Ethics Overview

RBTs receive at least 3 hours of instruction in ethics and professional conduct during mandatory training and are tested on professional conduct and scope of practice during the RBT Competency Assessment. In addition, RBTs must abide by a subset of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (Compliance Code) designated as relevant to the practice of RBTs.

NOTE: RBTs may not be related to, superior to, or the employer of the certificant providing training, assessing competency, providing supervision, or serving as the Responsible Certificant. Employment does not include compensation paid by the RBT for supervision services. Please see the following relevant sections of the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code: 1.04, 1.05, 1.06, 1.07, and 5.0.

Disciplinary Process

1. All professional or ethical complaints must be submitted directly to the RBT’s Responsible Certificant.

2. If the Responsible Certificant determines there is an immediate threat of harm to the consumer or another person present in the service-delivery setting, the Responsible Certificant shall address all ethical obligations including, but not limited to, taking immediate corrective action to ensure no additional threat of harm to the client, mandatory reporting to appropriate authorities, and following relevant agency or employer procedures. The Responsible Certificate should immediately file a Notice of Alleged Violation to the BACB. When reporting the matter to the BACB, the Responsible Certificant should identify all corrective actions taken.

Upon receipt of a complaint under this clause, the BACB shall immediately convene a Review Committee comprised of three current or former BACB Directors to determine if immediate action is needed to address the underlying reason for the complaint. In rare instances, an immediate and temporary suspension of RBT status may be issued. Any RBT reviewed under this provision shall receive notice of the allegation(s) and be given an opportunity to respond. In the event of an immediate and temporary suspension, the Review Committee will seek to meet ASAP (no longer than 30 days) to conduct a full review of the matter. To the extent practical, all other provisions and procedures as outlined in the Compliance Code, including the appeal procedures, shall apply to RBT review under this clause of this policy. The Review Committee’s decision will be forwarded to the Responsible Certificant. The Responsible Certificant shall be given notice of any sanction(s).

3. An RBT or applicant for the RBT credential must report directly to his or her Responsible Certificant AND the the BACB any matter that falls under section 10.02 of the Compliance Code (Self-Reporting)

4. If the Responsible Certificant determines that a complaint falls under section 10.02 of the Compliance Code, then the Responsible Certificant must notify the BACB legal department within 30 days of receipt of the complaint.

5. If the Responsible Certificant receives a complaint about his or her supervisee that falls under other sections of the Compliance Code that apply to RBTs, or that is forwarded to the Responsible Certificant from the BACB, the Responsible Certificant is responsible for the investigation and resolution of the matter. The Responsible Certificant must retain documentation of how the complaint was investigated and resolved. The BACB reserves the right to audit the Responsible Certificant for documentation of the complaint, investigation, and resolution.

6. A Notice of Alleged Violation may be filed against an RBT if the matter involves one of the following:

  1. A documented violation of 10.02;
  2. A matter generally covered by state mandatory requirements for health care providers (e.g., suspected abuse, negligence, or malfeasance); or
  3. Repeated offenses not otherwise resolved by the Responsible Certificant (to be reported to the BACB on a Notice of Alleged Violation filed by the Responsible Certificant).

7. An RBT or applicant for the RBT credential must report to his or her Responsible Certificant any matter that would impact the results of their criminal background check. The Responsible Certificant should have systems in place to ensure regular updating and confirmation of compliance by the RBT.

8. The Responsible Certificant must retain documentation of the procedures followed and conclusions regarding the criminal background check and any updates (e.g., changes that would impact the background check, matters reported to the BACB).

Note: The BACB reserves the right to generate a Notice of Alleged Violation against an RBT in the event of suspected noncompliance with any BACB standard, rule, or procedure.