BCaBA Requirements (January 1, 2022)

Eligibility Requirements

Pathway 1 – Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) Accredited Program:

Pathway 2 – Coursework:

  • 225 hours of specific coursework in behavior analysis
  • A bachelor’s degree in any field of study from an accredited institution in the US or an undergraduate degree from a qualifying institution outside the US that would qualify someone for a graduate program in that country
  • Practical experience that meets the 2022 fieldwork requirements


All applicants must take and pass BCaBA examination, regardless of the eligibility pathway used to qualify. Authorization to take the examination is only provided to applicants who have submitted a complete certification application to the BACB, including all documentation necessary to demonstrate that they have met all of the criteria for one of the eligibility pathways above.

Coursework Requirements For pathway 2

Updates to the coursework requirements were announced in the January 2017 Newsletter.

Coursework may come from an Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) Verified Course Sequence (VCS), although other coursework may also be acceptable.

ABAI VCS Coursework: When applicants present a transcript with a passing grade, students do not need to submit additional coursework documentation with their applications for examination.

ABAI Verified Course Sequence Directory
Pass Rates for Verified Course Sequences

Other Coursework: Coursework that is not from an ABAI VCS must be reviewed in order to determine whether it covered the required content for the minimum amount of instructional hours. The BACB will only make determinations about the acceptability of non-verified coursework as either (a) part of a formal application for examination or (b) an independent application for coursework evaluation.

A combination of VCS and other coursework may also be acceptable. Regardless of whether coursework is obtained from a VCS, every applicant must demonstrate that his or her coursework covered all of the required content for the minimum number of hours per category.

Coursework Area
BACB Compliance Code and Disciplinary Systems; Professionalism
Note: 15 hours must be taught in one or more freestanding courses.
30 hrs
Philosophical Underpinnings; Concepts & Principles 45 hrs
Measurement, Data Display, and Interpretation; Experimental Design
30 hrs
Behavior Assessment 45 hrs
Behavior-Change Procedures; Selecting and Implementing Interventions 60 hrs
Personnel Supervision and Management 15 hrs
Total 225 hrs

BCBA/BCaBA Task List (5th Ed.)

Beginning on January 1, 2022 the BCaBA examination will be based on the BCBA/BCaBA Task List (5th ed.).

BCaBA Fieldwork Requirements

This document outlines the fieldwork requirements for the BCaBA certification. The October 2017 Newsletter includes summary information about these changes.

Unique Documentation System
Because fieldwork varies across settings and practice areas, the BACB is granting supervisors and trainees the flexibility to develop their own system for documenting ongoing supervision and fieldwork in a way that demonstrates adherence to all the requirements. More details on information that should be documented in this system is available in the BCaBA Fieldwork Requirements document.

Monthly and Final Fieldwork Verification Forms
Note: The following forms are PDF documents that should be saved to your desktop and opened in Adobe Acrobat rather than your web browser. 

Individual Supervisor Forms

Organization Forms

Optional Resources

Maintenance Requirements

BCaBA certificants must complete the following to maintain their certification:

Continuing Education

Updates to the continuing education requirements were announced in the November 2018 Newsletter.

Amount: 20 CEUs (including 4 in ethics; 3 in supervision for supervisors)


CEU Type Description Documentation
Learning Continuing education by: attending events offered by ACE providers, completing advanced university graduate courses in behavior analysis, and participating in certain BACB certification activities Certificate from ACE events; syllabi and transcripts from university courses; no documentation is needed for BACB events (these are issued directly into the BACB accounts)
Teaching Continuing education by: teaching certain ACE events or teaching certain university courses in behavior analysis Documentation from the ACE provider for teaching an ACE event; a letter from a department chair for teaching a university course
Scholarship Continuing education by: publishing an applied behavior-analytic article in a peer-reviewed journal OR writing a review or decision letter for an applied behavior-analytic article submitted to a peer-reviewed journal A PDF of the final published article; a letter from the journal editor or associate editor

Unsupervised BCaBAs

An unsupervised BCaBA may want to request Voluntary Inactive Status rather than allow his/her certification to expire.

An unsupervised BCaBA:

  • May not practice as a BCaBA. Practicing as a BCaBA is defined as engaging in any tasks identified in the BCBA/BCaBA Task List (5th ed).
  • May not sign or bill as a “BCaBA.” This includes signing any client records or billing forms as a BCaBA. The BCaBA may represent to potential employers that the BCaBA will no longer be listed as “inactive” once the BCaBA secures a new supervisor; and
  • Must report critical information to the BACB while unsupervised. “Critical information” includes any investigations by professional, healthcare, and regulatory organizations, and charges or actions that might impact a BCaBA’s criminal background check or status with the BACB. “Critical information” also includes any physical conditions, mental conditions, or substance addictions that could impair the BCaBA’s ability to competently provide behavior-analytic services and/or jeopardize public health and safety.
  • May return to being “active” on the website Registry if his/her new supervisor adds the BCaBA as a supervisee in his/her BACB Account.

Inactive Policy

1. Description: Inactive status is for certificants who need a break from maintaining their certification for a period of time. During the period of inactivity, there are no certificant maintenance requirements (i.e., continuing education, supervision, recertification fees). A certificant may only stay inactive for a maximum of 4 years at a time. Certificants may not again apply for inactive status until at least one full recertification cycle has been completed.

2. Application Requirements: Certificants who are current with their continuing education and supervision requirements (prorated to the month of request) may elect inactive status at any time. Inactive certificants will complete an application and pay a one-time, inactive request fee of $50.

3. Reactivation Requirements: Requires submission of a reactivation application and fee (equivalent to the certificant’s recertification fee); the reactivation fee is not required for inactive periods of less than 1 year. For inactive periods of more than 2 years, the certificant must provide proof of 8 CEUs in the 12-month period prior to reactivation. When the individual becomes active again, their certification cycle will resume (e.g., a certificant having 8 months until the end of their cycle at date of beginning inactive status, upon reactivation their cycle will end 8 months from the date of reactivation). Those inactive for a period of 4 years are required to request reactivation or their certification will expire.

4. Restrictions: Individuals who have inactive status will be listed as inactive in the Certificant Registry and will not be verified as having active BACB certification. These individuals may refer to their credential as “BCaBA (Inactive).” An inactive certificant is strictly prohibited from practicing or billing as a BCaBA.

Voluntary Inactive Status Application – BCaBA
Request to Return from Inactive Status – BCBA & BCaBA

Active Duty/Reserve Status Policy

Any individual called to active military duty in the United States armed forces may apply for a temporary reservation of their certification status or eligibility to cover the period during which they are called to active military duty (not to exceed two [2] years). Certificants called to active duty who wish to request reserve status will be prohibited from representing that they are BACB certified (or supervising experience designed to comply with BACB standards) until reinstatement of their certification.

Upon being called to active duty, the individual shall notify the BACB and provide a copy of their official call up notice. The BACB will place the individual on reserve status during the active duty period. Following completion of their active duty, or two (2) years, whichever is earlier, the individual must contact the BACB to update their certification status. When the individual becomes active again, the certification cycle or eligibility window will resume.