The Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services. The BACB administers three certification examinations: Registered Behavior Technician (RBT®), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA®), and the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®). The BCBA, BCaBA, and RBT certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which mandates compliance with a number of rigorous standards intended to ensure the integrity of a professional certification program. One of those standards includes empaneling Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to contribute to the integrity of the BACB examination development and maintenance processes.
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Position Title: Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Summary of Role: An SME provides insight and guidance for the BACB’s ongoing examination development and maintenance processes. An SME has proficiency in his or her subject matter within the profession of applied behavior analysis. SMEs will be assigned to one or more certification examination development and maintenance related committees. Committees will meet regularly in-person and virtually.

Qualifications: An SME must meet the qualifications below to be considered to serve on a Committee.

  • Must be credentialed as a BCBA, BCaBA, or RBT for at least two years and must be in good standing OR otherwise meet training requirements as a behavior analyst;
  • Must be a current or former practitioner in an area of practice in behavior analysis; or, an individual qualified that may work in other roles within behavior analysis (e.g., supervisors, university faculty members, regulators);
  • Must have extensive knowledge in the scope of practice of applied behavior analysis that is commensurate with certification level;
  • Must have experience that includes day-to-day practice expectations of a behavior analyst in both content and context; and
  • Must be able to fulfill a two-year term commitment

Scope of Authority: A variety of committees require SMEs, including but not limited to the Job Task Analysis, Item Writing, Item Review, and Standard Setting committees. Each of these types of committees are described below.

Job Task Analysis: The Job Task Analysis (JTA) committee member actively creates the JTA for each certification type. A JTA is a systematic process for analyzing the functions and tasks performed on a job as well as the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform those tasks. The JTA, also known as job analysis or practice analysis, is the first step in the test development process and provides the foundation for all subsequent test development activities. The results of the JTA describe the breadth and depth of knowledge and skills that must be covered by the certification examination in order for it to be deemed valid, credible, and useful. The results of the JTA provide the material for the test blueprint and the Task List.

Item Writer: Under the guidance of BACB's psychometrician and the supervision of the Director of Testing and Accreditation and/or Testing Development Coordinator, Item Writers create items (e.g., questions) and scenarios for the BACB's examinations.

Item Reviewer: Under the guidance of BACB's psychometrician and the supervision of the Director of Testing and Accreditation and/or Testing Development Coordinator, Item Reviewers will review the content, construction and performance of live and pilot items to identify problems and conceptualize solutions for BACB's examinations.

Standard Setter: Standard Setters work under the guidance of BACB's psychometrician and the supervision of the Director of Testing and Accreditation and/or Testing Development Coordinator to set the minimal levels of competence on examinations. Standard Setting is a method of determining cut scores that correspond to performance levels. The standard setting process is implemented with a committee of certificants who understand the assessment content standards and the performance of candidates. During the standard setting process, SMEs set cut scores by engaging in a structured conversation that includes discussion of content standards, performance levels, the test, and expectations for certificants.

Key Responsibilities:

SMEs will:

  • Fully participate on an assigned committee for the entire two year term;
  • Have the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of certificants to perform given responsibilities and tasks as related to the scope of practice;
  • Contribute core content and supply source materials, reference items, and supplemental resources used to validate answers to written items in the examination;
  • Consult with committee members on issues that occur during review of examination content;
  • Meet all agreed upon times for deliverables and reviews; and
  • Adhere to BACB's Confidentiality Policy and Professional and Ethical Compliance Code

Training/support provided: BACB staff will conduct appropriate training. Specific focus will be on item writing, rules for writing distractors, the need for specific citations, and the importance of security. SMEs will be able to receive guidance via an online web meeting in most cases.

Selection Method and Term of Service: BACB Staff will review applications and determine committee assignments. The length of service is two years and will include a combination of on-site and remote committee meetings. The BACB will select a diverse group of SMEs for each committee utilizing the following benchmarks:

  • Demographics
  • Education/Training
  • Employment
  • Experience
  • Geography


  • Opportunity to define and validate the practitioner activities in behavior analysis
  • Collaboration with other colleagues in the profession of behavior analysis
  • Service to the profession that may be included in curriculum vitae and biographies
  • Advance the BACB’s mission of consumer protection worldwide
  • Yearly honorariums provided for committee service
  • Opportunity to work and submit projects remotely
  • On-site meeting travel expenditures fully covered by BACB