Becoming an applied behavior analyst (ABA), an assistant applied behavior analyst (AABA), or a registered behavior technician (RBT®) in the state of Oregon involves obtaining a license from the Oregon state Health Licensing Office (HLO).
The Oregon state legislature passed laws regulating the practice of behavior analysis in 2013, but the actual licensing requirement only went into effect in 2015. A new regulatory body, the Behavior Analysis Regulatory Board (BARB) was created to finalize regulations and to oversee the issuing of licenses.
With feedback from BARB and the Oregon Association for Behavior Analysis (ORABA), the legislature is still fine-tuning the laws governing licensure and professional standards, Oregon Laws Chapter 676. The most recent updates were passed in 2016, and BARB finalized their interpretation into a new rule effective January 1, 2017.
Although Chapter 676, as a matter of law, provides alternatives for licensure for ABAs and AABAs that do not require holding a certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the new administrative rules do not yet specify any of those alternatives.
For ABAs and AABAs in Oregon, earning licensure would involve meeting requirements for and gaining BACB credentials before applying:
- Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®) for full-scope ABAs with a master’s degree at minimum (a BCBA®-D credential is also available for full-scope doctorate-prepared ABAs)
- Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA®) (for limited-scope assistant ABAs with a bachelor’s degree at minimum)
Note: Oregon law also allows other licensed health care professionals registered with the Behavior Analyst Regulatory Board to provide ABA services.
Another classification of ABA para-professional referred to in Oregon law as “behavior analysis interventionist” does not require outside certification to obtain a license in Oregon. The BACB’s RBT® (Registered Behavior Technician) could be pursued electively.
Steps To Becoming a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst in Oregon
|Earn a Master’s or Higher Degree in Behavior Analysis or Other Qualifying Major|
|Complete a Period of Supervised Practice|
|Pass the National Behavior Analyst Certification Exam|
|Apply for Licensure with the BARB|
Step 1. Earn a Master’s or Higher Degree in Behavior Analysis or Other Qualifying Major
The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®) credential currently listed as the only path to licensure written into Oregon law requires that you earn at least a master’s degree in either behavior analysis or in education, or psychology with a focus or minor in behavior analysis. Qualifying degrees include a pre-approved course sequence or otherwise meet the BACB’s course content allocation requirements.
If you select a program that is included on the Association for Behavior Analysis International’s (ABAI) accredited program list, you can be sure it meets all curriculum requirements.
If you go through a program that is not on the ABAI list and is not among those with a pre-approved course sequence, you may still be eligible to take the BCBA® Exam. However, the BACB will have to evaluate the course curriculum for your program and approve it before you will be allowed to take the exam.
Many students today choose online master’s programs. These allow more flexibility and, frequently, lower costs than traditional master’s degree program options. For students who do not already live near their first choice in colleges with the requisite degree programs, or who may not live within commuting distance of any satisfactory options at all, an online master’s degree may be the only reasonable choice that doesn’t require relocating.
Education Requirements for AABAs and Interventionists
Assistant applied behavior bnalysts (AABAs) only have to earn a bachelor’s degree to qualify for the BCaBA® certification and state licensure.
Behavior Interventionists require only a high school diploma or G.E.D. to become licensed in Oregon.
Step 2. Complete a Period of Supervised Practice
Hands-on experience is also part of the requirements for licensing in Oregon. You’ll have to accumulate a number of hours of practical experience in a supervised setting to qualify to sit for the certification examination required for licensure.
The experience standards are set by the BACB:
- 1500 hours of supervised independent fieldwork (1000 hours for AABAs)
- 1000 hours of practicum (670 hours for AABAs)
- 750 hours of intensive practicum (500 hours for AABAs)
You will perform supervised independent fieldwork in a clinical setting outside your master’s program. You will be asked to:
- Conduct assessments
- Design behavior analysis programs
- Oversee the implementation of behavior analysis programs
You will probably have to line up an employer for your supervised independent fieldwork on your own. Some possible practitioners in Oregon that offer fieldwork opportunities include:
- Centria Autism Services, Eugene
- Footprints Behavioral Interventions, Salem
- Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Astoria
- Behavior Support Solutions, Portland
Practicum and intensive practicum, on the other hand, are undertaken as part of your degree program. The practicum is an enrolled course in which your performance is graded. You must pass with at least a C for acceptance by the BACB.
A current BCBA® licensee must supervise your practice in each of these categories and report back to the BACB on your performance.
Interventionists in Oregon are not required to possess any prior experience.
Step 3. Pass the National Behavior Analyst Certification Exam
The National Behavior Analyst exam is administered by Pearson VUE and offered at various exam sites in each state.
There are four sites available for test-takers in Oregon:
Before taking the test you must first register online with the BACB. You will have to file paperwork to verify your completion of the experience and education requirements before taking the test.
Step 4. Apply for Licensure with the BARB
You will apply for your ABA or AABA license with the Oregon Behavior Analyst Regulatory Board after you have completed all your required schooling, experience, and passed your exams. You can download an application form from the website here.
Application and license fees for each license category are:
- Licensed behavior analyst
- Application – $150
- License – $200
- Licensed assistant behavior analyst
- Application – $125
- License – $175
- Licensed behavior analysis interventionist
- Application – $75
- License – $100
The application fee is due with your application submission; the license fee must be paid after your application is approved before you will actually receive your license.
You will also have to submit a copy of one form of acceptable photo I.D. with your application form (driver’s license, state I.D. card, passport), and proof of certification (or of your high school diploma or G.E.D. for interventionists).
All applicants will have to pass a fingerprint-based criminal background check before their license can be issued.
Interventionists also have to separately provide documentation of at least 40 hours of approved training in applied behavior analysis.
Oregon does not offer reciprocal or temporary licenses, but you must disclose if you have been licensed in another state and provide an affidavit of licensure with your application form.
License Renewal for Behavior Analysts in Oregon
Your ABA or AABA license in Oregon is good for one year, after which it must be renewed with the Health Licensing Office. Renewal can be completed online at the HLO website here.
Renewal fees are identical to the licensing fee that you paid when you first obtained your license, minus the application fee.
If you fail to renew your license for more than three years, you will have to reapply and go through the original application process again to have it reinstated.
Continuing education for all behavior analysts is mandatory, but as of late 2016 the BARB is still developing the exact requirements for fulfilling this obligation.