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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #372
So You Have a Behavior Analyst Licensure Law: Now what?
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
Area: AUT/DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Susan Wilczynski (Ball State University and ABAI Licensing Committee)
Discussant: John Walter Scibak (Retired Massachusetts State Representative and ABAI Licensing Committee)
CE Instructor: Gordon Bourland, Ph.D.
Abstract: Once a state, province, or other governmental jurisdiction has enacted a statute establishing licensure of behavior analysts, can behavior analysts finally breathe a sigh of relief and relax? Statues and experience clearly indicate the answer is an emphatic “NO!” Once a behavior analyst licensure law is enacted, behavior analysts still need to be very vigilant and active with respect to it. The presentations will address some of the crucial tasks in which behavior analyst need to engage once licensure is established.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): ABA Licensure, Maintaining licensure, Public policy
Target Audience: Intermediate instruction level Attendees familiar with applied behavior analysis and interested in or familiar with behavior analysis licensure and public policy activities will benefit the most from this symposium.
Learning Objectives: Participants will: 1. Outline and plan post licensure law passage activities that will enable the law to be carried out as efficiently as possible. 2. Describe how to move to the execution and implementation stage of recently past licensure legislation laws in their states. 3. State an activity involving behavior analyst licensure regulations in which they should be prepared to engage, 4. State an activity involving other professions with which behavior analysts should be prepared to engage, once behavior analyst licensure is established. 5. State the basic components of sunset review. 6. State what can happen to a state’s behavior analyst licensure program as a result of a sunset review.

We Have a Behavior Analyst Licensure Law, Can’t We Relax Now?

JOHN M. GUERCIO (Benchmark Human Services and ABAI Licensing Committee)

The passage of a licensure law is by no means the end of the road for the behavior analysis community in states that have just reached this milestone. The local chapter that supports behavior analysis activities should immediately begin to identify potential members of the licensing board that can be nominated and ultimately will be put in place to serve on the board. This panel will enable those that are on the brink of implementing licensure to be equipped with a step-by-step protocol by which to fully participate in this process. A number of things need to be identified that help to maintain the momentum that led to the passage of the licensure law in the first place. These catalysts will be identified and outlined for interested Behavior Analysts in states that are at this process step in their licensure law.

Licensure Laws and Regulations Are In Place: Now We Can Relax, Right?
GORDON BOURLAND (Trinity Behavioral Associates and ABAI Licensing Committee), John Walter Scibak (Retired Massachusetts State Representative and ABAI Licensing Committee)
Abstract: After a behavior analyst licensure law has been enacted and the initial version of the relevant regulations to guide implementation have been established, behavior analysts are wise to remain vigilant regarding and engaged with licensure issues. The initial version of regulations may require updating as new issues germane to behavior analyst licensure arise and as regulations requiring clarification. In addition, licensure opponents may try to have the statute repealed or suggest onerous regulatory changes. Behavior analysts need to monitor carefully any proposed changes and provide comment regarding them. Behavior analysts should monitor meetings of the regulatory bodies involved with licensure to stay informed with decisions and ongoing discussion as well as provide input regarding issues that should be considered by the body. Additionally, behavior analysts should closely monitor possible activities of other governmental entities and other professions that could have an impact on behavior analysts and their licensure and be prepared to address those activities.
Watching the Sunset!
GRANT GAUTREAUX (Nicholls State University and ABAI Licensing Committee)
Abstract: Many states require state agencies and programs periodically to be reviewed and evaluated by a designated group of people. That group makes recommendations to legislators regarding whether each agency and program should be continued as it is, be revised in some manner, or be eliminated. The legislature then decided what course of action to take. This process is called sunset review. The sunset review process differs across states. The sunset review process has occurred, is occurring, or soon will occur in several states. Given the possible changes that could occur to behavior analyst licensure due to the sunset review process, behavior analysts should be aware of when their licensing program is to be reviewed and actively participating in public input regarding the initial review and regarding the subsequent legislative action. Examples of sunset review activity related to behavior analyst licensure in several states will be discussed.

So, What Should You Do Next?

JOHN WALTER SCIBAK (Retired Massachusetts State Representative and ABAI Licensing Committee)

An overview will be provided of the range of activities that behavior analysts should consider for maximizing the likelihood of behavior analyst licensure adequately protecting the public and supporting the profession of behavior analysis. Elaboration of particular strategies and tactics for doing so will be tailored to address questions raised by attendees.




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Modifed by Eddie Soh