Competency Profile and Examination Blueprint for Behaviour Analysts in Ontario

The College continues to develop the examination. The College has not yet determined when it will begin to administer the examination. Additional registration information, updates and FAQs can be found here.

UPDATED: June 2023

The College of Psychologists of Ontario developed the Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile and Examination Blueprint for Behaviour Analysts in Ontario. The content of the College’s entry-to-practice examination for Behaviour Analysts adheres to this competency profile, which represents knowledge, skills and attitudes identified as being important for Behaviour Analysts at entry-level and throughout their career. The Examination Blueprint provides information to candidates about the weighting of each domain on the examination. 

The Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile for Behaviour Analysts in Ontario is based on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Test Content Outline (6th ed.), which has been adapted to reflect practice of the profession in Ontario.

Presented below is the examination blueprint and entry-to-practice competency profile.

Examination Blueprint

The entry-to-practice competencies are categorized into 10 domains. Presented in the table are domain weights that the College’s entry-to-practice examination will adhere to.

Domain% of Exam
1. Behaviourism and Philosophical Foundations5%
2. Concepts and Principles14%
3. Measurement, Data Display and Interpretation11%
4. Experimental Design7%
5. Ethical and Professional Issues10%
6. Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI)6%
7. Behaviour Assessment13%
8. Behaviour-Change Procedures14%
9. Selecting and Implementing Interventions10%
10. Personnel Supervision and Management10%
Total Questions100%

Entry-to-Practice Competency Profile:

The Competency Profile includes 112 competencies organized into 10 domains as follows.

Domain 1: Behaviourism and Philosophical Foundations (5%)

1.1. Identify the goals of behaviour analysis as a science (i.e., description, prediction, control).

1.2. Identify the philosophical assumptions underlying the science of behaviour analysis (e.g., selectionism, determinism, empiricism, parsimony, pragmatism).

1.3. Identify core elements of radical behaviourism.

1.4. Distinguish among behaviourism, the experimental analysis of behaviour, applied behaviour analysis, and professional practice guided by the science of behaviour analysis.

1.5. Identify dimensions of applied behaviour analysis.

Domain 2: Concepts and Principles (14%)     

2.1. Distinguish among behaviour, response, and response class.

2.2. Distinguish between stimulus and stimulus class.

2.3. Distinguish between respondent and operant conditioning.

2.4. Distinguish between positive and negative reinforcement contingencies.

2.5. Distinguish between positive and negative punishment contingencies.

2.6. Distinguish between automatic and socially mediated contingencies.

2.7. Distinguish among unconditioned, conditioned, and generalized reinforcers.

2.8. Distinguish among unconditioned, conditioned, and generalized punishers.

2.9. Distinguish among simple schedules of reinforcement.

2.10. Distinguish among concurrent, multiple, mixed, and chained schedules of reinforcement.

2.11. Distinguish between operant and respondent extinction as operations and processes.

2.12. Identify examples of stimulus control.

2.13. Identify examples of stimulus discrimination.

2.14. Distinguish between stimulus and response generalization.

2.15. Identify examples of response maintenance.

2.16. Identify examples of motivating operations.

2.17. Distinguish between motivating operations and stimulus control.

2.18. Distinguish between rule-governed and contingency-shaped behaviour.

2.19. Distinguish among verbal operants.

2.20. Identify the role of multiple control in verbal behaviour.

2.21. Identify examples of processes that promote emergent relations and generative performance.

2.22. Identify ways behavioural momentum can be used to understand response persistence.

2.23. Identify ways the matching law can be used to interpret response allocation.

2.24. Distinguish between imitation and observational learning.

Domain 3: Measurement, Data Display and Interpretation (11%)

3.1. Create operational definitions of behaviour.

3.2. Distinguish among direct, indirect and product measures of behaviour.

3.3. Measure frequency of behaviour.

3.4. Measure temporal dimensions of behaviour (e.g., duration, latency, interresponse time).

3.5. Distinguish between continuous and discontinuous measurement procedures.

3.6. Design and apply discontinuous measurement procedures (e.g., interval recording, time sampling).

3.7. Measure efficiency (e.g., trials to criterion, cost-benefit analysis, training duration).

3.8. Evaluate the validity and reliability of measurement procedures.

3.9. Select a measurement procedure to obtain representative data that accounts for the critical dimension of the behaviour and environmental constraints.

3.10. Graph data to demonstrate relevant quantitative relations (e.g., equal-interval graphs, bar graphs, cumulative records).

3.11. Interpret graphed data to effectively communicate findings to relevant parties.

3.12. Select a measurement procedure to obtain representative procedural integrity data that accounts for relevant dimensions and environmental constraints (e.g., accuracy, dosage).

Domain 4: Experimental Design (7%)               

4.1. Distinguish between dependent and independent variables.

4.2. Distinguish between internal and external validity.

4.3. Identify threats to internal validity (e.g., history, maturation).

4.4. Identify social validity measures.

4.5. Identify the defining features of single-case experimental designs (e.g., individuals serve as their own controls, repeated measures, prediction, verification, replication).

4.6. Identify the relative strengths of single-case experimental designs and group designs.

4.7. Evaluate data from single-case experimental designs and group designs.

4.8. Distinguish among reversal, multiple-baseline, multielement, and changing-criterion designs.

4.9. Identify rationales for conducting comparative, component, and parametric analyses.

4.10. Apply single-case experimental designs.

Domain 5: Ethical and Professional Issues (10%)       

5.1. Identify the client within different systems of stakeholders.

5.2. Apply core ethical principles of client-centered care (e.g., benefit others; treat others with compassion, dignity, and respect; behave with integrity).

5.3. Identify indicators of assent and dissent.

5.4. Identify the risks to others, the profession and oneself, as a result of engaging in unethical behaviour.

5.5. Engage in professional development activities to maintain competence (e.g., read literature, seek consultation, establish mentors).

5.6. Comply with requirements for collecting, using, protecting, and disclosing confidential information.

5.7. Comply with requirements for making public statements about professional activities (e.g., social media activity; misrepresentation of professional credentials, and service outcomes).

5.8. Identify the conditions under which services should be discontinued (e.g., discharge or transition).

5.9.  Apply reasonable steps in transitioning clients or services (e.g., written plan or report, collaboration with or referral to service provider).

5.10. Mitigate risks associated with multiple relationships.

5.11. Apply interpersonal skills necessary to establish and maintain professional relationships (e.g., accepting feedback, listening actively, seeking input).

5.12. Apply relevant legal, regulatory, and practice requirements to the delivery of behaviour-analytic services (e.g., jurisprudence, funding, assent, consent).

Domain 6: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (6%)

6.1 Identify and minimize personal biases that might interfere with professional activity through self-reflection.

6.2. Identify and minimize limitations and biases in data and information systems.

6.3. Recognize the unique historical and cultural experiences of Indigenous clients and take responsibility to learn about Indigenous clients’ needs.

6.4. Identify biases within social structures that marginalize people and communities (i.e., those protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code).

6.5. Engage in cultural humility in professional learning, service delivery and relationships.

6.6. Promote anti-oppressive and culturally safe practices.

6.7. Promote equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace environment.

Domain 7: Behaviour Assessment (13%)          

7.1. Identify relevant sources of information in records (e.g., educational, medical, historical) at the outset of the case.

7.2 Integrate relevant cultural and contextual variables in the assessment process.

7.3. Assess relevant skill, strengths and areas of need of the client.

7.4. Conduct preference assessments.

7.5. Conduct descriptive assessments.

7.6. Conduct functional analyses.

7.7. Interpret assessment data to determine the need for behaviour-analytic services and/or referral to others.

7.8. Interpret assessment data to identify and prioritize socially significant, client-informed, and culturally responsive behaviour-change procedures and goals.

Domain 8: Behaviour-Change Procedures (14%)

8.1. Design and evaluate positive and negative reinforcement procedures.

8.2. Design and evaluate differential reinforcement procedures with and without extinction (e.g., DRA, DRO, DRL, DRH).

8.3. Design and evaluate time-based reinforcement schedules (e.g., fixed-time).

8.4. Identify procedures to establish and use conditioned reinforcers (e.g., token economies).

8.5. Incorporate motivating operations and discriminative stimuli into behaviour-change procedures.

8.6. Design and evaluate procedures to produce simple and conditional discriminations.

8.7. Select and evaluate stimulus and response prompting procedures (e.g., errorless, most-to-least, least-to-most).

8.8. Design and implement procedures to fade stimulus and response prompts (e.g., prompt delay, stimulus fading).

8.9. Design and evaluate instructions as antecedent stimuli and rules as three term contingencies.

8.10. Shape dimensions of behaviour.

8.11. Apply appropriate chaining procedures.

8.12. Design and evaluate trial-based and free-operant procedures.

8.13. Design and evaluate individual and group contingencies.

8.14. Design and evaluate procedures to promote stimulus and response generalization.

8.15. Design and evaluate procedures to maintain desired behaviour change following intervention (e.g., schedule thinning, transferring to naturally occurring reinforcers).

8.16. Design and evaluate positive and negative punishment (e.g., time-out, response cost, overcorrection).

8.17. Evaluate emotional and elicited effects of behaviour-change procedures.

8.18. Design and evaluate procedures to promote emergent relations and generative performance.

Domain 9: Selecting and Implementing Interventions (10%)

9.1. Develop intervention goals in observable and measurable terms.

9.2. Identify and recommend interventions based on functional assessment results, scientific evidence, client preferences, and contextual fit (e.g., expertise required for implementation, cultural variables, environmental resources).

9.3. Select socially valid behaviour to be established or increased when a target behaviour is to be decreased.

9.4. Attempt to mitigate possible unwanted effects when using reinforcement, extinction, and punishment procedures.

9.5. Attempt to mitigate possible relapse of the target behaviour.

9.6. Make data-based decisions about procedural integrity.

9.7. Make data-based decisions about the effectiveness of the intervention and the need for modification.

9.8. Collaborate with others to support and enhance client services.

Domain 10: Personnel Supervision and Management (10%)

10.1. Identify the benefits of using behaviour-analytic supervision practices (e.g., improved client outcomes, improved staff performance and retention).

10.2. Apply strategies for establishing effective supervisory relationships (e.g., executing supervisor-supervisee contracts, establishing clear expectations, giving and accepting feedback).

10.3. Select supervision goals based on an assessment of the supervisor and supervisee’s skills & goals, cultural variables, client needs and the environment.

10.4. Apply a function-based approach to assess and improve supervisee behaviour (e.g., performance diagnostics).

10.5. Apply empirically validated and culturally responsive performance management practices.

10.6. Make data-based decisions about the efficacy of supervisory practices.

10.7. Identify the conditions under which supervision should be discontinued.

10.8.  Apply reasonable steps in transitioning or discontinuing supervision (e.g., referral to another professional, documentation).