The 2014 Florida Legislative Session will vote on Florida Behavior Analyst Licensure. New York just passed similar legislation, which requires behavior analysts in the state to obtain licensure in behavior analysis. This blog will provide a brief Q&A introduction to the licensure legislation.
Why is licensure necessary?
There are currently over 10,000 behavior analysts recognized by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The BACB is a nonprofit corporation responsible for setting eligibility, renewal, and recertification standards for behavior analysts. The BACB also disseminates guidelines for responsible conduct for behavior analysts as well as conducts investigations into consumer complaints. However, the process for the BACB to review consumer complaints is less efficient than under a state board of professional licensure (Dorsey, Weinberg, Zane, & Guidi, 2009). The BACB website states that “the Behavior Analyst Certification Board will not review and decide the complaint until local agencies, including any professional credentialing board, have investigated and ruled on the case. You may wish to wait until these rulings have been made and are available before you send a formal complaint to the BACB.” A state board of professional licensure would conduct more time-intensive, local investigations into complaints (Dorsey et al.). Furthermore, the types of allegations the BACB investigates are limited to those that fall under the BACB Professional Disciplinary and Ethical Standards. Complaints that fall under the Guidelines for Responsible Conduct are not investigated.
In short, professional state licensure protects you as a consumer against misrepresentation, malpractice, and negligence.
How does licensure affect my child’s services?
Professional state licensure would require anyone stating to be a behavior analyst to have state licensure as a behavior analyst. This would help ensure that your child is receiving services from a qualified analyst that is accountable to both the state licensing board as well as the BACB.
What can I do to help?
Before the state licensure bill passes in Florida, it will be referred to various committees that will vote on the bill. You can help increase awareness and support of the bill by writing to your representatives. Visit Florida Association for Behavior Analysis for letter templates, links to representatives, ongoing news concerning the bill, as well as opportunities to testify in support of the bill in Tallahassee.
Dorsey, M.F., Weinberg, M., Zane, T., & Guidi, M. M. (2009). The case for licensure of applied behavior analysis. Behavior Analysts in Practice, 2, 53-58.