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What is a BCaBA and can they work independently?

BCaBA stands for Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst.  This level of certification requires an undergraduate degree, several courses related to Behavior Analysis, less than a year of supervised practice, and passing an International Exam in behavior analysis.

The Behavior Analysis Certification Board initially adopted the format used in the State of Florida for identifying both undergraduate and graduate degreed Behavior Analysts when it began its certification program, using the term “Associate” to identify the lower-level certification. Over the years, this term has been found to be troublesome when dealing with individuals outside of the field of behavior analysis. For example, the board reports that it has received feedback that consumers often have a hard time understanding the difference between the two levels of certification.  They even reported instances where consumers erroneously concluded that the “Associate” must be the higher certification!

The Board felt it was necessary to ensure that consumers, legislators, and funding agencies are all able to easily understand the roles played by BCBAs and BCABAs. To increase clarity on these matters, the Board moved to stop the use of the confusing “Associate” term and replacing it with “Assistant.” This change  went into effect January 1, 2009. At that time, BCABAs were required to begin representing themselves as “Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts” or “BCaBAs.”

After careful consideration of the available information and task force recommendations, the Board also decided to implement a requirement that all BCaBAs must practice under the supervision of a BCBA. This requirement took effect January 1, 2009.  At that time, BCaBAs were required to have at least one hour of supervision from a BCBA every month.  Further information is available from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board website and their newsletter at:  http://www.bacb.com/newsletter/BACB_Newsletter_8_07.pdf

So, the simple answer is - BCaBAs are NOT allowed to practice ABA indepedently.

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