By Emaley McCulloch, M.Ed, BCBA
bSci21 Contributing Writer
Last year, The BACB had Burning Glass conduct an analysis of the demand for credentialed behavior analysts in the US. The demand for behavior analyst jobs increased from 1,414 in 2012 to 3,083 in 2014. The number of newly credentialed behavior analysts tracks closely with that demand with an increase from 1,817 credentialed in 2012 to 3,184 in 2014. Taking into consideration the number of individuals who did not pass the exam and the number of individuals accumulating experience hours, this could mean that an estimated of 9,000-12,000 individuals were accumulating experience hours through supervision in 2014. That is a lot of ABA supervision! So it’s not surprising that in 2014, the BACB announced increased requirements for supervising BCBAs with additional tracking and training requirements. The most substantial change to the responsibilities could be that supervisors are now responsible (i.e., can now be held accountable) for the supervisee’s behavior-analytic services. This is not to be taken lightly. So, how can we ensure that we, as supervisors, understand the capabilities and competencies of those we supervise so that we can be proactive in our supervision duties?
Relias Learning created a Supervision Assessment Tool based on the BACB Task List that can be used to measure supervisees’ baseline knowledge and skills and track them overtime to prepare them not only to pass the exam, but to practice in the field. I spoke to one supervisor that keeps this in her supervisee file. She uses it to identify areas of skill or knowledge deficit and to create supervision goals.
The assessment is broken down and color-coded into the BACB 4th Edition Task list categories (Basic Behavior Analytic Skills, Client-Centered Responsibilities and Foundational Knowledge). The supervisor can rate the supervisee on each task list item on a scale of 0 to 3 and use the results to create supervision goals and track progress over time. The ratings are as follows:
0 – Cannot identify the term or skill.
1 – Has taken course work on this skill/responsibility.
2 – Can verbally define and give examples of this skill/responsibility.
3 – Can display the skill/responsibility/principle across multiple clients and situations.
Using the electronic version of this assessment will allow you to color code the cells to help supervisors visually see gaps in knowledge and skill. Areas of deficit display in black and as supervisees progress across the rubric, the cell fades to grey and then white. With a glance at the assessment, supervisors and supervisees can focus in on areas of improvement during supervision hours. You can also measure the effectiveness of your supervision skills using a pre- and post-test design. Be sure to download the electronic and paper versions of this assessment for your own use here and here.
*Thank you to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board for permission to use the task list.
Let us know what you think of the supervision tool in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to bSci21 to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!
Emaley McCulloch, M.Ed, BCBA co-founded Autism Training Solutions, LLC in 2008, and is currently the Vice President of Relias Institute at Relias Learning. Relias Learning is the premier provider of online health care training for Health and Human Services, Senior Care and Public Safety. Emaley is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds an MA in Special Education. She has served in the field of ABA for over 18 years and has provided and overseen services to individuals between the ages of 18 months to 24 years in homes, schools and clinical settings. For eight years she served as a consultant and supervisor at agencies based in Hawaii and Japan where she trained groups of professionals and parents. Emaley’s passion is elearning, staff training, dissemination of evidenced-based interventions, research, film and videography and using technology in the field of behavior analysis and special education. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.