What’s the Difference Between a BCBA and a BCaBA?

difference between a BCBA and a BCaBA

People often ask the difference between a BCBA and a BCaBA. Both BCBA and BCaBA are important certifications for professionals in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), but they differ in terms of level and scope of practice. Here’s a breakdown of their importance:

What Is a BCBA?

Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBAs®) work in psychology, education, childcare, speech and language disorders, and mental health and human services. They conduct, develop and implement behavioral assessments and treatment plans for those with developmental disorders.

According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®), the leading organization for credentialing professionals in behavior analysis, “professionals certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services. BCBAs supervise the work of Board-Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, and others who implement behavior-analytic interventions.”

  • BCBAs must have a master’s degree from an accredited university.
  • BCBAs can practice independently.
  • BCBAs can supervise Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs).
  • BCBAs must pass the BCBA certification exam (and meet the organization’s other eligibility requirements).

What Is a BCaBA?

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts® (BCaBA®) support and assist Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). They collect data, implement skills acquisition procedures and/or behavior management interventions, graph and analyze data and conduct assessments. BCaBAs play an essential role in supporting the growing caseloads of BCBAs in school systems, special education programs, residential programs, and community and home therapy programs.

“Professionals who are certified at the BCaBA level may not practice independently but must be supervised by someone certified at the BCBA/BCBA-D level,” notes the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. BCaBAs can, however, “supervise the work of Registered Behavior Technicians and others who implement behavior-analytic interventions.”

  • BCaBAs must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  • BCaBAs cannot practice independently; they are supervised by BCBAs.
  • BCaBAs can supervise Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs).
  • BCaBAs must pass the BCaBA certification exam (and meet the organization’s other eligibility requirements).

Interested in Becoming a BCBA or a BCaBA?

UMass Lowell’s award-winning graduate online programs provide the required course work necessary for individuals interested in pursuing BCBA or BCaBA certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). In fact, UMass Lowell has one of the highest BCBA exam pass rates in the U.S. among online graduate programs in behavior analysis, based on the BACB’s Verified Course Sequence (VCS) Provider Pass Rate data.

At UMass Lowell, expert behavior analysts from around the country teach our courses. They work for some of the most respected centers for autism treatment and research.

This seven-course online graduate certificate program is for those interested in becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who already hold, or will soon earn, an appropriate master’s degree but have not completed the specific course work required by BACB.

This 10-course online master’s degree program is for those who want to integrate knowledge of autism studies with a master’s degree in education. Up to five courses in the certificate above may count as part of those 10 courses.

This master’s degree program is for those interested in counting their autism certificate course work toward a psychology-based master’s degree. The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis & Autism Studies offers on-campus and online courses.

Source: Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. (BACB); www.bacb.com