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10 Steps to Start the Supervision Process to Become a Behavior Analyst

1. Explore the BACB website

The BACB website has a plethora of information. You can find out anything from the certificate you're interested in to the areas in which behavior analysis can be practiced. This may help you decide if you would like to pursue the journey to become a behavior analyst.


2. Read the Handbook/Eligibility Requirements

Currently, for BCBA and BCaBA certification, the BACB website contains a handbook and the 2022 eligibility requirements. If you are just starting the supervision process, then most likely you will be reviewing the 2022 eligibility requirements. This document outlines the entire supervision process from monthly requirements, to qualifying activities, to documentation requirements.


3. Create a BACB account

When you're ready, you will apply to sit for the certification exam through you BACB account. However, early on in the process it is important to create a BACB account. Creating an account will provide you with a BACB account ID number. When you begin supervision, you will need this number for supervision documentation.


4. Start Qualifying Coursework

There are four different eligibility pathway options you can take to qualify for certification. Typically, individuals will either take pathway 1 or pathway 2. Pathway 1 involves enrolling in an ABAI accredited program and obtaining an ABAI accredited degree. Pathway 2 involves completing a verified course sequence. Information on the other two pathways can be found in the 2022 eligibility requirements.


5. Search for a qualified BCBA supervisor

If you happen to work in an environment with a qualified BCBA, you may not have to search very far. However, that isn't the case for everyone and you may need to seek a remote supervisor. This process may seem daunting, but there are a few simple ways to find someone. You can search through the BACB Certificant Registry, Facebook groups dedicated to supervision, ask other individuals currently receiving supervision if they have any recommendations, or simply visit the services page on this site.


6. Interview potential supervisors

It's really important that if you don't have access to a qualified BCBA at work and you're pursuing remote supervision that you find someone that is a good fit. There is no shame in talking to a few potential BCBA supervisors before committing to one. This is YOUR experience! Make sure you bring questions to the interview and ask about the supervisor's experience, structure of supervision, and what you can expect.


7. Consider your options

After meeting with a few potential BCBA supervisors, it's now time to consider your options. It is imperative that you select a supervisor that will provide you with the experience you are looking for. Make sure you select a supervisor that has experience in the area you're looking to pursue and that you feel provides a supervision style that meets your needs.


8. Sign a contract

You found a qualified BCBA, now what? It is time to sign a contract so you can start accruing your hours. Make sure you review the contract with the BCBA and that all of your questions are addressed. The contract should outline the general supervision process, supervision expectations of the trainee and supervisor, fees, and grounds for termination of the contract. Make sure it is clearly outlined under what circumstances supervision can be terminated or the supervisor's signature can be withheld. Having this clearly defined in the contract can help avoid any misunderstandings and lead to a smoother supervision experience.


9. Set up method for ongoing documentation of experience

After you acquire a supervisor, it is important to set up a method for ongoing documentation. The BACB has many requirements for documentation and before you start acquiring your hours, it is best to have these practices into place. The BACB requires that you have a unique documentation system, complete monthly forms, and hold onto all documentation for a minimum of 7 years. It's best to start off organized so you don't have to stress getting everything together in case of an audit.


10. Start Accruing Hours!

Now that you have a supervisor, a contract, and a system for documenting your hours, it is now time to get out there and start accruing your hours!


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