Upcoming Changes to VCS System
January 2023: ABAI and BACB jointly announced the BACB VCS system will end on January 1, 2026. This change has no immediate effect on students or training programs; but may impact plans to apply to the BACB via Pathway 2 later (via the 2027 coursework requirements). A summary of the upcoming changes is summarized below – please reference the ABAI-BACB Joint Announcement for further details.
Students and Graduates Seeking BACB Certification:
- Graduates of ABAI-accredited (Tier 1) or ABAI-recognized (Tiers 2a-2b) master’s and doctoral programs will continue to apply to the BACB’s BCBA-level credential via Pathway 1* (now through December 31, 2031).
- Individuals applying for BCBA and BCaBA credentials via Pathway 2, beginning January 1, 2026, will use the BACB’s newly developed coursework attestation process. Applicants will need to meet the eligibility requirements that are in effect at the time of their application. Please refer to the BACB's website for eligibility requirements and upcoming changes to BACB examination eligibility.
- Program coordinators must remain abreast on certification eligibility requirements and upcoming changes.
- Programs seeking to obtain quality recognition may do so by achieving ABAI accreditation or recognition via the Tiered Model of Education. The Tiered Model encourages programs to take a step-wise approach towards accreditation. Resources are available for programs planning to transition from the 5th Edition VCS to the Tiered Model of Education standards.
- Effective January 1, 2022, graduates from Tiers 1, 2a, and 2b satisfy the BACB’s BCBA-level Pathway 1 requirements* (now through December 31, 2031).
- ABAI will continue to verify and renew current, Fifth Edition VCSs for programs that wish to maintain the VCS status. Program coordinators may elect use the BACB’s attestation system at any time.
- ABAI does not have a VCS application for the BACB’s 2027 coursework requirements - please review the Q&As of the ABAI-BACB Joint Announcement for further details.
Timeline for the VCS Sunsetting:
- January 1, 2025: ABAI will stop accepting new Fifth Edition BACB VCS applications.
- July 1, 2024: ABAI will begin a modified renewal schedule and prorated rate for renewals through December 31, 2025.
- July 1, 2025: ABAI no longer processes renewals.
- December 31, 2025: This will be the last day for applicants to apply for BCBA or BCaBA certification (under Pathway 2) using course-by-course review via VCS records.
- January 1, 2026: All BCBA and BCaBA applicants (under Pathway 2) will complete their certification application using the coursework attestation process.
*Applicants will need to meet the BACB’s eligibility requirements in effect at the time they apply. Please refer to the BACB’s website for eligibility requirements, handbooks, and upcoming changes.
We look forward to seeing you in Denver, Colorado (May 25-29, 2023). See upcoming ABAI events and information here.