exam;
Completion of 225 classroom hours of graduate level instruction in the following content areas and for the number of hours specified:
Ethical considerations - 15 hours
Definition and characteristics and Principles, process and concepts - 45 hours
Behavioral assessment and Selecting intervention outcomes and strategies - 35 hours
Experimental evaluation of interventions - 20 hours
Measurement of behavior and Displaying and interpreting behavioral data - 20 hours
Behavioral change procedures and Systems support - 45 hours
1500 hours of independent fieldwork supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Why is it important for parents and consumers to learn about Behavior Analyst Certification?
Currently, there are no regulations requiring ABA therapists or teachers to be trained, certified, or have a degree in Behavior Analysis;
The only requirement agencies and schools have for therapists and teachers is state teacher certification in Special Education;
Most Teacher Certification programs and Master Degree programs in Special Education do not offer courses specializing in Behaviorism or in educating children with Autism Spectrum Disorders;
Agencies can hire therapists with little or no ABA experience;
Because of the lack of requirements for clinicians providing behavior analytic services, parents and consumers must have the skills and knowledge base to evaluate ABA educators on their own.
Why should parents and consumers look for therapists or teachers who are Board Certified Behavior Analysts when choosing an ABA educator for their child?
Your child has the right to receive effective treatment by a highly trained professional in the field of Behavior Analysis.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts have highly specialized training in providing ABA services to children with disabilities, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
As part of the certification process, Board Certified Behavior Analysts have received intensive training in the area of the science of behaviorism, including research based principles, strategies and tactics. Therefore, they provide services based upon very systematic and scientific interventions that have been tested and have been demonstrated to be effective under given circumstances.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts complete rigorous mentoring and training requirements in which experience is under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
In order to complete the certification process, Board Certified Behavior Analysts must pass a comprehensive certification exam including components such as ethics, research and design, data collection, behavior change procedures and interventions, as well as behavioral assessments.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts must participate in continuing education practices to maintain certification, such as attending conferences and workshops, which keeps professionals current on new research and advancements in the field.
The demanding certification process provides for quality control amongst professionals in the field of Behavior Analysis and demands high standards for therapists and teachers to adhere.