“We have been getting numerous ABA Technician applicants who have left a local ABA provider (non BCBA owned). All of them tell similar stories about the lack of supervision and training. All of them report there is only 1 BCBA who works remotely and the clinic goes without a BCBA for 2 weeks at a time. One BT said she was assigned a new client with severe SIB and she wrote programming with the help of the scheduler. She reported the scheduler (not an ABA practitioner) often wrote programming. She also reported that any requests to the owner for ethical supervision were met with hostility and some were fired for bringing up BACB ethical guidelines. All of the BT’s reported that the company will not certify anyone as an RBT because they don’t want to have to adhere to supervision requirements.”
Committee Input (e.g., considerations for pathways forward, potential barriers, potential solutions):
In accordance with Ethics Codes 1.02, 1.03, 2.01, 3.01, 4.01, 4.03, 4.04, and 4.06, the committee recommends that the author reach out to the overseeing BCBA in question to advocate for the level of supervision of technicians and clients that is commensurate with ethical standards. The committee would encourage the author to explore the following steps as options; this should not be considered legal employment advice:
- Write a formal letter to the supervising BCBA and to the executive administration, educating them on and outlining our ethical codes of conduct surrounding supervision, client goal selection, etc. Consider providing suggestions or resources on ways in which they can support BCBAs in their agency in alignment with best practices in supervision and quality care for clients.
- Documentation of concerns can provide a clear statement for follow-up.
- If meaningful change is not made to satisfy the ethical code of conduct, the BCBA should consider sending their letter to the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners, the BACB and to state funders for auditing purposes, if appropriate.
- Since it is reported that owners/operators are not behavior analysts, the correction process can still be sent to our licensing board to ensure that services labeled as Applied Behavior Analysis are being examined.
Ethics Codes (specific standards that could apply to support/oppose):
- 1.02 Conforming with Legal and Professional Requirements
- 1.03 Accountability
- 2.01 Providing Effective Treatment
- 3.01 Responsibility to Clients
- 4.01 Compliance with Supervision Requirements
- 4.03 Supervisory Volume
- 4.04 Accountability in Supervision
- 4.06 Providing Supervision and Training