Frequently Asked Questions
What is licensure? How is it different from certification?
Licensed professionals are regulated by state law. The governing certifying entity manages certification (such as through the BACB). While the qualifications to become a licensed behavior analyst often mirror those of the certifying body, licensure provides additional provisions for state regulation of the practice of behavior analysis and the title "behavior analyst."
Why is licensure necessary?
Currently, no laws prohibit the practice of ABA or the title "behavior analyst in the state of Illinois. In a sense, anyone can say they practice ABA or say they are a behavior analyst (or any derivative of the term). This poses significant dangers for consumers, particularly those in areas of the state that are undeserved by appropriately trained and certified behavior analysts.
Individuals who are not certified by the BACB are not subject to following BACB ethical guidelines. The BACB cannot impose any consequences on those individuals unless they are purporting themselves to be certified. As such, derivative terms, such as "behavior specialist," "behavior interventionist," etc. are becoming increasingly used by non-certified practitioners, resulting in increased confusion from consumers about who to go to for ABA services.
Licensure is also necessary to protect our science and practice integrity and, as a result, our professional reputation. As increasing numbers of individuals practice without the appropriate training and certification, the "definition of ABA" becomes increasingly blurred from a consumer perspective.
Have more questions? We'll continue to update this page with answers to any frequently asked questions.