Applied Behavior Analyst Assistant Career Plan (2023)

Applied Behavior Analyst Assistants provide applied behavior analysis (ABA) services under the supervision of an applied behavior analyst. The job duties of Applied Behavior Analyst Assistants are generally supportive, assisting Applied Behavior Analysts in the process of data collection, record keeping, and administration of specific assessments under the direction of the Behavior Analyst.

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The Assistant Applied Behavior Analyst works under the supervision of an Applied Behavior Analyst. Depending on the roles and responsibilities assigned by the supervisory behavior analyst, assistants may be asked to:

  • Assist the behavior analyst in completing assessments and developing ABA therapy.
  • Collect and analyze data and make interventions and changes as needed
  • Manage ABA Ratings
  • Monitor and record patient progress
  • Comprehensive reports detailing the progress of an ABA program
  • Monitor the need for patient reassessment or referral
  • Stop any treatment procedures that appear to be harmful to the patient and immediately notify the supervising applied behavior analyst.

Assistant ABAs work under the supervision of applied behavior analysts in a wide variety of settings and with an equally large number of populations, including schools, private practices, home care and community clinics, and with adults and children with autism spectrum disorders. and other pervasive developmental disorders or traumatic brain injuries.

Assistant ABAs may also be social workers, teacher aides/assistants, speech therapists, or people working to become applied behavior analysts.

Limitations and Supervision Requirements of the ABA Assistant Practice

It states that licensed applied behavior analysts and assistant applied behavior analysts have clear language regarding the scope of practice of assistant applied behavior analysts. Under the scope of the state license, ABA assistants are generally limited to practicing limited ABA and only under the supervision of a licensed applied behavior analyst.

While supervisory requirements may vary from state to state, it generally means receiving initial instruction and periodic on-site supervision by the Supervisory Applied Behavior Analyst.

Ultimately, supervision is left to the discretion of the supervising applied behavior analyst, and these independent ABA professionals determine the amount and type of supervision relative to the ABA assistant's experience and competence in ABA, as well as the complexity of the work. treatment program.

In most cases, ABA assistants cannot:

  • Initiate a treatment program until the patient has been evaluated and treatment

planned by the supervisor licensed behavior analyst

  • Perform a patient assessment; however, they may administer specific assessments under the direction of the applied behavior analyst.
  • Analyze or interpret assessment data; however, they can participate in the selection process by collecting data and reporting it to the applied behavior analyst.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst Assistant (BCaBA®) supervisory requirements

If you become oneBoard Certified Behavior Analyst Assistant (BCaBA®), you must meet BACB supervisory requirements. BCaBA® must be supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®) or BCBA®-D (PhD).

The amount of supervision the BCaBA® must have is based on the number of service hours in a month and how long ago you were certified. During the first 1,000 hours of post-certification work, you must be supervised for at least 5% of the total number of hours you provide behavior analysis services, with at least one hour of supervision every two weeks.

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After completing your initial 1,000 hours of post-certification work, you must continue to receive supervision at a rate of 2% of the total number of hours you provide behavior analysis services each month.

You should also meet with your supervisor at least once a month. Between meetings, your supervisor should be available for consultation. You do not need to meet supervisory requirements if you do not provide behavior analysis services during a given month.

BCaBA® supervision requires the completion of three documents:

  • The supervision contract
  • BCaBA® Supervision Meeting Form
  • A log detailing the number of hours of service and hours of supervision.

You must also enter into a Supervisory Agreement with your supervisor. You and your supervisor must sign it before starting your supervisory relationship.

BCaBA® supervisory requirements are detailed in the BACBStandards for Supervision of BCaBA®s.

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How to become an Applied Behavior Analyst Assistant

In 2012, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) revised itsModel Law for Licensing/Regulation of Behavior Analysts, which established universal qualifications for licensed behavior analysts, licensed behavior analyst assistants, and frontline technicians of applied behavior analysts.

HeBoard Certified Behavior Analyst Assistant (BCaBA®) Certificationreflects the BACB Model Law for Applied Behavior Analyst Best Practices and Ethical Standards and has become a requirement for state licensure or a path to state licensure in most states for licensing for assistant applied behavior analysts. It is also a respected credential throughout the ABA industry and a requirement for insurance reimbursement in many states that cover ABA therapy through autism insurance mandates.

The BCaBA® is a university-level certification in behavior analysis. As a BCaBA®, you cannot practice independently, but rather work under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®) or BCBA®-D (PhD). You can supervise the work ofRegistered Behavioral Techniciansand others who implement behavior analysis interventions.

Regardless of whether it is a practical requirement, earning the BCaBA® credential will provide you with the necessary education and training to qualify for state licensure and/or BCaBA® certification.

To become a BCaBA®, you must:

Complete a bachelor's degree and approved courses

You must complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in any discipline, along with courses approved by the BACB.

You can meet BACB graduation requirements by completing one of the following:

BCaBA® certification candidates typically complete their degree program in applied behavior analysis, psychology, special education, guidance and counseling, and social work, just to name a few.

You can also qualify for BCaBA® certification by completing a program that meetsBACB Course Content Assignment Requirementsand is approved by the BACB at the time of application.

Course content requirements for the BCaBA® certification include:

  • Ethical and Professional Conduct: 15 hours
  • Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis: 45 hours
  • Research Methods in Behavior Analysis
    • Measurement (including data analysis): 10 hours
    • Experimental design: 5 hours
  • Applied behavior analysis
    • Fundamentals of behavior change and specific behavior change procedures: 45 hours
    • Problem identification and evaluation: 30 hours
    • Behavior change considerations and intervention: 5 hours
    • Behavior Change Systems: 5 hours
    • Implementation, Management and Supervision: 5 hours
  • Discretionary: 15 hours

The BACB recognizes on-campus and online BCaBA® programs and independently verified course sequences. Online ABA programs allow students who do not reside near an institution offering an accredited program or professionals with demanding schedules to complete required courses through interactive web-based courses.

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Meet practical experience requirements

As part of your bachelor's degree, you must complete hours of experience recognized by the BACB. You can complete the required hours through a 670-hour program-based internship or 500-hour intensive internship, or through a 1,000-hour period of supervised independent fieldwork.

Independent fieldwork experiences/internships should include the opportunity to gain experience in:

  • Conducting assessments related to the need for behavioral intervention.
  • Design, implement and monitor skill acquisition and behavior reduction programs
  • Supervise the implementation of behavior analysis programs by others.
  • Training and design of behavior and performance management systems

Take and pass the BCaBA® certification exam

The last step to becoming a BCaBA® requires going through theBCaBA® tests. The exam consists of 130 multiple-choice questions and is administered by Pearson VUE.

It consists of the following content areas:

  • Basic behavior analysis skills
    • Measurement
    • Design experimental
    • Behavior change considerations
    • Key elements of behavior change
    • Specific behavior change procedures
    • behavior change systems
  • Non-Customer Centered Responsibilities
    • Problem identification
    • Measurement
    • Assessment
    • intervention
    • Implementation, Management and Supervision

Meet state licensing requirements

It is important to check with the state board (usually the Board of Applied Behavior Analysts or Board of Psychological Examiners) where you intend to practice as an Assistant Applied Behavior Analyst to ensure that you meet state licensing requirements. , if appropriate.

Most states that license ABA assistants require BCaBA® certification for licensing or accept it as a path to licensing.

Just some of the states that license ABA assistants include:

  • Alabama
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Vermont
  • Washington

Some states, such as Louisiana, New York, and Oklahoma, license applied behavior analysts but certify the AABA.

Other states, such as Arizona, Hawaii, and Maryland, license applied behavior analysts but do not regulate ABA assistants through certification or licensing.

More information about your state's BCaBA® license requirements can be found here.

How the BCaBA® can become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®)

If you hold the BCaBA® designation and wish to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®), an independent professional with full authority to implement ABA programs and provide ABA services, you must complete an acceptable graduate degree in behavior analysis. , psychology, or education, along with required courses at the graduate level.

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You can meet BCBA® educational requirements by completing a BCBA-accredited doctoral or master's program.International Association for Behavior Analysis (ABAI)or completing a program that includes aSequence of courses verified by BACB(VCS), either as part of the program or independently of the program.

You may also complete a program that is not ABAI accredited or includes a VCS, as long as it includesBACB Course Content Assignment Requirementsand is approved by the BACB at the time of application.

You must also complete at least 500 hours of experience that meets the requirementsBACB Experience Standardsand take and pass the BCBA® exam.

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You can learn more about how to get BCBA® certified as BCaBA®here.

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