It is very important that the intervention and services delivered to individuals and their families are of the highest standards and in line with the best and most up to date practices in science and literature within the field of ABA. Currently, there are no standardised guidelines stipulating persons qualified to deliver and supervise ABA programs.
Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs) are governed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), a board consisting of leading experts within the field of ABA whose aim is to develop standardised guidelines in the field. It holds behaviour analysts accountable for adhering to evidence based practices within ABA and staying up to date with current research, helping to ensure quality and consistent practice. It also allows consumers to differentiate among service providers in their area.
Without a governing board in place, service providers and practitioners do not have a governing body to adhere to and thus best practices may unintentionally be missed. This may result in poor service delivery for the individual receiving the interventions and for their family, including substantial costs in the form of time lost and financial resources.
In order to become a BCBA, the practitioner must hold a master’s degree in education, psychology, or a related field, have completed a six course sequence through a BACB approved university, and 1500 hours of supervised practice under a BCBA. In addition to the above, the practitioner must write a final exam.
Currently, there are over 13,000 BCBAs across 40 countries. There are a limited number of BCBAs in Australia. Happy Oak’s founding Clinical Director was the first BCBA in the state.