Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


10th Annual Autism Conference; New Orleans, LA; 2016

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #6
CE Offered: PSY/BACB

The Evolution of Certification Standards for Behavior Analysts: A History

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
2:30 PM–3:20 PM
The Celestin Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: James E. Carr, Ph.D.
Chair: Melissa Coco Raymond (Milestones Behavioral Services)
JAMES E. CARR (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
James E. Carr, PhD, BCBA-D, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. His professional interests include behavior analyst credentialing, behavioral assessment and treatment of developmental disabilities, verbal behavior, and practitioner training; Dr. Carr has published over 125 scientific articles on these and other topics. Dr. Carr is a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. He is the editor-in-chief of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior and has served on the editorial boards of 10 other behavior analysis journals, including 4 appointments as associate editor. Dr. Carr is the president of the Colorado Association for Behavior Analysis and past president of the Mid-American and Alabama Associations for Behavior Analysis. He received his doctorate in 1996 from Florida State University under the mentorship of Dr. Jon Bailey and previously served on the behavior analysis faculties at University of Nevada-Reno (1996-1999), Western Michigan University (1999-2008), and Auburn University (2008-2011).

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has been certifying and developing professional standards for behavior analysts since it emerged in 1999 from the state of Florida's behavior analyst certification program, which had been in operation for two decades earlier. In 2007, the BACB's Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) credentials were accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA accredits certification programs that adhere to the best practices of the credentialing and testing industries, including highly prescribed procedures for establishing and revising key standards. This presentationwill describe the evolution of certification standards in behavior analysis over the decades, including the systematic NCCA-mandated procedures the BACB has followed to develop and revise its standards over the years. This process has been akin to shaping and has allowed behavior analyst certification to grow and flourish alongside consistently increasing standards towards an eventual steady state. Special focus will be paid to standards where the steady state appears to have been reached. Concluding remarks will describe how BACB certification standards align with the licensure of behavior analysts in approximately two dozen states.




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