FAQs About the 2023 International Changes

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In December of 2019, we announced a number of changes to our international focus that will go into effect on January 1, 2023 (see Recent Changes to the BACB’s International Focus). To help you navigate these changes, we’ve answered several of your key questions. Let’s address the most important one before we get started:

Who will be affected by these changes to the BACB’s international focus?

These changes will primarily impact new BACB applicants and current BACB certificants, supervisors, trainers, and faculty members who work and/or reside outside of the following authorized countries: the United States (US), Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom (UK).* If this describes you, read on to find out how you might be affected and how you can best prepare.

Applying for BACB Certification Outside of Authorized Countries

 

Q: I recently learned that as of January 1, 2023, new BACB certifications will only be available to residents of authorized countries. Who’s considered a resident?

A: To be considered a resident of an authorized country, you must physically reside in the US, Canada, Australia, or the UK. The BACB will confirm that you’ve met this requirement by checking the address listed in your BACB account. The BACB may also verify your residency by requesting additional documentation, such as your government-issued identification, work records, driver’s license, or utility bills from the time of application. Please note that using a false or temporary address to wrongfully meet this requirement may lead to the invalidation of your eligibility or certification.


Q: I don’t reside in an authorized country. What’s the last day I can apply for BACB certification?

A: Because application processing timelines vary according to volume, we strongly recommend that you submit an approvable application** as early as possible—ideally before September 1, 2022. This isn’t a set deadline, but it accounts for the time you’ll need to apply for, schedule, and pass your examination by December 31, 2022. Current application processing timelines are available on the Customer Service Updates web page.


Q: I don’t reside in an authorized country, and I have an open examination authorization period that ends after December 31, 2022. Can I take the examination in 2023 before my authorization period ends?

A: No. All examination authorization periods for individuals who don’t reside in authorized countries will expire on January 1, 2023. In addition, BACB examinations will no longer be available at testing centers or offered remotely outside of authorized countries beginning on this date.


Q: I don’t reside in an authorized country, and I am currently training to become a behavior analyst. If I graduate after January 1, 2023, can I apply for certification if I’m willing to travel to an authorized country to take the examination?

A: No. As of January 1, 2023, new BACB certification applications will only be accepted from residents of authorized countries.


Q: I earned my degree outside of an authorized country and then moved to an authorized country. Will I meet the degree requirements when I apply for certification after December 31, 2022?

A: It depends. The fact that you earned a degree outside of an authorized country doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from becoming certified after that date. If your degree meets the degree requirements in effect at the time of application, it likely qualifies. Visit the BCBA or BCaBA Handbook to explore our current degree requirements.


Q: I completed my coursework and/or fieldwork outside of an authorized country and then moved to an authorized country. Will I meet the coursework and/or fieldwork requirements when I apply for certification after December 31, 2022?

A: It depends. So long as your coursework and/or fieldwork meets all of the requirements in effect at the time of application (regardless of where it was completed), it should qualify. Please review the BCBA or BCaBA Handbook for a full breakdown of current coursework and fieldwork requirements.

Note for those completing VCS coursework outside of an accredited educational institution: Coursework from a Verified Course Sequence approved under an Alternative Pathway in which courses are taught outside of an accredited educational institution must be completed before January 1, 2023.*** Effective July 1, 2023, the BACB will no longer accept non-university coursework. Any individual who wishes to pursue BCBA or BCaBA certification with coursework from such a VCS must submit a fully approvable application** by June 30, 2023.


Residing or Practicing Outside of Authorized Countries

 

Q: I’m already certified or plan to become certified before January 1, 2023, but I don’t reside in an authorized country. Will my certification remain valid after this date?

A: Currently, yes. However, please keep in mind that as countries develop their own professional programs and/or as laws change, certificants in authorized and unauthorized countries may be impacted.


Q: I’m already certified or plan to become certified before January 1, 2023, but I don’t reside in an authorized country. How should I refer to my certification after this date?

A: If you practice in any country in which new BACB certifications are no longer available, you must accurately represent your certification by using the following disclaimer in all public references to your BACB certification: Full Name, Certification Level (The BACB is no longer issuing certifications in [Country]).


Q: My certification has lapsed, and I don’t reside in an authorized country. Can I still qualify for certification via the past certification option after December 31, 2022?

A: No. If your certification has lapsed, you must be a resident of an authorized country to apply for a new BACB certification after this date.


Q: I don’t reside in an authorized country. Can I apply for the doctoral designation after December 31, 2022?

A: Currently, you may apply for the doctoral designation if you hold an active BCBA certification. Subject to local laws and regulations and where feasible, the BACB will continue to accept doctoral designation applications from any active BCBA regardless of whether they are in an authorized country. Should laws or feasibility change, affecting our ability to offer the doctoral designation to unauthorized countries, the BACB will give the profession a year’s advance notice. Shorter notice may be necessary in regions subject to US business/trade sanctions.


Q: I’m an active BCBA or BCaBA consulting in another country. Can I continue consulting after December 31, 2022?

A: Yes. However, certificants practicing in any country in which new BACB certifications are not available must accurately represent their certification by using the following disclaimer in all public references to their BACB certification: Full Name, Certification Level (The BACB is no longer issuing certifications in [Country]).

Serving as a Supervisor or ACE Provider

 

Q: I’m an RBT or BCaBA and a resident of a country in which new BACB certifications are no longer available as of January 1, 2023. Can I receive supervision remotely from a certificant in another country, regardless of whether that country is authorized?

A: Yes, as long as the supervision meets all of the applicable supervision requirements in effect at that time.


Q: I’m a certificant and a resident of a country in which new BACB certifications are no longer available. Can I provide RBT or BCaBA supervision remotely to someone in another country, regardless of whether that country is authorized?

A: Yes. However, you must adhere to the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts to ensure that your supervision is effective. You must also make sure that you and your supervisees comply with all BACB supervision requirements and any other relevant laws and regulations where supervision occurs (e.g., where the supervisor, supervisee, and client are located).


Q: I’m one of the only BCBAs in the country in which I reside. Is there a limit to how many RBT or BCaBA certificants I can supervise?

A: While there is no definitive answer to this question, we encourage you to consider Section 4.03 of the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts, which requires behavior analysts to only take on a number of supervisees and trainees that allows them to provide effective supervision and training. This means that your supervisory volume must not impact your effectiveness or your ability to meet the RBT or BCaBA ongoing supervision requirements detailed in the Ongoing Supervision sections of the RBT and BCaBA Handbooks. For example, you need enough client knowledge to inform the RBT or BCaBA’s work, provide direction, and contract with any client to whom the RBT is providing services.


Q: I do not reside in an authorized country. Can I apply for or maintain ACE Provider status after December 31, 2022?

A: Yes, so long as you meet and comply with all of the requirements detailed in the ACE Provider Handbook.


Thank you for taking the time to learn more about these upcoming international changes. We hope that you find this information helpful. For further guidance, visit our International Development & Support web page. If you have any questions, please reach out through the Contact Us Form.


*Individuals who reside in the UK may continue to apply for BACB certification through 2025. This date may be moved earlier if the UK Society for Behaviour Analysis achieves national recognition for UK behavior analysts, develops its own credentialing system, and transitions current BACB certificants into the new UK system.
**An approvable application is one that contains all of the necessary elements for approval. For example, an approvable BCBA or BCaBA application would include the following:

  • payment in full
  • complete and accurate documentation showing that all fieldwork and coursework requirements have been met
  • proof of an acceptable degree that meets all applicable requirements, including official transcript(s) with conferral dates
  • a degree equivalency evaluation if applicable

***When coursework is no longer acceptable, it may not be used to mark the onset of fieldwork.

The 2022 Transition: What You Need to Know

The 2022 Transition Blog

Please note that the 2022 requirements are now in effect, so some of the information in this blog may be outdated.

On January 1, 2022, certain BACB standards and requirements will change in a big way. Here are the primary changes that you can expect to see:

The BCBA and BCaBA Task Lists (5th ed.) will go into effect, and all BCBA and BCaBA examinations will be based on them.

New requirements to qualify for BCBA and BCaBA certification will go into effect.

The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts will go into effect.

The RBT Ethics Code (2.0) will go into effect.

The new consulting supervisor requirement for first-year BCBAs who provide supervision to BCBA or BCaBA trainees accruing fieldwork will go into effect.

As a BCBA or BCaBA applicant, candidate, or certificant, these changes may affect you. So, we gathered all of our most helpful resources, tips, and tidbits in this one-stop shop for the 2022 transition. Read on for crucial details, a resource bank, and more.

Important Information

Don’t know where to start? First, you should determine whether you plan to apply before or after 2022. If you’re unsure, the following information may help guide your decision.

  • To apply for BCBA or BCaBA certification under the current 4th edition requirements, you must submit an approvable application before January 1, 2022; otherwise, you’ll have to apply under the 2022 requirements.

    But what’s an approvable application?

    An approvable application is one that contains all of the necessary elements for approval. For example, an approvable BCBA or BCaBA application submitted before 2022 would include the following:

    • payment in full
    • complete and accurate Final Experience Verification Form(s)
    • documentation showing that all coursework content requirements have been met
    • proof of an acceptable degree that meets all applicable requirements
    • official transcripts with conferral dates sent physically or electronically by the university

    It’s important that you also review the BCBA or BCaBA Handbook for a more detailed list of requirements, as forgotten or incorrect elements could cause delays. The BACB expects to see a large influx of application submissions toward the end of the year, so if you plan to submit your application under the 4th edition requirements, please do so as soon as possible.

  • Unless they meet the 2022 supervised fieldwork requirements, experience hours accrued under the current 4th edition requirements will not count toward an application submitted after 2022.

    This info is critical for those who have been planning to meet the experience requirements (i.e., those who have been planning to apply in 2021) but will not be able to apply until after 2022. Due to certain requirements changes (e.g., number of contacts), your experience hours might not count toward an application submitted in 2022—even if you accrue additional hours to meet the overall hour requirements. The rule of thumb is that if you’re meeting all of the requirements in place at the time off application, you’re likely on the right track.

    Please note that those applying in 2022 should use Monthly and Final Fieldwork Verification Forms. If you’re in this situation, and you haven’t been using Monthly Fieldwork Verification Forms, we encourage you to use them going forward and to maintain documentation showing that you met the supervised fieldwork requirements; this will help you in the event of an audit. Then, once you’ve completed your hours and met all of the relevant requirements, your supervisor should sign off on your completed Final Fieldwork Verification Form.

  • As of January 1, 2022, first-year BCBAs who provide supervision to BCBA or BCaBA trainees accruing fieldwork hours must meet with a consulting supervisor each month in which they provide supervision for the remainder of their first year.

    Heads up: This new requirement won’t apply to most BCBAs, including those who have been certified for more than one year, who are providing supervision in 2021, who are not providing supervision to trainees accruing fieldwork, and who are only providing supervision to RBTs or BCaBAs.

    That being said, this requirement is important to know, as it may affect trainees who plan to receive supervision from a newly certified BCBA next year. For a more thorough explanation of this new requirement, please review the Consulting Supervisor Requirements for New BCBAs Supervising Fieldwork document.

  • All BCBA and BCaBA examinations will be based on 5th edition content beginning January 1, 2022.

    But what if you applied under the current 4th edition requirements and have an open examination authorization going into 2022?

    Don’t fret! If you live in the United States, Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom, your examination authorization period will be valid for its entire two-year duration, regardless of when you applied. For example, if your application was approved in July 2021, you’d be able to sit for your examination until July 2023—or until you ran out of attempts.

    The thing to note is that, beginning in 2022, every BCBA and BCaBA candidate will be tested on 5th edition examination content. So, to prepare for your examination, we suggest that you use the relevant 5th edition task list as a guide for your studies

Helpful Tips

  • Begin preparing as early as possible. As we’re sure you know, nothing ever seems to go 100% right. Mistakes, delays, and life events happen—so if you haven’t already, we suggest that you prepare for this transition now.
  • Reach out to your supervisor(s) and VCS Coordinator, if applicable, to ensure that you’re on track for a successful transition. Trying to submit an application or prepare for an examination at this time might be tricky, so it would be smart to enlist help from someone you trust. It never hurts to get a second opinion, especially from someone with experience.
  • Use Experience Verification Forms if applying in 2021 and Fieldwork Verification Forms if applying in 2022. Due to the similarity of these forms, it would be easy to accidentally submit the wrong one—but an incorrect form could result in a delayed or unapproved application. Our advice is to double check all of your submission materials with your supervisor(s). And for additional guidance, check out our Documenting Fieldwork Hours video and Documenting Fieldwork: Helpful Answers to Your FAQs blog.
  • If you plan to apply in 2022, don’t begin your application just yet. All applications that are not approvable will be removed from the BACB account database on January 1, 2022. To avoid losing your hard work, please hold on to your application materials and begin submissions after January 1, 2022.
  • Before you submit your application, review your materials closely. Did you pay your application fee? Does the BACB ID number listed on your document(s) match the number in your BACB account exactly? Every document, signature, and requirement met matters when it comes to your application, so be sure to dot the i’s and cross the t’s before you click submit.

Key Resources

For in-depth guidance, dive into the following resources that apply to you. It may be helpful to review these with a trusted mentor or supervisor.

Thank you for taking the time to review this resource! We are so excited for all of the positive changes that will come from these updated requirements, and we hope that your transition is as seamless as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch via the Contact Us web page.

Introducing the RBT Ethics Code (2.0)

Inside the BACB: Episode 25

Introducing the RBT Ethics Code (2.0)In this episode of Inside the BACB, join CEO Dr. Jim Carr and Director of Ethics Dr. Tyra Sellers as they discuss the RBT Ethics Code (2.0), a revised version of the ethics code for RBTs. Tune in now to learn about the revision process, changes to current ethics standards, and more.

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

Episode 25: Introduction to the RBT Ethics Code (2.0)

In this episode of Inside the BACB, join CEO Dr. Jim Carr and Director of Ethics Dr. Tyra Sellers as they discuss the RBT Ethics Code (2.0), a revised version of the ethics code for RBTs. Tune in now to learn about the revision process, changes to current ethics standards, and more.

Resources:

For a transcribed version of this episode, please watch the episode on our YouTube channel with closed captions.

Introducing the RBT Ethics Code (2.0)

The BACB is pleased to introduce the RBT Ethics Code (2.0), an updated version of the ethics code for RBTs. This version will replace the current RBT Ethics Code and go into effect on January 1, 2022.

We invite you to review the code and check out its accompanying crosswalk resource, podcast episode, and newsletter!

RBT Ethics Code (2.0)

This code outlines future professional ethics standards for RBTs and RBT applicants. Goes into effect in 2022.

Crosswalk for RBT Ethics Codes

This resource outlines the differences between the current RBT Ethics Code and the RBT Ethics Code (2.0).

New Podcast: Introduction to the RBT Ethics Code (2.0)

This episode of the Inside the BACB podcast gives insight into the review and revision of the code, ethics standards changes, and more.

July 2021 Newsletter
 

This month’s newsletter introduces the RBT Ethics Code (2.0) and details the revision process and important changes made.

Please visit the Ethics web page for additional resources and information.

Episode 20: RBT Certification Updates

In this episode of Inside the BACB, Deputy CEO Dr. Melissa Nosik and Director of Certificant Services Dr. Molli Luke share recent RBT updates, including numerous tips and resources for training, applying, testing, supervising, and more.

Resources:

For a transcribed version of this episode, please watch the episode on our YouTube channel with closed captions.

RBT Certification Updates

Inside the BACB: Episode 20

RBT Certification UpdatesIn this episode of Inside the BACB, Deputy CEO Dr. Melissa Nosik and Director of Certificant Services Dr. Molli Luke share recent RBT updates, including numerous tips and resources for training, applying, testing, supervising, and more.

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

New RBT 40-Hour Training Provider Pass-Rate Report

RBT 40-Hour Training Provider Pass-Rate Report thumbnail

The BACB is pleased to release its newest collection of pass-rate data, RBT Examination Pass Rates for 40-Hour Training Providers: 2020. This report details RBT examination pass rates from publicly available 40-hour training providers and is a great resource for RBTs, RBT Supervisors, and RBT Requirements Coordinators. Check it out at your convenience.

RBT Remote Testing Restrictions Beginning March 1, 2021

When in-person testing was restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BACB sought approval from its accrediting body to participate in an exception program that offered flexibility for RBT candidates by permitting remote testing, with the understanding that additional data collection and security measures would be required. Remote testing became available for the RBT certification program on April 15, 2020.

On March 1, 2021, in response to typical examination-security concerns associated with remote testing, the BACB will begin restricting remote testing in select geographic regions as needed. If remote testing does not appear as an option at the time of examination-appointment scheduling, it is due to these restrictions, and in-person testing will still be available.

To learn more about the RBT remote testing restrictions, please visit our BACB COVID-19 Updates web page.