The BACB convened a three-day subject matter expert panel following the California Association for Behavior Analysis conference in February to address the matter of specialty credentials. The panel consisted of certificants who worked with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities, and who were academics, administrators, consultants, and practitioners.
The panel's charge was to identify the tasks, activities and knowledge required for behavior analysts to work with persons who have 1) autism and 2) other developmental disabilities. The panel found that the BACB Third Edition Task List adequately covered all of the behavior analytic knowledge and skills required to provide behavior analysis services to both of these populations. The panel also observed that if BCBAs had mastery of this content and followed the Guidelines for Responsible Conduct completely, they could work adequately with persons with autism. The panel then developed a second task list containing additional content for BCBAs who work with individuals with autism. This new task list does not contain behavior analytic content, but rather it addresses autism-specific content including, relevant cultural variables, historic milestones, curriculum materials, assessment instruments, etc. Initial work was done on content for other developmental disabilities as well.
The new task list and other panel findings were reviewed by the BACB’s Board of Directors at its annual meeting following the May ABAI convention. The Directors deliberated the matter thoroughly and have elected not to pursue a specialty credential at this time. The BACB will foster the best practice of behavior analysis by continuing to encourage the overall competence of BCBAs and a more stringent adherence to the Guidelines for Responsible Conduct. The BACB is releasing information obtained through the exploration of the autism specialty in the form of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Task List for Board Certified Behavior Analysts Working with Persons with Autism©.