Finding a Qualified ABA Service Provider

 

In alignment with MABA’s mission to disseminate information about behaviour analysis, the MABA Advisory Committee developed the following guidelines for determining whether an applied behavior analysis (ABA) service provider is qualified to practice behaviour analysis in Manitoba. It is important for parents and caregivers to know how to find a qualified ABA practitioner to ensure that their child receives proper service and to avoid the risks that may be associated with receiving services from practitioners who do not meet professional standards.

 

What Qualifications are Relevant to ABA Service Providers?

 

In Manitoba, ABA service providers may be:

 

  1. Certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)

This certification ensures that the ABA service provider has met strict education and supervision requirements, and passed an international examination. Individuals who are Board Certified Behavior Analysts indicate their credential as “BCBA.” Board Certified Behavior Analysts who have met additional doctoral-level requirements use the designation “BCBA-D.”

 

  1. Registered with the Psychological Association of Manitoba (PAM)

There are several different titles that ABA service providers may have if they are registered with PAM, depending on their education level and amount of supervised experience:

 

Doctoral-level practitioners:

  • Psychologist (C. Psych.)

  • Psychologist Candidate (C. Psych. Candidate)

 

Master’s-level practitioners:

  • Psychological Associate (Independent Practice) (P.A.)

  • Psychological Associate (Supervised Practice) (P.A.)

  • Psychological Associate Candidate (P.A. Candidate)

 

Candidates are individuals who are in the process of achieving status as a Psychologist or Psychological Associate but have not yet met all of the requirements. Candidates must be supervised by a registered Psychologist (C. Psych) who is approved to provide supervision in the ABA area.

 

In addition to demonstrating registration with the Psychological Association of Manitoba (PAM) consumers should ask whether the service provider is credentialed as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

 

What Organizations Offer Relevant Credentials?

 

Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)

 

The BACB is the international certification body that credentials behaviour analysts. Individuals who are certified as a BCBA have met the following criteria:

  1. Obtained an acceptable graduate degree and ABA coursework

  2. Met the requirement for practical experience supervised by a BCBA

  3. Passed the BCBA exam

  4. Meet continuing education requirements on an ongoing basis

  5. Abide by the BACB’s ethics code

 

A doctoral designation for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA-D) is offered by the BACB. This is not a separate credential, nor does it grant any privileges above or beyond the BCBA credential. They function in the same way as BCBA level professionals by providing behaviour-analytic services as independent practitioners.

 

Psychological Association of Manitoba (PAM)

 

PAM is the provincial organization that regulates Psychologists in Manitoba. PAM legally regulates Psychologists who specialize in ABA, as well as other areas of psychology. Individuals who are registered with PAM to practice independently have met the following criteria:

 

  1. Obtained a Master’s or Doctoral degree in Psychology

  2. Met the requirements for practical experience supervised by a registered Psychologist

  3. Passed the following examinations:

    1. Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP): Evaluates a candidate’s knowledge in eight areas of psychology.

    2. Jurisprudence Examination: Evaluates a candidate’s knowledge of provincial Acts, bylaws, and guidelines related to psychology.

    3. Oral Examination (not required for Psychological Associates): A panel of psychologists evaluate a candidate’s ability to orally respond to questions about ethics and the practice of psychology.

 

See the PAM website for detailed registration requirements.

 

Why are Certification and Registration Important?

 

Practitioners with a BACB credential and who are registered with PAM are bound to strict ethical guidelines set by each organization. This protects consumers of ABA services. The BACB and PAM ensure that professional standards are met, including education and continuing education requirements.

 

The BACB may take action against individuals who have breached their ethical code by revoking certifications or by suspending certification. The BACB cannot take legal action in Manitoba, but will report the complaint to the provincial regulatory body (i.e., “PAM”).

 

PAM may take legal action by laying charges of professional misconduct if appropriate. When a registered individual is reported to PAM, a Complaints Committee addresses the issue. However, PAM can only address concerns about individuals who are registered to practice. If an individual is certified by the BACB but not registered with PAM, then PAM cannot take disciplinary action.

 

How Can I Find Out if a Behaviour Analyst is Certified and Registered?

 

By cross-referencing the BACB and PAM websites, you can find practitioners in Manitoba who are both registered with PAM and board certified by the BACB.

 

  1. Go to the BACB website: www.bacb.com.

      1. On the homepage, click “Find/Contact Certificants.”

         

         

         

          1. If you are searching for ABA service providers near you, enter your postal code, province, or your city and click “Search.”

         

        1. If you want to find out whether an ABA service provider is certified, enter their last name and click “Search.”

         

         

        1. You will get a list of individuals who are certified who meet your search criteria.

        2. Click on a person’s name to see more details and contact them.

        3. Go to the next step to find out if the ABA service provider is also a registered Psychologist or Psychological Associate in Manitoba.

         

        1. Go to the PAM website: www.cpmb.ca.

          1. Scroll down the homepage and click “PAM Registrant Search.”

         

         

        1. If you are searching for ABA service providers near you, enter your postal code, province, or your city, under “Self Declared Area(s) of Practice,” select “Applied Behaviour Analysis,” and under “Self Declared Client Population(s),” you may wish to select a specific population (e.g., children or adolescents). Then click “Search.”

        2. If you want to find out whether an ABA service provider is registered, enter their first and last name and click “Search.”

         

         

        1. You will get a list of individuals who are registered with PAM who meet your search criteria.

         

        1. Click “details” next to a person’s name in order to see their contact information.

         

         

        What if an ABA Service Provider is Certified by the BACB But Not Registered with PAM?

         

        There are some ABA practitioners in Manitoba who are certified by the BACB but are ineligible to register with PAM. The minimum recommended qualification for these individuals is certification from the BACB. These individuals cannot register with PAM for one of two reasons:

         

        1. They hold (or are pursuing) a degree in an area other than psychology

        2. They hold (or are pursuing) a degree from a distance-education program

         

        Under the current education requirements for registering with PAM, ABA service providers who fall into either of the above categories are not eligible to register. Please note that there may be some individuals who may be eligible to register with PAM, but are not registered. MABA recognizes that these are important issues and we are continuing to work in partnership with PAM and the BACB, and in consultation with MFEAT to address these issues.