If you have or are about to work with an ABA service provider, learning who exactly you are working with is important to build trust and facilitate the teamwork between you and the ABA service provider to help your child thrive. To get started, watch a video from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board below as they share about The Professional Infrastructure of Applied Behavior Analysis.
#1. What is a BCBA?
A BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to practice data-driven and scientifically proven processes to help influence a person’s behavior. BCBAs commonly specialise in areas like autism, delayed development, or mental health disabilities.
If you are a parent, understanding exactly the role of a BCBA is the first step to ensuring you know who you are working with. If you are a student or someone interested in this career path, you might consider becoming a BCBA.
#2. What does a Board Certified Behavior Analyst do?
BCBA is a licensed practitioner who uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles to influence a person’s behavior. Even though ABA is in its infancy, it’s growing rapidly and experiencing unavoidable demands from institutions, researchers and experts. Hence, being a BCBA requires tremendous effort, time and money invested into training. As a result, formal qualifications are being offered.
#3. How does a Board Certified Behavior Analyst get certified?
To ensure that practitioners are educated, trained, and qualified to practice ABA, BACB is a certification programme run by a non-profit certifying organisation that establishes entry-level standards of practice. Becoming a BCBA can take between 6 to 10 years as one would require several years of higher education (i.e. undergraduate degree and graduate degree) and work experience before even taking the BACB examinations.
#4. Why should all parents know about BACB?
All parents must know about BACB because it is widely used by many regulatory entities to regulate ABA practitioners. In BACB’s words, “The BACB’s mission is to protect consumers of behavior-analytic services by systematically establishing, promoting, and disseminating professional standards of practice.” In fact, more than 50% of all U.S. States use BACB certification requirements in conjunction with other state-specific requirements as a foundation of their licensure laws.
As a consumer or stakeholder, it is important to ensure that the ABA service provider you engage must be certified by BACB. Without a licence, the practitioners could face serious consequences, such as fines and possibly, criminal charges.
#5. What happens after a Board Certified Behavior Analyst get certified?
A practitioner will know whether they have passed or failed almost immediately after the examinations. If a practitioner passes the examination, they will be certified as a BCBA or BCaBA. They will also be requested for various types of verification forms from the BACB.
Subsequently, the BCBA or BCaBA’s certification will be generated in their BACB account within 24 to 48 hours. Their details (e.g. Name, qualification, status, certification date, etc.) will appear on the BACB Certificant Registry. A paper certificate that includes the basic information about the BCBA or BCaBA will be mailed to them within a few weeks.
#6. What are the different levels of credentials at the BACB?
There are mainly 3 different BACB credentials, namely, BCBA, BCaBA and BCBA-D. We’ve broken down the terms below to help you understand the terms easier.
- BCBA-D (Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctorate) – This is a BCBA who has earned a Ph.D.
- BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst) – This is an undergraduate-level certification for RBTs, BCaBAs, BCBA PHD-Ds, BCBAs and must be certified by doctoral-level BCBAs (BCBA-D).
- BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) – This is a graduate-level position in ABA and is received through the BACB.
#7. Does simply having a BCBA qualify someone as an expert on autism?
No, at all. A person can be a BCBA without ever treating or even meeting someone with ASD. Ultimately, ABA is just an approach to human behavior and is not defined by any single diagnostic condition like autism. The BCBA is an exam, and simply passing a test doesn’t qualify someone as an expert on autism.
#8. Are all BCBAs equal?
No, not all BCBAs are equal in terms of knowledge, and experience. Some BCBAs have many years of expertise and experience in the field of ASD treatment. They possess the BCBA just as an additional qualification, like our Training & Programming Director, Dr. James Partington.
Dr James Partington, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is a licensed psychologist and doctoral-level board-certified behaviour analyst (BCBA-D). More importantly, he has more than 49 years of experience working with children with developmental disabilities. Others simply have the BCBA – and nothing more as often, they know nothing about ASD or its treatment at all.
ARN has been voted the “Best Child Education Institute” and “Best ABA Centre in Singapore” by experts and parents. We’re the only BACB(ACE) Certified ABA Centre in Southeast Asia and the only ABA provider to be licensed as a BACB continuing education provider.
We strongly urge parents to consider different perspectives before engaging any ABA service provider. If you’ve chosen ABA therapy, check out our comprehensive guide on how you can go about finding a good ABA Therapist in Singapore you can trust.