Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #447
CE Offered: BACB — 
Behavior Systems Analysis to Address the Issues Arising from Our Quickly Expanding Field
Monday, May 25, 2020
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Liberty I-L
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Jenna Marie Rabe (Capella University; CCBS)
Discussant: Jenna Marie Rabe (Capella University, CCBS)
CE Instructor: Jenna Marie Rabe, M.S.

As our professional numbers grow in size, it is imperative that we plan and support this growth and ask ourselves crucial questions pertaining to how to set up individuals and behavioral agencies for success. Specifically, what systems are necessary to be in place for all of these newly certified behavior analysts and registered behavior technicians? It’s a well-known fact that a large majority of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) have been certified for two years or less. This creates a pyramid effect with a smaller number of more experienced BCBAs supervising and supporting a greater number of BCBAs with less experience. This symposium will explore various topics pertaining to this question including: 1) A mentorship system that agencies can duplicate; 2) A system of reinforcement aimed at clincians who exceed expectations, thus reducing turn-over and increasing employee satisfaction; 3) Competency based systems for reviewing performance and aligning salaries and bonuses based on competency achievements, and 4) How each component listed above integrates together to create a behavior system. Keywords: Organizational Behavior Management, Behavior Systems Analysis, Supervision, Mentorship

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Mentorship, OBM, supervision
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: 1) Learn about and define a behavior systems analysis 2) Acquire tools and resources that are evidence-based to support the supervision of BCBAs, BCaBAs, and RBTs 3) Define key components of a behavior system as it relates to staff retention and quality of services
Mentorship: How to Build a Supportive System to Foster Clinical Growth
Abstract: As the field of behavior analysis grows with more and more individuals becoming certified as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), we must ensure that systems are in place to support the continued skill development of BCBAs. Additionally, the expectation must not be that once certified you now are competent and fluent enough to be set off on your own. Of course there will be areas of strength, but what happens when the BCBA is tasked with doing a Functional Analysis they've never done before, or if they receive a client who engages in behaviors that they've never worked with before? Or, what if they have done the FA and treated the behaviors, but lack confidence in taking the lead? This symposium provides a system for setting new BCBAs up for success using structured and competency-based mentorship with practical strategies and resources offered to those supervising. Key Words: Mentorship, OBM, Supervision, BCBAs
Reinforcement and Incentives Work on Clinicians, Too: A Process for Implementing Reinforcement Systems
Abstract: Turnover, clinicians bouncing from agency to agency, poor morale and quality of treatment are all issues that can arise due to clinician burnout, ratio strain, and lack of support. Over and over again we see that we reserve reinforcement systems for our clients and forget about using the exact same science with our staff. Some barriers one may face once they do commit to setting up a system of reinforcement include, the bandwidth to monitor and collect data on every employee on a frequent (weekly to bi-weekly) basis, and ensuring that the system supports each individual’s motivations and reinforcers as these are idiosyncratic and may change. This symposium aims to offer attendees resources and tools to support clinical systems of reinforcement that can be easily monitored and implemented. Thus, increasing staff job satisfaction, achieving or even exceeding a company’s key performance indicators, and ultimately leading to higher rates of staff retention and lower rates of attrition.
Competency Based Assessments: A Process for Assessing Clinicians and Supporting Skill Development
Abstract: Salaries shouldn’t be solely dependent on the budget just as years of experience must not be the measurement for a clinician’s competency. That’s not to say that these two things shouldn’t be taken into account as well, but as behavior analysts we can do better. So, what is a person to do when in charge of assigning wages, awarding pay increases or bonuses, and ensuring that salaries align with one’s fluency in their role? Take data, of course! This symposium will offer a process and system for reviewing staff’s performance and assessing one’s competencies in their role, whether Registered Behavior Technician, Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst or Board Certified Behavior Analyst, both initially and ongoing. Case studies will be reviewed showing the effects of competency based assessments on performance and audience members will leave this symposium with both a system to replicate and resources to support the system. Key Words: Assessment, OBM, Supervision
Behavior Systems: How Reinforcement, Mentorship, and Competency Based Assessment Work Together
CHRISTINA M. COUNTIE (Simmons University; CCBS)
Abstract: As we know, behavior is complex. Therefore, we must not solely look at one potential variable to address issues such as staff retention and satisfaction, or increasing clinician skillset. It requires a system of integrated components



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Modifed by Eddie Soh