Breaking down the BACB Code for BCBAs 1.03

Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy, Autism, BCBA, RBT

1.03 Maintaining Competence through Professional Development.

Behavior analysts maintain knowledge of current scientific and professional information in their areas of practice and undertake ongoing efforts to maintain competence in the skills they use by reading the appropriate literature, attending conferences and conventions, participating in workshops, obtaining additional coursework, and/or obtaining and maintaining appropriate professional credentials.

BACB Code 1.03

One thing about this field and being a Behavior Analyst is that your education does not end once you obtain that certification. You have an obligation to maintain your knowledge base. As a field of science, there are variables always changing and you have to keep up with that.

Therefore, the BACB requires BCBA’s to obtain at least 32 CEUs within a two-year period in order to be able to re-certify. I will be the first to say, although this is a requirement, it is very easy to meet this goal and still feel uneducated.

Finding the right professional development for you to learn best is a must to be motivated to learn more about our field. I personally learn from everyone and everywhere. I love hearing the Autistic’s perspective on ABA and I love the reform movement. I also enjoy learning about the science behind our field, current things people are practicing, as well as listening to others disseminate our field.

Basically, this code means you need to stay up to date on what’s going on around you. Don’t learn something and stick with it forever. Always find room to grow and learn! There are tons of resources out there, take the time you spend on Facebook and social media, and find a site such as CEUEY or listen to podcasts. Sign up for free webinars through Verbal Beginnings and find other resources that are interesting to you and relevant to your practice.

Keep educating yourself and don’t ever stop. Knowledge is power and our power is to help our families and clients!

-Dear Perception

Breaking down the BACB Code for BCBAs 1.02

Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy, Autism, BCBA, RBT

1.02 Boundaries of Competence.

(a) All behavior analysts provide services, teach, and conduct research only within the boundaries of their competence, defined as being commensurate with their education, training, and supervised experience.

(b) Behavior analysts provide services, teach, or conduct research in new areas (e.g., populations, techniques, behaviors) only after first undertaking appropriate study, training, supervision, and/or consultation from persons who are competent in those areas


Alright, so here’s the second regulation within the BACB’s code 1.0 Responsible Conduct of a Behavior Analyst. I forgot to mention that on the last post. There are a total of 10 main codes with different regulations under each one. Yeah, we’re in for a ride on this journey!

To be honest with you, I had to read this twice. At first I was like, what the fuck, that’s the same thing, which it is but the part b is to acknowledge that your knowledge is NOT limited to just your current competency.

Let’s talk about it.

Part A: Don’t do anything that you don’t know. If you do not know why the hell a behavior is occurring or you have never dealt with challenging behavior or potty training or other skills, don’t do it. These are basic examples. We can talk about restrictive and repetitive behaviors, we can talk about severe behavior and multiple diagnoses, or self-injury behavior that is automatic. We can talk about how people are trying to reform the field, myself included. Life examples, we can talk about parenting or ballet (I’m not competent in ballet, I wouldn’t discuss it but I would listen to someone who it competent in it to learn more if I was interested!) We can talk about anything, as long as you are thoroughly educated and trained in it. If not, abort the mission, acknowledge what is within your own realm of knowledge and refer out as needed or seek advice. Thus the need for the next part.

Part B: As a field of science, it is continuously evolving and changing. Therefore, of course there will be new ideas and research that comes out. So part A of this code doesn’t limit you to only what you know. It doesn’t mean you can’t learn about something you don’t know and become competent in the area. Then you can go and provide services and your new knowledge to others. However, make sure you’re learning from someone who knows their shit in that area and not just YouTube. (Not judging, just saying, consult multiple sources!)

That’s it.

If you’re not competent, either get competent by other competent people and knowledgable sources or refer out.

My supervisees can attest to hearing me say on multiple occasions, “that’s not really my area of competency, you can discuss with your doctor.” Sometimes, it’s okay to not know.

Don’t forget to educate yourself.

Visit the codes at the BACB.

-Dear Perception

Breaking down the BACB Code for BCBAs 1.01

Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy, Autism, BCBA, RBT

1.01 Reliance on Scientific Knowledge.

“Behavior analysts rely on professionally derived knowledge based on science and behavior analysis when making scientific or professional judgments in human service provision, or when engaging in scholarly or professional endeavors.”

BACB Code 1.01

First post of the series!! What what!

Okay, I am here to EDUCATE OTHERS in my own way. In order for me to do this, I gotta be real with my current and future Behavior Technicians, Behavior Analysts, assistants, Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), ABA Therapists, whatever you call yourself in your area, if you are in the FIELD of ABA, then you should know this!

We do not have to limit it to professionals in the field by any means, I think that caregivers or anyone who is dealing with ABA therapy and BCBAs should know that these are the codes we are supposed to be practicing by. You can report a BCBA or ABA company for not abiding by these codes, or even the therapist that is working on the case. RBTs do have a separate but similar code that you can find HERE. With therapists, it is best to follow chain of command and report to their immediate supervisor first, but you can also report higher if you choose to. Please read the Considerations for Reporting before doing so. Should you feel the need to continue to report someone, visit the ABA Ethics Hotline. If you would like more information on Ethics in the field of Behavior Analysis, please visit the BACB.

It is important to note that Behavior Analysts and related professionals are supposed to live and breathe this code that the Behavior Analyst Certification Board put into place to ensure there are well-defined systems that can balance out right from wrong. It’s really great actually, I’m not here to discredit our code by any means. If you haven’t heard about it, you can check it out HERE!

I’m really determined to explain these different codes as real as possible so that you can understand it because another thing our field likes to do is MAKE SHIT COMPLICATED! (Honestly, we use so many big words for no reason!)

Anyway, the first code is exactly what you read above, but what exactly does that mean?

All it really means is before you provide services to anybody or engage with other people in the field, make sure that you are basing your shit on facts! Don’t go into conversations or planning treatment making shit up because you think it might work or because you saw it on a TV show. I get that research essentially begins this way, with a new thought, but you have to do just that FIRST. You have to conduct the research and test your theories, get it published, follow all of the procedures necessary, before we can say that you are discussing an evidenced based procedure.

A helpful tip with this is to think of an idea and then go and consult the literature or vice versa, it doesn’t matter, as long as you check that what you are thinking for treatment is based on evidence. The biggest thing in the field of Behavior Analysis is essentially the endless creativity we can have, within the boundaries of our code. I often times read different articles in relation to what I want to know more of and then think of a way that I can adapt that to my client. I also really love podcasts!! I listen to ABA podcasts such as The Controversial Exchange and ABA Inside Track! There’s many others though and I encourage people who do not like to read to try listening instead, better than commercials or a radio talk show. Continuous education is a huge part of our professional development. BCBAs are required to obtain at least 32 Continuing Education Units (CEs or CEUs) as part of their professional development before they are able to renew their certification. Another requirement is that at least 4 of those credits be in ethics and 3 of them be in supervision. Therefore, if you are obtaining these CEs or CEUs, try to focus on what you want to learn and make use of the mandated education!

Overall, YES we can stay professional, always basing our treatment on evidence and not just our own thoughts, (because that can get dangerous), but we can also have a ton of fun with it by being creative. In doing so, everyone can have fun while learning and making effective behavioral change and progress! Just another thought, make sure that your child is also okay with it, especially if your child is higher functioning, allowing them to be part of their treatment planning is another code to be discussed later, section 4.0 in the BACB codes if you would like to jump ahead.

-Dear Perception