BCBA Job Description – Board-certified behaviour analysts (BCBAs) are healthcare professionals who study children and adults and develop plans to improve problematic behaviours.
Most clients have developmental disabilities, brain injuries, or difficulties controlling their emotions, behaviour, or social interaction. BCBAs may also assist people in managing issues such as stress, anger, or personal behaviour goals in a healthier manner. BCBAs sometimes specialize in treating one particular group of patients, such as children, individuals with autism or the elderly. A BCBA’s responsibilities may include:
BCBA Job Responsibilities
- Ensure that students receive ongoing support
- Make sure that functional behaviour assessments are conducted.
- Developing and maintaining a positive behaviour support plan
- To ensure the best possible student progress, supervise assessments, plan development, and ongoing data analysis for the program.
- Attending staff meetings every week
- Developing and conducting employee training programs
- Collaboration with other BCBAs on campus and all campus leadership teams
- Keep up to date with new research and developments in behaviour analysis.
Qualifications, Requirements and Skills:
- A master’s or doctoral degree in psychology, education, special education or a field closely related to psychology is required.
- Certification in Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA)
- Understanding how to develop, write, implement and evaluate individual behaviour programs and unit-wide behaviour programs.
- Experience with the training of staff on behavioural procedures and principles
- Applicants must possess a valid driver’s license and pass a 39-month DMV history check.
- Current fingerprint clearance card from the Arizona Department of Public Safety
- Communication that is effective and professional
- Maintain a professional and confidential attitude at all times
- The ability to think critically and solve problems
- Having a solid knowledge of computers
- Attendance and punctuality must be maintained consistently.
How to become a BCBA?
Obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline or another
BCBAs are required to earn a master’s degree before pursuing careers in the field. Studies in psychology and human behaviour at the undergraduate level may be helpful but are not required to apply for a master’s degree in applied behavioural analysis.
Complete a graduate degree program in applied behavioural analysis
BCBAs must hold an advanced degree in applied behavioural research. A master’s degree in applied behaviour analysis is typically required for those following Option 1. Graduate degrees in applied behaviour analysis can be earned online or on campus. The length of the program varies from school to school.
As a result, coursework must be completed from an approved external link and meets the requirements outlined in the BACB’s Fourth Edition Task List External link and Course Content Allocation External link. Additional coursework may also be available through the Verified Course Sequence (VCS) of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).
According to most graduate programs, students must earn passing grades (“C” or better) to receive appropriate credit.
Completing the required coursework
BACB stipulates that qualified candidates must complete designated coursework from an accredited college or university. The applicant must complete 270 classroom hours of graduate-level coursework in a specified concentration. This coursework encompasses the following major topics:
Professional and ethical behaviour
The principles and concepts of behaviour analysis
Methods of research in behaviour analysis
The application of behaviour analysis
Complete the experience requirements
External link: All applicants must complete relevant, supervised experience as part of their educational and training program.
The supervisor must hold a BCBA/BCBA-D license in good standing, be employed as a licensed or registered psychologist, or serve as an authorized Verified Course Sequence (VCS) instructor.
After completing qualifying coursework and obtaining a qualified supervisor, trainees can begin accruing experience. During the training process, BCBAs may engage in three different types of expertise.
Fieldwork Under Supervised Independent Supervision: This option stipulates that trainees are required to receive relevant experience placements with appropriate supervision. The minimum requirement is 1,500 hours.
Practicum: Practicum enables professionals to gain experience in fewer hours when compared to independent fieldwork but provides more supervision than supervised independent fieldwork. Knowledge can only be obtained within a VCS. A candidate should have a minimum of 1,000 hours of experience.
Intensive Practicum: An intensive practicum entails fewer hours of coursework and the highest degree of supervision. An intensive apprenticeship may only be completed at a VCS. Candidates must complete a minimum of 750 hours.
Trainees can accrue hours in any of the following categories, or they may combine any of these types to meet the baseline requirements. The trainee is responsible for documenting and storing all hours accumulated during the training period. Audits require trainees to provide proof that they have gained the necessary experience.
Pass the BCBA examination
The BCBA examination External link and knowledge of the BCBA/BCaBA task list are evaluated. A total of 150 multiple-choice questions will be included in the test and ten ungraded pilot questions. The test can be completed within four hours by all candidates.
- The exam covers the essential areas associated with the BCBA, including:
- Skills in fundamental behaviour analysis
- Specific procedures for behaviour change
- Developing an experimental design
- Taking measurements
Several third-party resources are available to prepare for the BCBA exam, as there are for most tests. Candidate familiarization with content material and reducing test anxiety can be achieved by using these tools. Like the actual exam, a mock exam is also offered by some organizations.
Apply for licensure
Some states may require that you obtain a license to practice independently once you receive your BCBA certification.
The requirements for licensure are subject to change. Therefore you should consult your state board for more information. These requirements may also differ based on a student’s background, including courses taken outside the program’s scope.
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