BCBA Requirements (January 1, 2022)

Eligibility Requirements

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

Pathway 2 – Coursework:

  • 315 hours of specific graduate coursework in behavior analysis (see below)
  • A master’s degree or higher in any field of study
  • Practical experience that meets the 2022 fieldwork requirements

Pathway 3 – Faculty Teaching and Research:

  • A master’s degree or higher in any field of study
  • Practical experience that meets the 2022 fieldwork requirements
  • A faculty appointment (3 years cumulative full-time work as a faculty member at a qualifying institution over a 5-year period)
  • Acceptable teaching experience. Must have taught at least 5 sections/iterations of behavior-analytic coursework. Must have taught at least 2 of the following behavior-analytic content areas in separate courses: concepts and principles of behavior, single-subject research methods, applied behavior analysis, and ethics in behavior analysis. Each course must have been exclusively or primarily devoted to behavior-analytic content and coursework must have been taught at the graduate level. Required documentation for this teaching is a letter from the applicant’s department head and course syllabi.
  • One research publication with the following characteristics: Behavior analytic in nature (per Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968); included at least one experimental evaluation, published in a high-quality, peer-reviewed journal; the applicant was the first, second, or corresponding author; and the article could have been published at any time in the applicant’s career. Required documentation for this research is a copy of the article.

Pathway 4 – Postdoctoral Experience:

  • A doctoral degree or higher in any field of study
  • 500 hours of practical experience that meets the 2022 fieldwork requirements
  • Postdoctoral experience including: 10 years of cumulative postdoctoral experience practicing behavior analysis full time. All practice must have occurred under a relevant state or national professional credential (e.g., a license) but different credentials at different times are acceptable. Required documents for this experience are a curriculum vitae, signed attestations from current or former employers, and proof of the applicable professional credential(s).


All applicants must take and pass the BCBA 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.

Verified Course Sequence Coursework. Coursework may come from an ABAI Verified Course Sequence. When applicants present a transcript with a passing grade, students do not need to submit the course syllabi with their applications for exam.

ABAI VCS Directory
Pass Rates for Verified Course Sequences

Other Coursework. Coursework must come from a qualifying institution and cover the required content outlined in the BACB’s Fifth Edition Task List and coursework based upon the table below. Only graduate (i.e., master’s or doctoral) courses where the applicant was formally enrolled and earned a passing grade (“C” or better for graded courses) are acceptable.

Coursework Area
BACB Compliance Code and Disciplinary Systems; Professionalism
Note: The content must be taught in one or more freestanding courses.
45 hrs
Philosophical Underpinnings; Concepts & Principles
Note: 45 hours must be taught in one freestanding course on concepts and principles.
90 hrs
Measurement, Data Display, and Interpretation; Experimental Design
Note: The content must be taught in one freestanding course.
45 hrs
Behavior Assessment 45 hrs
Behavior-Change Procedures; Selecting and Implementing Interventions 60 hrs
Personnel Supervision and Management 30 hrs
Total 315 hrs

BCBA/BCABA Task List (5th ed.)

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

BCBA Fieldwork Requirements

This document includes the fieldwork requirements for BCBA 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 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

BCBAs must complete the following to maintain their certification:

Continuing Education

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

Amount: 32 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

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 requirements 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 “BCBA-D (Inactive),” or “BCBA (Inactive).” An inactive certificant is strictly prohibited from practicing or billing as a BCBA or BCBA-D.

Voluntary Inactive Status Application – BCBA
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 fieldwork designed to comply with BACB requirements) 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.