Possible Ethics Issue: “2.15, 2.16, 2.01, 3.01”
Relevant background: “I was told by an employee of a company that an RBT has been sitting on a client in order to prevent SIB/elopement. CPS has been notified and the employee states that the RBT has been taken off the case. Do I have any obligation to report to the az psychology board if I did not witness the incident?”
Possible solutions: “Followed up to ensure the client is no longer being harmed, mandated reporter alerted proper authorities.”
Credentialing: Reporter is an LBA; Supervisor is an LBA
Committee Input (e.g., considerations for pathways forward, potential barriers, potential solutions):
The committee agrees with the identified ethics codes by the reportee, particularly 3.01 Responsibility to Clients, which explicitly outlines that behavior analysts do no harm and are bound to always protect the best interests of the client.
The Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners (AZBoPE) do not regulate or have any jurisdiction over RBTs, or their credentialing as such. However, the reportee has an obligation to report this incident to the BACB who does hold power over the credentialing of the RBT in question.
The supervising LBA of this case, is subject to board licensure requirements, particularly ARS 32-2091.12(e) Gross Negligence and 32-2091.12(o) providing services that are unsafe.
Considerations for Explorations:
The reportee should explore the following actions, as soon as possible, in the interests of consumer safety:
- The reportee, and/or the employee witness, should attempt to contact the LBA who is supervising the case, or if that information is unknown a supervising BCBA at the organization, to alert them that a report is pending, both with the AZBoPE and BACB. The contact made should provide them with an opportunity to respond with additional actions that have been taken.
- The reportee and/or employee witness should ensure that the following actions have been taken. If confirmation does not come from the original supervising LBA and/or organization, the reportee and employee should consider taking the following actions:
- Support/coach the employee who witnessed the behavior to contact the BACB and file a report of the incident that they witnessed, providing at minimum the RBT certification number.
- Determine if a report needs to be made to AZBoPE for the supervising LBA per licensure regulations for gross negligence and providing unsafe behavior analytic services. It may be that the LBA and organization are undertaking appropriate reporting and education to remedy the situation, and in this case an additional report to the AZBoPE may not be necessary.
Applicable Ethics Codes and ARS (identified by the committee)
2.15, 2.16, 2.01, 3.01
ARSARS 32-2091.12(e) Gross Negligence; ARS 32-2091.12(o) Providing Unsafe Services