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Experience Standards

September 2012

Click here for the complete Experience Standards, Experience Supervision Form, and Experience Verification Form.  These forms are updated periodically.  Please ensure you are using the most current version. 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.

 

Categories of Supervised Experience

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.                                                       

INTENSIVE PRACTICUM (750 hours BCBA, 500 hours BCaBA)

To qualify under this standard at the BCBA level, supervisees must complete, with a passing grade, 750 hours of Intensive 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, 500 hours of Intensive 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 twice during that period for no less than 10% of the total hours spent in Intensive Practicum. For example, 20 hours of experience would include at least 2 supervised hours.

For all three of the above options, no fewer than 10 hours but no more than 30 hours may be accrued per week. Supervisees may accrue experience in only one category at a time (i.e., Supervised Independent Fieldwork, Practicum, or Intensive Practicum).

COMBINING 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.

 

Standards

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.

APPROPRIATE ACTIVITIES

The supervisee’s primary focus should be acquiring new behavior-analytic skills related to the BACB Third Edition Task List. 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 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.

Direct implementation of behavioral programs may not count for more than 50% of the total accrued experience hours.  Direct implementation does not refer to all time spent working with clients.  Rather, it refers to time spent delivering therapeutic and instructional procedures.  Activities that are not considered direct implementation include designing behavioral programs, naturalistic observation, staff and caregiver training, researching the literature related to the program, and conducting assessments related to the need for behavioral intervention.

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.

APPROPRIATE CLIENTS

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 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.)

SUPERVISOR QUALIFICATIONS

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 Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts: 1.05, 1.06, 1.07, and 5.0.)

THE 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 SUPERVISION CONTRACT

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 Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts and the Professional 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 period
  • Date lines for supervisor and supervisee indicating when the form was completed & signed
  • Signature lines for supervisor and supervisee

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 here.  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. 

CONTESTED EXPERIENCE

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:

  1. A copy of the supervisory contract
  2. Copies of the signed Experience Supervision Forms completed during the experience
  3. 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.