Documenting Fieldwork: Helpful Answers to Your FAQs

Documenting Fieldwork FAQs

Keeping up with documentation can be hard—but it doesn’t have to be! With a solid plan in place to track your fieldwork, you can rest assured knowing that your fieldwork hours are being accurately documented.

Check out these answers to your frequently asked questions about the fieldwork documentation system, Monthly and Final Fieldwork Verification Forms, the former Fieldwork Tracker, and the transition to the 2022 requirements to ensure that you’re set up for success. For more helpful tips, be sure to review the Documenting Fieldwork Hours video.

Note: This information is geared toward those accruing supervised fieldwork hours, but it can be applied to those accruing experience hours as well. Please use Experience Verification Forms rather than Fieldwork Verification Forms if you plan to apply before January 1, 2022.

Fieldwork Documentation System

Q: Who should develop and maintain my documentation system?

A: You and your supervisor can collaborate to develop a documentation system, or you can develop it on your own. However, please keep in mind that regardless of who develops and maintains the documentation system, both you and your supervisor are required to keep copies of all relevant documentation.

Q: Who is responsible for tracking my hours to make sure they meet the requirements?

A: Both you and your supervisor should be tracking your fieldwork hours. At a minimum, your supervisor should review all of your hours for each supervisory period before they sign the Monthly Fieldwork Verification Form. Don’t wait until the Final Fieldwork Verification Form must be signed for your supervisor to review all of your hours!

Q: What might it look like to document my fieldwork?

A: This is a great question—and there’s a lot to consider. Here are a few pointers to get you started, but be sure to check out the Documenting Fieldwork Hours video for an in-depth look at how to best document your fieldwork:

  1. First, we recommend that you complete the Fieldwork Checklist and Tip Sheet, as it includes helpful guidance on getting started.
  2. Once you’ve found a qualified supervisor, signed your supervision contract, and established your documentation system, you’ll likely begin accruing hours by performing both restricted and unrestricted activities. You should meet with your supervisor throughout the month to help ensure that you’re gaining the skills necessary to demonstrate competence in applied behavior analysis. You can find a more comprehensive description of acceptable activities in the relevant BCBA or BCaBA 2022 Eligibility Requirements document.
  3. By the end of the month, you’ll want to double check that you’ve documented the total number of individual and group supervision hours you accrued, the total number of supervision contacts that occurred, and the total number of observations-with-clients that took place that month. Don’t forget to document all other relevant information along the way (see the BCBA or BCaBA 2022 Eligibility Requirements document for additional information).
  4. At this point, you and your supervisor will review the documentation to confirm that all of the requirements for that month have been met. If your supervisor can agree to the listed attestations, they will sign your Monthly Fieldwork Verification Form for that supervisory period. This form must be signed by the last day of the calendar month following the month of supervision, and both you and your supervisor must retain copies.
  5. Once you’ve completed all of your fieldwork and met all of the requirements, your supervisor will sign your Final Fieldwork Verification Form. When you’re ready to apply, this is the form you’ll submit with your application.

Q: How do I document combined Supervised Fieldwork and Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork?

A: These should be documented on separate forms. Please note that Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork hours have approximately 1.33 times the temporal value of Supervised Fieldwork hours. In your documentation system, you may want to convert your Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork hours to Supervised Fieldwork hours to ensure that you’re on track to accrue all of the hours that you need to apply for certification.

Q: Is the audit process something that I should plan for?

A: Yes! It’s highly recommended that you keep all of your fieldwork documents organized and up to date in anticipation of an audit. If you’re audited, we’ll provide you with an audit log and guidance on what information or time period is being audited. With your documentation system already organized, it’ll be easy to complete the audit log. Feel free to review the Fieldwork Audit Process visual in the BCBA or BCaBA 2022 Eligibility Requirements document for more information.

Monthly and Final Fieldwork Verification Forms

Q: I see that the Monthly and Final Fieldwork Verification Forms require a BACB ID. Where can I find mine?

A: Your BACB ID is located in your BACB account. If you don’t have a BACB account, you’ll need to create one. We strongly suggest creating only one account to prevent delays in processing your application. If you experience any issues accessing your account, use the Contact Us Form for assistance.

Q: What should I do if I need to modify a Monthly Fieldwork Verification Form?

A: This one is important! Here’s what you can do:

  • If it’s still within one calendar month of the supervisory period, you can create a new version and get all of the necessary signatures.
  • If it’s more than one calendar month after the supervisory period has ended, you and your supervisor can make the relevant changes and have everyone involved initial them. Just make sure that your documentation can support the corrected form!

Q: If I lose a Monthly Fieldwork Verification Form, can I still count those hours?

A: Technically, yes. You may submit those hours, but if your fieldwork is selected for an audit, you must have additional documentation that sufficiently verifies the hours that were captured on the lost form. If your documentation is insufficient, those hours may not be accepted, and you may need to complete additional fieldwork.

Q: Can I submit the Final Fieldwork Verification Forms electronically?

A: Absolutely. Please see the Acceptable Signatures Policy for more information on acceptable types of digital signatures. When you apply, you’ll receive guidance on where to submit your forms.

Q: If I’m completing a Multiple Supervisors at One Organization Fieldwork Verification Form, should I enter the name of everyone who supervised me at the organization?

A: It depends! Let’s break it down:

  • Monthly Fieldwork Verification Form: No. The responsible supervisor is the only one who must be listed on and who must sign the form.
  • Final Fieldwork Verification Form: Yes. Anyone from the organization who provided supervision for you must be listed; however, the responsible supervisor should be the only one to sign the form.

Q: How should I determine who the responsible supervisor is?

A: If you’re receiving supervision from multiple supervisors at one organization, you’ll need a responsible supervisor—an individual who ensures that all of the supervisors’ activities are well organized and coordinated. The person who serves in this role must be identified on the supervision contract and must be able to agree to all of the relevant attestations on the Monthly and Final Fieldwork Verification Forms. For this reason, the responsible supervisor who signs the Final Fieldwork Verification Form must have been qualified to be a responsible supervisor for the entire duration of the supervision provided. Anyone who meets those requirements may act as your responsible supervisor.

Fieldwork Tracker

Q: Is the Fieldwork Tracker still available as a resource?

A: No. The Fieldwork Tracker was previously available as an optional resource that was sometimes requested during an audit. It was removed because we received feedback that it was stressful to track hours in both the Fieldwork Tracker and in a personal documentation system.

If you’re already using the Fieldwork Tracker, that’s OK! Just be sure to keep this in mind:

  • We won’t request the Fieldwork Tracker for an audit.
  • We no longer provide technical support for the Fieldwork Tracker, so you must use your own documentation system to track your fieldwork hours.
  • The Fieldwork Tracker is not comprehensive of everything that’s needed in a documentation system. These requirements have not changed, so you must work with your supervisor to ensure that your documentation meets all of the fieldwork requirements described in the relevant BCBA or BCaBA 2022 Eligibility Requirements document. This is vital, as your documentation will be used to show that you’re meeting all of the fieldwork requirements and receiving quality experience along the way.

Transitioning to the 2022 Requirements

Q: If I’m applying before January 1, 2022, under the current experience requirements, can I use this guidance?

A: Yes. Although the requirements for experience hours and fieldwork hours differ in several ways, these documentation tips apply to both sets of requirements. Just be sure to reference the correct handbooks (e.g., BCBA and BCaBA Handbooks) and complete the correct forms (e.g., Monthly and Final Experience Verification Forms).

Q: If I accrued experience hours on or before December 31, 2021, can I use those hours to meet the supervised fieldwork requirements that go into effect in 2022?

A: We’re glad you asked! If the experience hours you accrued on or before December 31, 2021, meet all of the 2022 fieldwork requirements (e.g., supervision contacts, observation requirements), and if you have documentation demonstrating that you meet all of the requirements in effect at the time of application, you can count your experience hours toward supervised fieldwork. The most important thing to keep in mind is that if you apply after January 1, 2022, your documentation must demonstrate that you meet the 2022 requirements. Check out the Guidance for Those Applying for BCBA Certification During the 2022 Transition or the Guidance for Those Applying for BCaBA Certification During the 2022 Transition resources for a crosswalk of the differences between both sets of requirements.


Thank you for reviewing these Q&As. We hope that they helped you feel more confident in documenting your fieldwork—and we encourage you to continue familiarizing yourself with our documentation requirements. The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be to complete your application and take the next steps toward certification.

New Resources for Documenting Fieldwork

Good news! We released two new resources that provide guidance on documenting fieldwork, and we no longer require the Fieldwork Tracker in the event of an audit. Please review the Documenting Fieldwork Hours video and the Documenting Fieldwork: Helpful Answers to Your FAQs blog for important insight into the supervision contract, ongoing documentation system, Monthly and Final Fieldwork Verification Forms, and beyond.

Documenting Fieldwork Hours

Documenting Fieldwork Hours

By the BACB

This video covers important information about how to best document your fieldwork hours. Check it out for helpful insight into the supervision contract, ongoing documentation system, Monthly and Final Fieldwork Verification Forms, and beyond.

You can find all of the BACB’s videos on our YouTube channel.

Temporary Allowances for Experience/Fieldwork and Competency Assessments

Due to social distancing requirements during the COVID–19 pandemic, the BACB will allow temporary deviations for certain "with a client" requirements. As of March 1, the "observation with a client" sub–requirement that applies to Experience and Fieldwork will be temporarily waived for those without access to clients.

In addition, all RBT competency assessments received as of April 28, 2020 will allow "with a client" tasks to be fulfilled via "role play."

To learn more about COVID-19-related changes or news from the BACB, please visit our BACB COVID-19 Updates web page.

Temporary Allowances for Experience/Fieldwork and Competency Assessments

April 28, 2020 (Modified August 11, 2020)

Due to social distancing requirements during the COVID–19 pandemic, we will provide temporary deviations for the following "with a client" requirements.

  • Experience and Fieldwork ("observation with a client") — As of March 1, and until further notice, we will temporarily waive the “observation with a client” sub-requirement for trainees who do not have in-person access to clients and, thus, are only accruing unrestricted hours. As always, all unrestricted activities must relate to a specific client’s needs.
    If you are a supervisor and you want your trainees to qualify for this temporary exception:
    • You (the supervisor) must complete the attestation for each month impacted.
    • You and your trainee must keep this document in your records.
    • In the event of a future audit, this form must be submitted for any of the qualifying months that were impacted.
  • RBT Competency Assessments ("with a client" tasks) — For all initial and renewal competency assessments received as of April 28, 2020, and until notified on the BACB's COVID–19 Updates page, we will temporarily allow the "with a client" tasks to be assessed in a role–play situation with a client surrogate.
    If you are a Responsible Assessor and you want those you are assessing to qualify for this temporary exception.
    • You (the Responsible Assessor) must complete the attestation and indicate on the Competency Assessment "role play."
    • You and the applicant/RBT must keep this document in your records.
    • The applicant/RBT must submit this document with the competency assessment when submitting their RBT certification or renewal application.

Continue to monitor BACB correspondence and the COVID–19 Updates page for the date on which these temporary exceptions will no longer be allowed. This is only applicable for the sub–requirements stated above and does not apply to any other requirements.

COVID-19 Update from the BACB

March 18, 2020 Update: In response to the COVID–19 pandemic, Pearson VUE has closed all its testing centers in the US and Canada. Please visit the Pearson VUE website for the latest updates and to reschedule your BACB examination for a later date. You can cancel up to 24 hours before your scheduled examination without being charged a cancellation fee.


March 17, 2020 (Modified August 12, 2020)

The COVID–19 pandemic has implications for every aspect of society. Given this unprecedented situation and the impact it will continue to have on our certificants, clients, families, and trainees, we are offering the following information for BACB certificants and trainees in a number of areas related to our requirements.

Experience, Fieldwork, and Supervision for Trainees, RBTs, and BCaBAs

Our certification requirements were developed to provide flexibility in how they are met across a variety of conditions. In special circumstances, however, we have a compassionate–exception appeals process in which reasonable deviations that still meet the intent of our requirements may be accepted. This process may include greater leniency around specific requirements that involve interactions with clients (e.g., number of trainee- or RBT–client observations, minimum number of experience hours in a month). It is particularly important that you keep detailed documentation in the event you are subject to a BACB–requirements audit. That documentation should include information about how the pandemic impacted your services, supervision, etc., and the steps you took to try to meet the requirements. Finally, we encourage every BACB certificant and trainee to seek guidance from their supervisors about how supervision and service delivery might be impacted in the weeks ahead. Please see the “Temporary Allowances for Experience/Fieldwork and Competency Assessments” COVID–19 update for more information.

Examinations

Pearson VUE has implemented additional safety procedures and is providing regular updates to ensure the safety of our candidates. Remember that all BACB examinations are available on demand and you can schedule your examination for a later date. Additionally, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your scheduled examination without being charged a cancellation fee.

Continuing Education

The number of recent conference cancellations and the use of social distancing measures might impact how some of you with upcoming recertification dates were planning to obtain continuing education. Although we can't recommend specific continuing education providers, please note that there are many options available online. In addition, the new CEU requirements implemented in January 2020 no longer restrict types of CE activities, so some of you might be able to earn CEUs from other sources.

Application Submissions

Because mail service and processing may be impacted by changes to delivery timelines, the more information you submit electronically, the better.

Finally, we have implemented measures to ensure the health and safety of our employees, including remote work for employees beginning on March 17th. Although we have discontinued phone–based customer service during this period, we will continue to process applications and respond to emails. To reach a customer service representative, please use our online Contact Us form.