- How do I decide which credential to apply for?
You must review the license requirements, scope of practice and laws relating to the applied behavior analysis professions to determine which credential is the best fit for the services you provide. We can answer questions about the application process or credentialing requirements but cannot tell you for which credential you should apply.
We've listed the basic requirements for each of the applied behavior analysis credentials below:
- Licensed behavior analyst
- Licensed assistant behavior analyst
- Certified behavior technician
- What is the practice of applied behavior analysis (ABA)?
The practice of applied behavior analysis means:
- the design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional and environmental modifications based on scientific research, and the direct observation, and measurement of behavior and the environment to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior;
- empirical identification of functional relations between behavior and environmental factors, known as functional assessment and analysis; and
- use of contextual factors, motivating operations, antecedent stimuli, positive reinforcement, and other consequences to assist people in developing new behaviors, increasing or decreasing existing behaviors, and emitting behaviors under specific environmental conditions.
The practice of applied behavior analysis does not include psychological testing, diagnosis of a mental or physical disorder, neuropsychology, psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, sex therapy, psychoanalysis, hypnotherapy, or counseling as treatment modalities.
- What are the definitions of a licensed behavior analyst, licensed assistant behavior analyst and certified behavior technician?
- Licensed behavior analyst is defined as a person who is licensed to engage in the practice of applied behavior analysis;
- Licensed assistant behavior analyst is defined as a person who is licensed to engage in the practice of applied behavior analysis under the supervision of a licensed behavior analyst; and
- Certified behavior technician is defined as a paraprofessional who implements a behavior analysis treatment plan under the close, ongoing supervision of a licensed behavior analyst or a licensed assistant behavior analyst, but who does not design or supervise implementation of a treatment plan.
- How much is application fee?
- Can I upload my training form to my online application to expedite the process?
No, the training form must come directly from the training supervisor who is attesting to the training. Training supervisors may email the form directly to the department; please include the applicants name followed by “training form” in the subject line, and the applicants pending credential number in the body of the email. While you may upload the training form to your online application, it will still be considered incomplete since it did not come from the source.
- When will I need to renew my ABA credential?
The initial credential will expire on your birthday. Initial credentials issued within 90 days of your birthday don't expire until your next birthday.
Your credential must be renewed every two years on or before your birthday. Renewals postmarked or presented to the department after midnight on the expiration date are late, and are subject to a late renewal penalty.
- What if I didn't receive my renewal notice?
The renewal notice is a courtesy reminder. You must renew your license on or before the date of expiration with or without a renewal notice. You may contact the Customer Service Center at 360-236-4700 to verify the correct address on record. Address changes may be submitted at www.doh.wa.gov/cic.
- How much is the renewal fee?
- What are the continuing education requirements for the ABA professions?
See the following for CE requirements
Continuing education requirements for an LBA and LABA.
Continuing competency requirements for a CBT.
- How do I receive updates regarding ABA information?
To get important information about applied behavior analysis, please select the green "Subscribe" button at the bottom of the page.
- What examination is required in order to be licensed?
- Licensed behavior analyst: The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination provided by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
- Licensed assistant behavior analyst: There is no examination requirement.
- Certified behavior technician: There is no examination requirement.
- Are certain practices and settings exempt from requiring a credential to practice ABA?
For a list of exemptions see RCW 18.380.030.
- Who may serve as a licensed assistant behavior analyst supervisor for continuing supervision?
A licensed behavior analyst or licensed psychologist r5 with an active Washington State credential in good standing.
- Who may serve as a certified behavior technician supervisor for continuing supervision?
A licensed behavior analyst, licensed assistant behavior analyst or or licensed psychologist with an active Washington State credential in good standing.
- Where may I find someone to serve as my supervisor?
The Department of Health doesn't maintain a list of supervisors. It's likely that your best opportunity to find a healthcare provider to serve as a supervisor is by contacting providers and associations.
- When may I start my licensed assistant behavior analyst supervised experience?
The licensed assistant behavior analyst trainee must be enrolled in or have completed the requirements contained in WAC 246-805-220 to be eligible to begin the required supervised experience.
- Do I need a license while gaining my licensed assistant behavior analyst supervised experience?
No. You'll be considered a licensed assistant behavior analyst trainee.
- I'm not a registered behavior technician (RBT), but I have received training and have experience providing ABA services. Will my training count?
You'll have to check the training program requirements to determine the training has been documented and you have received is at least a total of 40 hours. In addition, you'll need to make sure the training covered all of the training program content and type of training.
- I have a certification with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). What type of proof does the Department of Health need from the BACB?
Applicants don't need to provide the department with any BACB documentation, unless specifically requested from the department. The Department of Health will ask for your BACB number on the application, and the Department of Health will verify your certification.
- Is there a way to confirm that an application has been received, and to track the status of the application?
Yes, on our Application Status webpage.
To locate your application you will need to search for the name of the credential type: licensed behavior analyst, licensed assistant behavior analyst or certified behavior technician.
Since licensing will not be effective until July 1, 2017, your application status will show "pending".
- If there are any deficiencies with your application, credentialing staff members will notify you.
- If there are no deficiencies, you'll receive a letter stating: We have received your application. You have successfully met the credentialing requirements. However, your application will remain in pending status until July 1, 2017. Per RCW 18.380, the department cannot issue any credentials before then.
- What if I have already had a background check with my employer?
Background checks or fingerprinting checks are not transferable, so this will need to be done again.
- Do certified behavior technicians (CBTs) or supervisors need to report a change of supervision?
The department does not require a CBT, supervisor or employer to provide updated information regarding the supervision of a CBT, specifically if there has been a change of supervisors or employment status.
For CBTs who have the supervisor sign and submit the Certified Behavior Technician Training Program Form as part of the application process, the form is applicable only for the application process.
CBTs are authorized to ABA provide services only when they are meeting the supervision requirements defined in WAC 246-805-330 Certified behavior technician-Continuing supervision.
- I'm a certified counselor or a licensed counselor (licensed mental health, marriage and family therapist, or social worker). Do I need to apply for an ABA credential to practice ABA?
ABA is within these professions' scope of practice. Health professionals must determine if they have the training, education or competency to provide ABA services.
Supervision of ABA credential holders requires being licensed as a LBA or psychologist.
- I'm a licensed psychologist do I need to apply for an ABA credential to practice ABA?
ABA is within this profession's scope of practice. Psychologists must determine if they have the training, education or competency to provide ABA services.
- I'm a licensed assistant behavior analyst (LABA) or certified behavior technician (CBT) and being supervised by a licensed psychologist. How does this affect my efforts to become certified or maintain certification with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)?
You will need to verify with the BACB who is a qualified supervisor.
- I am interested in obtaining an ABA credential. Is a Washington state licensed psychologist able to supervise the required training?
Washington state licensed psychologists are not approved supervisors to provide training towards state licensure.