The College is not yet accepting applications for registration of Behaviour Analysts.
The College has recently submitted amendments to the Registration Regulation (O. Reg. 74/15), General Regulation (O. Reg. 209/94) and Professional Misconduct Regulation (O. Reg. 801/93) to the Ministry of Health. The amendments may be found in the Council materials package beginning on page 31. The following information is subject to change as the registration regulations have yet to be approved.
This Self-Screening Tool was designed to assist practitioners in the field of behaviour analysis, therapy, or intervention to determine if they will need to apply for registration with the, yet to be proclaimed, College of Psychologists and Behaviour Analysts of Ontario (the College). Registration with the College protects clients, their families, and the public of Ontario by ensuring that practitioners are competent to provide safe, effective care and are accountable to the College.
The profession of Applied Behaviour Analysis comprises several tasks that must be practised competently and at a high level of responsibility to be considered safe and in the public interest. Only those whose knowledge, skill and judgement deemed to be within the scope of practice of the profession and practised at a entry-level level of competence will become registered with the College and in doing so, may use the restricted title of “Behaviour Analyst”.
Why is a Profession Regulated?
The duty of the College is to protect the public to ensure healthcare professionals provide safe, ethical, and competent services. The public can have confidence in the services they receive from regulated professionals as practitioners are accountable to the College for their professional behaviour and activities. Once Applied Behaviour Analysis is regulated, Behaviour Analysts will be required to meet rigorous professional entry requirements, adhere to prescribed standards and ethical principles, and participate in quality assurance activities to continually update and improve their knowledge and skill. In addition, complaints and discipline processes hold professionals accountable when a client, or other member of the public, believes that the standards may have been breached.
Does Everyone who Practises Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Have to Register with the College?
The activities included in the scope of practice of Applied Behaviour Analysis are not controlled acts within the definition in the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, and, therefore are in the public domain. Only those registered with the College however, will be allowed to use the title “Behaviour Analyst”. As well, only members of the College will be permitted to refer to any earned certification they may have (i.e., BCBA or BCBA-D) that would lead the public to believe that they are a qualified Behaviour Analyst in Ontario. Unauthorized use of the title and/or holding oneself out as a person who is qualified to practice as a Behaviour Analyst, would be violation of the Psychology and Applied Behaviour Analysis Act, 2021 (the Act).
Upon proclamation of the Act, only those who are registered with the College may use the title “Behaviour Analyst”. It is recognized that many professionals registered with other regulatory Colleges, including social workers, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, educators, and others, may use behavioural techniques in their practice. These are within the public domain and are not restricted acts. To identify as a Behaviour Analyst or hold oneself out as qualified to practice behaviour analysis however, one must be registered with the College of Psychologists and Behaviour Analysts of Ontario.
Important: This tool is to be used only as a resource to aid you in deciding whether you will need to apply to the College once registration opens. It is not intended to provide advice, an opinion or evidence of whether you meet the registration requirements.
Please review all of the following questions before deciding on what course of action to take.
Does your work or practice fall within the scope of practice of the profession of Applied Behaviour Analysis with clinical decision-making responsibility?
Scope of Practice of the Profession (defined in the Psychology and Applied Behaviour Analysis Act, 2021): The practice of applied behaviour analysis is the (i) assessment of covert and overt behaviour and its functions through direct observation and measurement, and (ii) the design, implementation, delivery, and evaluation of interventions derived from the principles of behaviour in order to produce meaningful improvements.
If you answered YES to this question, and/or you identify yourself as a Behaviour Analyst, then proceed to the Checklist. If you answered NO, and you do not identify yourself as a Behaviour Analyst, registration with the College will not be necessary.
Checklist – The Practice of Applied Behaviour Analysis
The College has developed the following Checklist to determine if your background, duties or the tasks you perform in your practice are those of a Behaviour Analyst.
Question 1: Does your academic background, and/or knowledge gained from clinical experience in the field include the following principles?
- Do you have an understanding of the Concepts and Principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis to produce meaningful improvements?
- Have you completed coursework in Applied Behaviour Analysis at the post-graduate level and/or have you completed a Verified Course Sequence (VCS) in Applied Behaviour Analysis?
- Can you demonstrate competency in, and knowledge of, Canadian and Ontario jurisprudence and ethics related to the practice of Applied Behaviour Analysis?
If you answered YES to two or more of these questions, then you may have the academic and/or experiential background needed to apply for registration with the College and should proceed to Questions 2 and 3. If you answered NO, you may want to consult with academic institutions that offer post-graduate education in Applied Behaviour Analysis to discover how you might obtain the necessary credentials.
Question 2: Does your practice include these assessments and intervention processes where you are responsible for clinical decision-making?
- Assess behaviour and its functions using formal or informal observations and measurement and interpretation of results.
- Determine client goals based on factors such as client preferences, supporting environments, risks, constraints, and social validity.
- Select appropriate interventions based on assessment results, supporting environments, risks, constraints, social validity, clinical experience, and best scientific evidence.
- Deliver ABA interventions directly to individuals who present with a range of skills, levels of functioning, and ages. Plan for and identify unwanted effects of the recommended interventions.
- Implement a full range of scientifically validated, behaviour analytic procedures (i.e., reinforcement, extinction, incidental teaching, and use of naturalistic teaching methods).
- Utilize ABA tactics and procedures through direct, caregiver mediated and/or group intervention formats.
- Train staff and/or caregivers as they deliver new or revised behavioural services.
- Implement scientifically validated effective procedures for promoting generalization of behaviour change.
- Observe interventions and assessments carried out by staff and/or caregivers and monitor intervention fidelity.
- Conduct caregiver training using ABA procedures.
- Work collaboratively with professionals from other disciplines.
- Demonstrate adherence to professional ethical expectations. These would include, where applicable, billing, and administrative (office management) practices.
- Make data-based decisions to modify intervention procedures.
- Conduct functional assessments (including functional analyses).
- Discuss assessment results, goals, service options and progress with caregivers, if applicable.
- Evaluate and monitor effectiveness of interventions.
If most or all of the activities listed in Question 2 describe your practice AND you hold the responsibility for making clinical decisions for your clients and for the performance of the duties related to Applied Behaviour Analysis services provided to them, then you are encouraged to apply for registration with the College as a Behaviour Analyst.
Question 3: If your position includes the supervision of others, do you perform the following tasks where you are responsible for clinical decision-making?
- Delegate to your supervisees only those responsibilities that such persons can reasonably be expected to perform competently, ethically, and safely. A supervisor cannot delegate any task that they themselves are not competent to perform.
- Confirm that supervisees maintain competence to perform the tasks assigned to them, considering numerous factors, including skills, education, and experience.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the limits of their competency and the importance of referring clients to other professionals when necessary.
- Assign team members to implement behaviour plans and/or train caregivers to implement behaviour plans.
- Oversee and provide clinical feedback for clinicians/Behaviour Analysts who carry their own caseload/support their own clients.
- Provide ongoing direction and guidance to staff to ensure services are being delivered correctly and effectively.
- Review behaviour plans and assessment outcomes.
- Review data and measuring progress.
- Maintain detailed notes of progress, key decisions, and update points.
If most or all of the activities listed in Question 3 describe your practice, then you are encouraged to apply for registration with the College as a Behaviour Analyst.
If you answered NO to Question 1, you may want to consult with academic institutions that offer post-graduate education in Applied Behaviour Analysis to discover how you might obtain the necessary credentials.
You are encouraged to apply for registration with the College as a Behaviour Analyst if you said YES to
- Question 1 and 2,
- Questions 1, 2 and 3, or
- Questions 1 and 3
You MUST register with the College if you identify in your practice, or hold yourself out, as a qualified Behaviour Analyst, including using earned certification initials such as BCBA or BCBA-D, and you wish to continue to use the title “Behaviour Analyst”.
The College has developed flowcharts outlining the proposed registration application process, which is currently the subject of a College consultation. The consultation documents can be viewed here.
Transitional Route 1
- Active BCBA or BCBA-D in Good Standing
Transitional Route 2
- Working competently within the Scope of Practice of ABA, and;
- Current Practice (1500 hours within the past 3 years)
Entry Level Route
- i. Post-graduate degree from a Canadian university together with successful completion of recognized coursework in behaviour analysis or;
- ii. Post-graduate degree from an accredited program in behaviour analysis or;
- iii. Equivalent post-graduate degree together with recognized coursework in behaviour analysis or;
- iv. Education and training in ABA considered to be substantially similar to i.