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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Panel #135
CE Offered: BACB — 
Addressing Ethical Violations When We Catch Behavior Analysts Behaving Badly
Saturday, May 23, 2020
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M1, University of D.C. / Catholic University
Area: PCH/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jessica Kelly, M.S.
Chair: Emily Marie Lawson (Pennington Group)
SARAH RUSSELL (Sage Graduate School; ASPIRE LLC)
SUZANNA MYERS (Pennington Group ABA)

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board requires all certified individuals to be familiar with and adhere to the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (10.0, Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2016). Anectodal reports from various certified providers in Hampton Roads, VA indicates a pattern of escape/avoidance behavior in response to witnessing ethical violations by their fellow certified colleagues, some who also acted as their supervisor and employer at the time of the violations (J. Kelly, personal communication, 2018). Specifically, these Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified assistant Behavior Analysts resigned from their employment positions instead of attempting to resolve the issue with the individual who engaged in the violation as our code instructs us to do (Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts 7.0, BACB, 2016). Informal interviews conducted with supervisees also revealed that the majority of these individuals did not receive training on confronting individuals engaging in ethical violations nor did they receive training on submitting a notice of alleged violation via the Behavior Analyst Certification Board or submitting a report with the state’s licensure department if applicable. It is imperative that individuals representing behavior analysis follow through with their ethical obligations to maintain our science’s reputation.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

BCBAs, BCaBAs, graduate level students completing their fieldwork towards eligibility to sit for the BACB exam, supervisors, supervisees

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) understand the importance of upholding the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code; (2) address / confront colleagues, supervisors, and supervisees regarding alleged ethical violations; (3) navigate the steps for reporting ethical violations to the appropriate authority.
Keyword(s): ethical responsibility, ethical violations, harm risk, timely reporting



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Modifed by Eddie Soh