What we discuss below pertains to applying for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Bachelor’s level students can only be certified as Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA), which has different clinical and supervision requirements . But AUNE is encouraging all its ABA students to train to the higher standards of the BCBA clinical supervised experience.
If you enroll in AUNE’s ABA certificate program, you will be required to familiarize yourself with these regulations and it will ultimately be your responsibility to ensure your clinical supervised experience meets BACB standards.
At this point, however, you need this information to decide whether your current job can serve as your clinical supervised experience – known to BACB as “Supervised Independent Fieldwork” – or whether you need to apply for a placement through Antioch University New England – known to BACB as “Practicum”. (Note: BACB describes a category called “Intensive Practicum”. This option is not available through AUNE’s ABA program.)
The BACB regulations are a little hard to find on their site, so we include here an overview of their Supervised Independent Fieldwork and Practicum requirements, and we describe how these requirements align with Antioch University New England’s practicum options.
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Supervised Independent Fieldwork (1500 hours BCBA, 1000 hours BCaBA):
To qualify under this standard at the BCBA level, supervisees must complete 1500 hours of Supervised Independent Fieldwork in behavior analysis. To qualify under this standard at the BCaBA level, supervisees must complete 1000 hours of Supervised Independent Fieldwork in behavior analysis. A supervisory period is two weeks. In order to count experience hours within any given supervisory period, supervisees must be supervised at least once during that period for no less than 5% of the total hours spent in Supervised Independent Fieldwork. For example, 20 hours of experience would include at least 1 supervised hour.
Practicum (1000 hours BCBA, 670 hours BCaBA):
To qualify under this standard at the BCBA level, supervisees must complete, with a passing grade, 1000 hours of Practicum in behavior analysis within a university practicum program approved by the BACB and taken for graduate academic credit. To qualify under this standard at the BCaBA level, supervisees must complete, with a passing grade, 670 hours of Practicum in behavior analysis within a university practicum program approved by the BACB and taken for academic credit. A supervisory period is one week. In order to count experience hours within any given supervisory period, supervisees must be supervised at least once during that period for no less than 7.5% of the total hours spent in Practicum. For example, 20 hours of experience would include at least 1.5 supervised hours.
For both of the above options, no fewer than 10 hours but no more than 30 hours, including supervision, may be accrued per week. Supervisees may accrue experience in only one category per supervisory period (i.e., Supervised Independent Fieldwork or Practicum).
Combination of Experience Categories:
Supervisees may elect to accrue hours in a single category or may combine any 2 or 3 of the categories above (Supervised Independent Fieldwork, Practicum, Intensive Practicum) to meet the experience requirement, with Practicum having 1½ times the temporal value of Supervised Independent Fieldwork, and Intensive Practicum having 2 times the temporal value of Supervised Independent Fieldwork.
Onset of Experience:
Supervisees may not start accumulating Supervised Independent Fieldwork, Practicum, or Intensive Practicum hours until they have started attending courses required to meet the BACB coursework requirements.
The supervisee’s primary focus should be acquiring new behavior-analytic skills related to the BACB Third Edition Task List or the BACB Fourth Edition Task List as appropriate. Activities must be consistent with the dimensions of applied behavior analysis identified by Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) in the article Some Current Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. The supervisor will determine if experience activities qualify based on these sources.
Supervisees are strongly encouraged to have multiple experiences (e.g., sites, populations) with multiple supervisors and from each of the activity areas below.
- Conducting assessments related to the need for behavioral intervention (e.g., stimulus preference assessment, functional assessment, staff performance assessment)
- Designing, implementing, and systematically monitoring skill-acquisition systematically monitoring skill-acquisition and behavior-reduction programs;
- Overseeing the implementation of behavior-analytic programs by others;
- Training, designing behavioral systems, and performance management;
- Other activities normally performed by a behavior analyst that are directly related to behavior analysis such as attending planning meetings regarding the behavior analytic program, researching the literature related to the program, and talking to individuals about the program.
Examples of activities that will not count as experience include: attending meetings with little or no behavior-analytic content; providing interventions that are not based in behavior analysis; performing nonbehavioral administrative activities; and completing nonbehavioral assessments (e.g., diagnostic assessments, intellectual assessments), paperwork, documentation, billing, or any other activities that are not directly related to behavior analysis.
No more than 50% of the total accrued experience hours can be in the direct implementation of behavioral programs.
Clients may be any persons for whom behavior-analytic services are appropriate. However, the supervisee may not be related to the client or the client’s primary caretaker or be the client’s primary caretaker. Supervisees must work with multiple clients during the experience period. (Also, see the following relevant sections of the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts: 1.06, 1.07, 2.0, 3.01, 3.03, 3.04, 3.05, 4.0, and 9.07.)
During the experience period, the supervisor must be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst or Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral in good standing. The supervisor may not be related to, subordinate to, or employed by the supervisee during the experience period. Employment does not include compensation received by the supervisor from the supervisee for supervision services. (Also, see the following relevant sections of the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts: 1.05, 1.06, 1.07, and 5.0.)
Nature of Supervision:
The purpose of supervision is to improve and maintain the behavior-analytic, professional, and ethical repertoires of the supervisee and facilitate the delivery of high-quality services to his/her clients. Effective behavior-analytic supervision includes:
- Development of performance expectations
- Observation, behavioral skills training, and delivery of performance feedback
- Modeling technical, professional, and ethical behavior
- Guiding behavioral case conceptualization, problem-solving, and decision-making repertoires
- Review of written materials (e.g., behavior programs, data sheets, reports)
- Oversight and evaluation of the effects of behavioral service delivery
- Ongoing evaluation of the effects of supervision
The supervisor must observe and provide feedback to the supervisee on his/her behavior-analytic activities with a client in the natural environment during each required supervisory period. In- person, on-site observation is preferred. However, this may be conducted via web-cameras, videotape, videoconferencing, or similar means in lieu of the supervisor being physically present; synchronous (real-time) observation is strongly encouraged.
Supervision may be conducted in small groups for no more than half of the total supervised hours in each supervisory period. Small groups are interactive meetings in which 2-10 supervisees who share similar experiences participate in the supervision activities described above. If non-supervisees are present during the meeting, their participation should be limited so as to increase the interaction opportunities of supervisees. The remainder of the total supervision hours in each supervisory period must consist of individual supervision.
The supervisee and supervisor must execute a written contract prior to the onset of the experience. The purpose of the contract is to protect all involved parties and align experience activities with the purpose of supervision described under Nature of Supervision (below). The contract should:
- State the responsibilities of the supervisor and supervisee; and
- Include a description of the appropriate activities and instructional objectives; and
- Include the objective and measurable circumstances under which the supervisor will sign the supervisee’s Experience Verification Form when the experience has ended; and
- Delineate the consequences should the parties not adhere to their responsibilities (including proper termination of the relationship); and
- Include a statement requiring the supervisee to obtain written permission from the supervisee’s on-site employer or manager when applicable; and
- Include an attestation that both parties will adhere to the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts and the BACB Disciplinary and Ethical Standards
The supervisee and supervisor are responsible for retaining and providing to the BACB, if requested, a copy of the contractual agreement.
Documentation of Ongoing Supervision:
The supervisee and supervisor are responsible for collecting documentation for each supervision period on the Experience Supervision Form during each supervisory period. One form should be completed at the end of each supervisory period. The BACB reserves the right to request this documentation at any time following an individual’s application to take the certification exam. This documentation should NOT be submitted with an exam application unless specifically requested by the BACB.
Supervisors may develop their own version of the Experience Supervision Form. These alternative forms must include all of the following elements:
- Date of each supervisory meeting
- Duration of each supervisory meeting
- Format of each supervisory meeting (i.e., individual or small group)
- An evaluation of supervisee performance
- The total experience hours obtained during the supervisory period
- The total individual and small-group supervision hours obtained during the supervisory â€¨period
- Date lines for supervisor and supervisee indicating when the form was completed & signed
- Signature lines for supervisor and supervisee
The supervisee and supervisor are responsible for retaining and providing to the BACB, if requested, copies of supervision documentation. Supervision documentation should be retained for at least 7 years.
The BACB Experience Standards and Forms were updated in September 2012. Please be sure to use the current version, available in the Downloads section of www.bacb.com. All applicants for certification must submit documentation of their experience using the current version of the Experience Verification Form. Previous versions of the form will no longer be accepted.
If a supervisee is unable to obtain the signature of a supervisor on the Experience Verification Form or disagrees with the total number of hours recorded on the form, the supervisee may supplement his or her application with proof of the following:
a. A copy of the supervisory contract
b. Copies of the signed Experience Supervision Forms completed during the experience
c. Letters or other documentation from third parties who observed the supervisory relationship
Supervisees also must provide the supervisor with copies of the documentation they are submitting to the BACB and must include proof of provision of this information to the supervisor (e.g., certified mail receipt along with a letter from the supervisee to the supervisor). The BACB may attempt to contact the supervisor to confirm receipt of this information and to provide him or her with an opportunity to address this matter in writing. Supervisors will be asked to provide documentation of dissatisfaction/concerns regarding the experience previously provided to supervisees claiming a contested supervision. If the application is denied based on the lack of proof of supervision, supervisees will have a right to appeal this denial.