What is a BCBA?

A Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) is an individual qualified to practice behaviour analysis at a consultancy level.

It is a graduate level certification issued by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), who regulates behaviour analysis practices worldwide, to individuals who have the relevant and required qualifications and have undergone the relevant amount of training and supervision in order to qualify to consult as a behaviour analyst.

BCBAs are bound by and must adhere to strict ethical codes (Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts) to ensure their practice in ABA is based on scientific knowledge and that they are practicing within their boundary of competence.

In order to maintain BCBA certification, individuals are required to comply with the BACB’s ethical requirements and recertify every 2/3 years, which is only permitted if they have attained continuing education whilst practicing.

BCBAs provide supervision for the work of Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analysts (BCaBA), Registered Behaviour Technicians (RBT), and any one else who may implement behaviour analytic interventions.

When embarking on taking on ABA services, it is always advised to have a BCBA lead your team as you can be certain they have undergone and completed the stringent and relevant training, supervision and qualifications needed in order to practice both safely and effectively.

“Individuals with a BCBA credential should be considered as having met and exceeded standards for the BCaBA and RBT credentials.”


BCBA’s Role

  • When establishing treatments goals the BCBA will describe specific levels of behaviour at baseline (pre-intervention). This is done both verbally and provided in a written report.
  • The BCBA will focus on improving the health, independence and overall functioning of the learner by establishing small practical goals which when compiled lead to larger and more significant changes.
  • Collection and analysis of data at baseline, during and post intervention is conducted in order to maximise, maintain and monitor progress towards treatment goals.
  • Establishing the current function of behaviours and their future value as a core basis on selecting behaviours targeted for treatment.
  • To minimise problem behaviours and maximise rate of improvement, the treatment environment is designed, established and managed by the BCBA.
  • Use of carefully constructed, individualised and detailed behaviour analytic treatment plans which utilise reinforcement and other behaviour analytic principles as opposed to the use of methods or techniques which lack consensus about their effectiveness based on evidence in peer-reviewed publications.
  • Determining client progress, through observations and objective data analysis
  • The BCBA is responsible for providing ongoing and frequent analysis, direct assessment and adjustments to treatment plans (when/if needed).
  • Ensuring the use of treatment protocols are implemented repeatedly, frequently, and consistently across environments until the client can function independently in multiple situations.
  • Provide direct support and training for the family members and other involved professionals in order to promote optimal functioning.
  • Ensure generalisation and maintenance of behavioural improvements acquired.