The Disciplinary Review Committee (DRC) and Disciplinary Appeals Committee (DAC) use a legal process customary to credentialing bodies. The process includes notice, an opportunity to respond, committee review, and an opportunity to appeal if sanctions are rendered. A DRC determination could include sanctions to the credential status, such as revocation or suspension of the credential.
The BACB cannot provide legal advice under any circumstances. If you have questions about whether you should report a potential ethical issue, or about the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code, the Association for Behavior Analysis International provides a Science, Practice, and Education Hotline where you may submit inquiries and receive guidance. If you reside in the United States in a state where the practice of behavior analysis is regulated, you may also contact the disciplinary board in your state. For more information about regulation in the United States, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts has a resource page on licensure and regulation. Whenever possible, we encourage, but do not require you to consult with a behavior analyst that specializes in the matter before filing a Notice of Alleged Violation. For legal advice, please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.
Overview of Process
Qualifying for Disciplinary Review
When a Notice of Alleged Violation (Notice) of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (Compliance Code) is submitted, the BACB evaluates the Notice to ensure it:
- Was submitted within six (6) months of the alleged violation (BACB staff have the discretion to extend the deadline if doing so would not impede the ability of the subject of the notice to respond),
- Could be a violation of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts, and
- Has sufficient evidence to support the violation(s).
If the Notice does not meet these criteria (or is otherwise not actionable as determined by the BACB), then no action will be taken and the person filing the Notice will be informed.
If the Notice does meet the above criteria, the credential-holder or candidate will receive a copy of the Notice typically within 30 days of the BACB receiving the Notice. The credential-holder or candidate will have the opportunity to send a written response to the Notice within 15 days of receiving the Notice. The case documents are then sent to the DRC.
Please note, if a complaint has been submitted to another agency (e.g., a governmental agency, third-party payor), the BACB may (but is not required to) postpone processing of the Notice until the final determinations have been issued.
Review by Disciplinary and Appeals Committees
The DRC will review the Notice and the written response from the credential-holder or candidate. If the Notice, written response, and/or documentation are in a language other than English, the BACB may recruit a bilingual BACB credential-holder to assist with the process. The BACB does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of translated documents.
The DRC will issue a final determination which may include:
- No further action
- Advisory warning
- Suspension or restriction of the individual’s credential or eligibility
- Revocation of a credential
- Revocation of the candidate’s ability to become certified
- Combination of sanctions
In addition, the credential-holder or candidate may be assigned tasks to remediate the violation or promote future adherence to the Compliance Code.
The credential-holder or candidate will receive the written final determination via email. Within 30 days of receiving the DRC final determination, the individual may appeal the determination and have the case reviewed by a Disciplinary Appeals Committee (DAC). The DAC may modify, uphold, or overturn the DRC’s final determination.
The person who filed the notice (Notifier) will be provided with a copy of the DRC’s (or DAC’S) final determination. Notifiers do not have appeal rights.
Reporting Disciplinary Sanctions
The DRC final determination may include sanctions to credential status (e.g., revoking certification, revoking eligibility to become credentialed, suspending certification or eligibility status, restricting credential). Sanctions will be reported with the name of the credential-holder or candidate, Compliance Code section violated, sanction, date, and location (e.g., country, state) on the BACB website and will be reported directly to applicable regulatory authorities (e.g., state licensing board).
Timeline for Disciplinary Process
Due to the nature of the review and the potential for sanctions, DRC matters typically take between four months and one year to resolve. The timeline is increased in cases involving legal representation of the credential-holder or candidate, third party determinations, evidence and disclosure issues, appeals, and translation.