if you’ve heard of or are thinking of applying for an aba certification, the various types and levels of certification can be confusing. the aba certifications you’ll find detailed below will outline the similarities and differences between the certifications. the bcba certification is given to behavior analysts in the field who have received a graduate degree and already provide behavior-analytic services in some fashion. these analysts are usually in a supervisory position and supervise the work of bcabas and registered behavior technicians (rbts), among others. only certified behavior analysts are able to supervise bcabas and rbts. assistants perform helpful tasks and are a vital part of a bcba’s work.
bcabas must have their undergraduate degree, must have completed at least 15 hours’ worth of behavior-related coursework, and must have a defined amount of experience under a bcba. a cas must have a graduate degree, at least 2 years of experience in the autistic field, and must be able to pass an autism competency exam. this certificate in the autism field does not require a graduate degree. applicants must be employed in a setting that fits into the autism field, must be able to pass the competency exam, and are required to obtain 14 continuing education hours. rbts typically work under bcbas and bcabas and are primarily responsible for the implementations of the behavior services created. a high school diploma, 40 hours of completed training, and the passing of the competency exam is required. this can be a perfect pathway if you wish to receive your bcaba or even the bcba in the future.
the behavior analyst certification board (bacb) is a nonprofit organization that has helped establish practice standards and regulations in the field of behavior analysis. as of 2020, 31 states have developed state licensing laws for applied behavior analysts that follow the bacb model act’s content, standards, and criteria for credentialing aba professionals in three distinct roles: many states that license applied behavior analysts either require bacb certification for licensure or accept it as a path to licensure.
the minimum educational requirement to become an applied behavior analyst under the bacb model act is a graduate degree in aba, or in psychology or education with an aba emphasis. formal training of applied behavior analysts is similar to other medical and behavioral health professionals, in that initial academic training is supplemented with experience in a supervised clinical setting. the bacb maintains a certificant registry of qualified bcba®s who may be able to supervise you as you complete your fieldwork.
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