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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Panel #62
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Learn From the leaders: Roadmap to be a Successful Clinical Leader in an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Organization
Saturday, May 27, 2023
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Mineral Hall A-C
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Fumi Horner, Ph.D.
Chair: Fumi Horner (Bierman Autism Centers)
JANA M. SARNO (Hopebridge)
CHRISTINA BAROSKY (Bierman Autism Centers)
NANETTE PFEIFFER (Key Autism Services)

As more and more individuals are getting certified as BCBAs (Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2021), there are increased opportunities to grow as a clinical leader. Only a small percentage of BCBAs start their own practice and become their own bosses, while many BCBAs work for organizations or institutions for the bulk of their careers. Even a smaller number of BCBAs make it to the highest level of the clinical leadership role in mid-to-large ABA organizations. In recent years, more resources and training opportunities to be an effective supervisor have become widely available, yet there are limited opportunities to learn how to be a leader within an ABA organization with the current climate of business operations in the field. Leading a large group of BCBAs and RBTs on top of working collaboratively with the operations team and other service providers requires far more than being a great BCBA. This panel discussion addresses some critical learning opportunities, difficult decision-making experiences, strategies, and tips to be a successful leader.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Any BCBAs who are currently practicing as a case manager (supervise groups of RBTs) and interested in learning some tips on how to become a successful and effective clinical leader/supervisor at a mid- to large- sized ABA organization.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Identify some critical steps to take as a brand-new BCBA. 2) Describe the supervisor’s responsibilities to help others to grow. 3) Describe the critical learning opportunities as a leader. 4) Describe some strategies to resolve conflicts between clinical and operation teams. 5) Describe some strategies to ensure/maintain clinical quality when transitioning from a “client-facing” role. 6) Describe steps/tips to build partnerships with non-BCBAs (other service providers, individuals with business background, etc.)
Keyword(s): Collaboration, Ethics, Leadership, Supervision



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Modifed by Eddie Soh