A Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) is someone that has received a master’s degree in behaviour analysis or behavioural science and has satisfied requires for the BCBA credential as set by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB). This article is going to explore those requirements.
Hold a Graduate Degree in a Relevant Discipline
In order to meet the requirements for the BCBA credential, you will need to have a master’s degree from an ABAI-accredited or recognised behaviour analytic degree program. If you have a graduate degree that is not accredited or recognised by ABAI, then you will need to complete behaviour analytic coursework, faculty teaching or research, or post-doctoral experience in applied behaviour analysis.
If you don’t have a graduate degree, you can pursue other credentials from the BACB, including the BCaBA or RBT credential.
Complete Supervised Experience
In addition to a graduate degree, you will also need to accrue Supervised Fieldwork hours. This involves completing certain work tasks under the supervision of a Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). At present, you will need to complete 2,000 hours Supervised Fieldwork Hours, or 1,500 hours of Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork Hours (often through a university program). These hours must be accrued after starting your degree and finding and signing a contract with a qualified supervisor. You can accrue no less than 20 hours, but no more than 130 hours, per month. These must also be within a 5-year continuous period.
If you would like to discuss more about accruing supervision, or would like to gain supervision hours, contact us to discuss how we can support you to obtain your supervised experience.
Pass the Board Certification Exam
Once you have completed your graduate degree and coursework, and have accrued the right amount of supervision hours, you can then apply to the BACB to sit for the exam. This is a four-hour exam, consisting of 150 multiple choice questions, covering topics found on the BCBA Task List. The Task List is a set of topics you are expected to be fluent in at the point of the exam, and this exam is designed to test this. You will need to achieve a passing score to pass, which is at least 400 out of a possible 500.
Upon passing this exam, you will then obtain the BCBA credential.
How long does it take?
This process can take up to 6-10 years, depending where in the process you currently are. Undergraduate degrees typically take 4-years to complete, followed by 2-years for the masters degree. You can then expect to take around 2 years to obtain the required supervision experience. Passing the exam takes a different amount of time for everyone, but it is highly advisable to take 6-12 months at least to revise for this exam. This can, however, be completed during your supervision hours, and supervision meetings can often be a good time to ask questions about the task list.
If you would like to discuss more about becoming a BCBA, we would be happy to have a chat with you. Contact us to arrange a free chat to discuss how and why you should become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst.