bcba ethics code for behavior analysts

BCBA® Ethical Code 2023

Below you will find a condensed version of the BCBA® ethical code for 2022. This is the ethical code used on the BCBA® fifth edition task list. We reviewed the ethical code and chose what we thought was the most important components from each section. This ethical code summary is part of our full BCBA® fifth edition task list study guide which is available in our SHOP.

Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2020). Ethics code for behavior analysts.
Copyright © 2020, BACB®, All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

E-1 Introduction

We have an obligation to act in a way that reflects positively on the field of behavior analysis

  • We must continue to educate ourselves
  • We must carry ourselves in a professional manner
  • We have an obligation to do what is right, and do no harm

Core principles:

  1. Benefit others
  2. Behave with integrity
  3. Treat others with compassion, dignity, and respect
  4. Ensure competence

E-2 Responsibility as a Professional

Behavior analysts have an obligation to develop themselves professionally

  • Promote truthful behavior and avoid creating fraudulent or illegal situations
  • Accountable for their actions while practicing within scope and competence
  • Remain aware of current issues, trends, and developments in the field
  • Continuing education through conferences, journals, research
  • Avoid multiple relationships, exploitative relationships, and discrimination
  • Gifts to clients, stakeholders, supervisees, or trainees must be less than $10 in value
  • No sexual relationships with clients or stakeholders for a minimum of two years after service ends
  • Must document that professional relationship has ended before engaging in a relationship with supervisees or trainees
  • Do not accept supervisees or trainees with whom they’ve had a relationship with until six months have passed

E-3 Responsibility in Practice

Provide effective treatment, protect confidential information, ensure accuracy in billing and reporting

  • Share information only when consent is obtained, to protect the client, to resolve a contract, or when compelled by law or court order
  • Behavior analysts use non-technical language and ensure the client understands when explaining assessments, interventions, and plans
  • Behavior analysts collaborate with colleagues
  • Always consider medical needs first
  • Select interventions that are conceptually systematic, based on data, and minimize risk of harm
  • Continually evaluate behavior-change interventions
  • Remove or minimize environmental variables that may interfere with service delivery

E-4 Responsibility to Clients and Stakeholders

The client includes the individual receiving services, and those with a stake in the outcome

  • Act in the best interests of clients. Identify stakeholders from the onset.
  • Only accept clients within your scope of practice
  • A signed service agreement must be in place before service (includes financial agreement)
  • Place client welfare above all else when consulting for third-parties
  • Document professional activities throughout service delivery
  • Make referrals based on needs of clients. Facilitate services to avoid interruption or disruption
  • When to consider discontinuing services:

The client has met all goals

The client is not benefiting from the services

The team is exposed to harmful conditions

The client/stakeholder requests discontinuation

Stakeholders are not complying with interventions

Services are no longer funded

E-5 Responsibility to Supervisees and Trainees

Behavior analysts do not exploit their supervisees and trainees

  • Comply with supervision requirements including competence, volume, documentation, and accountability
  • Supervision and training should be behavior-analytic in nature including the use of reinforcement and feedback
  • Address diversity (age, disability, ethnicity, gender, etc.)
  • Monitor performance using data collection. Communicate and evaluate and problems that arise during training or supervision
  • Evaluate effectiveness of supervision
  • Facilitate continuity of supervision and appropriately terminate supervision

E-6 Responsibility in Public Statements

Behavior analysts represent themselves and the field when making public statements

  • Protect the rights of clients, stakeholders, supervisees, and trainees in public statements
  • Ensure confidentiality in public statements
  • Public statements should be truthful and avoid exaggeration
  • Behavior analysts are responsible for public statements made about them even if they aren’t the ones making the statement
  • Do not advertise nonbehavioral services as behavioral services. A disclaimer must be used when providing non-behavioral services
  • Do not solicit testimonials from current clients or stakeholders (unsolicited reviews where analysts cannot control content are allowed, but content should not be used or shared by the analyst)
  • You can solicit from former clients, but you must identify the statements as solicited or unsolicited, and disclose the relationship
  • Testimonials may be used from former or current clients for non-advertising purposes
  • Do not post clients on personal social media accounts. Consent must be obtained for professional accounts including a disclaimer

E-7 Responsibility in Research

Conduct research within the scope of all policy and law

  • Must be approved by a formal research committee
  • Client welfare must be prioritized during research
  • Prioritize confidentiality in research
  • Disclose any conflicts of interest in research and publication

Give credit where credit is due. Do not plagiarize. Do not falsify data

Reference: https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Ethics-Code-for-Behavior-Analysts-210902.pdf

Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2020). Ethics code for behavior analysts.
Littleton, CO: Author.

Copyright © 2020, BACB®, All rights reserved.

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