Applying to the RASP as a Behavior Consultant
The requirements of RASP Behavior Consultants (BCs) are more rigorous than for other categories of RASP professionals because there is no professional college overseeing BCs in British Columbia to set standards for their education or experience. In order to ensure that families are protected, ACT works closely with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) and the RASP Advisory Panel on policy development with respect to the RASP. While MCFD collaborates with various stakeholders, it is MCFD that sets RASP policy and ACT implements the policy.
RASP Requirements for Category A Behavior Consultants (Non-Supervised)
RASP applicants must be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) OR A person who has completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s or Doctoral degree ideally in Special Education, Educational Psychology, Psychology, or Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from an accredited post- secondary institution.
- Must provide supporting documentation of a minimum of 2 years of formal supervised direct child experience in the case of a Master’s level graduate, or 1 year of formal supervised direct child experience in the case of a Ph.D., or extensive clinical experience in developing and providing intensive intervention programs based on Applied Behavior Analysis directly to children diagnosed with ASD under the age of six. This should include direct experience with at least 8 children in:
- designing and implementing individualized behavior intervention plans under the supervision of someone who already meets Category A criteria; assessing the child’s skill level and training team members to teach the child skills in the domains of communication, socialization, play, self-care, and academics;
- analyzing and interpreting data;
- designing ABA-based support plans to address challenging behavior;
- conducting functional behavior assessments;
- providing ongoing supervision and support to team members who are implementing the plan of intervention.
Minimum Coursework Required:
- A graduate level university course in Applied Behavior Analysis.
- 3rd or 4th year undergraduate course in autism.
RASP Requirements for Category B Behavior Consultants (Supervised)
Applicants must be a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) OR A person who has, as a minimum, a Bachelor’s degree ideally in the following disciplines: Psychology, Education, or Applied Behaviour Analysis from an accredited post-secondary institution.
- Must have at least 3 years of documented experience as a behavior interventionist, with at least 6 children under age 6, under the supervision of an individual qualified in Category A.
- Must have at least one year of experience in a “senior interventionist” or supervisory role, assisting in training and supervising other interventionists, assisting in analyzing data, monitoring and adjusting programs, and conducting functional behavior assessments under the direction of an individual qualified in Category A.
- Must have two separate courses, one specific to autism and one specific to Applied Behavior Analysis. Each must be a 3rd or 4th year undergraduate course, at a minimum.
- A letter written by a supervisor, signifying that the Behavior Consultant has met these requirements may be required.
- Must have on-going direct clinical supervision from a Category A Behavior Consultant. The supervising Consultant must take responsibility for and sign all behavior plans and invoices.
The RASP Application Form is accessed from the MCFD website.
Criminal Record Check Process
To ensure you meet MCFD’s Criminal Record Check requirements, please see ACT’s information on the Criminal Record Check (CRC) process for RASP applicants.
Submitting an Application to ACT
Please submit the original application by mail to ACT – Autism Community Training, Suite 150 – 2250 Boundary Road, Burnaby, BC V5M 3Z3. Faxed or emailed applications are not acceptable and will delay your application.
A Note of Caution for Behavior Consultants
Prior to applying for inclusion on the RASP, we ask behavior consultants to keep in mind the following important considerations:
- By placing yourself on the list, you are formally stating that you are qualified to design, supervise, and oversee the implementation of intensive, comprehensive, and effective behavioral treatment programs for children under six with ASD. Please note that treatment programs should be individualized and based on published research and methodologies.
- Behavior Consultants who are registered members of professional colleges are required by their regulatory bodies to work within the prescribed boundaries of their competence based on their education, training, and supervised professional experience. They are also required to maintain awareness of new scientific and professional developments in their field of practice and to engage in ongoing professional development. As necessary, professionals are expected to request technical support, consultations, and/or supervision from more experienced colleagues in order to develop new skills and/or deal with unfamiliar or challenging situations.
- Behavior Consultants who are not registered members of professional colleges should nevertheless be prepared to uphold these same standards. Any applicant to the RASP who does not have the education, training, and supervised experience required to be a registered member of a regulatory body or who over-states his or her level of competence, could be open to future legal challenges from parents who are dissatisfied with services received or who feel they have been misled about the professional’s qualifications.
- Inclusion on the RASP as a behavior consultant does not guarantee that one’s current qualifications will be considered sufficient over the long-term. Category A and B qualifications will continue to evolve, in order to reflect ongoing developments internationally in the field of ASD. Behavior Consultants who do not qualify under Category A of the RASP application are also strongly advised to upgrade their qualifications. Certification from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board has now become the accepted standard for Behavior Consultants in B.C.; the majority of Behavior Consultants on the RASP are Behavior Analysts.
- Professionals who provide services to children six and over do not have to be on the RASP List in order for parents to use their government funding to pay for their services. However, ACT advises that anyone who works with individuals with autism should upgrade their qualifications as requirements in the field continue to evolve rapidly.
- ACT does not endorse the expertise of any professional on the RASP. ACT urges families to carefully check qualifications of the Behavior Consultants they are considering hiring. The New Diagnosis Hub provides guidance for families to support them making informed decisions when hiring professionals. ACT provides additional resources including Assessing Qualifications – Tips for Parents; a Program Evaluation Checklist.
As many behavior consultants are providing service without the oversight of a professional body, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Guidelines for Responsible Conduct For Behavior Analysts provides helpful guidelines for ethical practice relevant to practitioners in British Columbia.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) offers two certifications, one for individuals with a Bachelors degree (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst™, BCaBA™) and one for individuals with a Masters or higher degree (Board Certified Behavior Analyst™, BCBA™).
In British Columbia, the University of British Columbia offers courses for those who wish to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. BCBA certification is increasingly being recognized internationally as a requirement practice as a Behavior Consultant. Capilano University and Douglas College both offer courses to become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. There are also a variety of online courses available through UBC, CapU and Douglas College, as well as programs available in other Canadian and American universities.
BCBA certification means that a Behavior Analyst has met a high standard of both coursework and experience requirements, as well as passed an examination administered by the BACB. To find out more about course availability, eligibility, costs, enrollment, and other important details visit ACT’s page on post secondary programs for professionals.
ACT will continue to provide information about continuing educational opportunities from accredited institutions, as well as the professional development opportunities that ACT and other BC organizations offer. Please note that, while they do demonstrate a commitment to upgrading one’s professional knowledge base, presentations that offer only certificates of attendance are not considered sufficient to demonstrate mastery of a subject area when applying for the RASP.
Online RASP Profiles for Behavior Consultants
As there is no professional college for Behavior Consultants, ACT has developed an online profile process to help families better understand the education and experience of Behavior Consultants.