How to select a behavior analytic supervisor

The word Mentor in magazine letters on a notice boardYou have settled on a career – you want to be a positive change in people’s lives.  You’ve chosen to become a behavior analyst. Congratulations, you have selected the best profession to join, and are likely going to find yourself in an extremely fulfilling career.

As you begin your journey toward board certification in behavior analysis, you will be faced with decisions that can have a significant impact on your career. You’ve begun your coursework and may have secured an experience setting. Yet your most important decision remains:  who will provide you with the supervision to develop your repertoire into a solid, independent practitioner? If you work in a setting with on-staff BCBAs, this may not be a difficult decision to make.  Your supervisor is built into the equation.  However, if you do not already have access to a behavior analyst, you may feel ill-equipped to find a high quality supervisor. We are here to provide some direction!

First off, let’s get the bare minimum out of the way:  minimum requirements that your supervisor must possess are specified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board:

  • All supervisors must hold a current BCBA or BCBA-D in good standing.
  • Supervisors must complete an 8 hour Behavior Analytic Certification Board (BACB) approved training course.
  • Supervisors must have completed the BACB’s supervisor training module.
  • Supervisors must adhere to section 5.0 of the BACB Compliance Code.

But this is your career!  You don’t want the bare minimum. You should demand excellence!  We believe that an excellent supervisor is a top notch MENTOR.  This means that your supervisor:

M– Measures your skills through demonstrated competencies.

E – Exhibits expertise in your area of interest.

N – Navigates you through a competency-based & structured curriculum.

T – Tests your behavioral repertoire at the onset to identify strengths/weaknesses.

O – Offers ongoing collaboration after the supervised experience has ended.

R – Reinforces the skills necessary to build your clinical repertoire.

Finding a MENTOR is not impossible

Over the next few weeks, BAMnetwork will describe each of these characteristics and provide more detail on how you can identify someone that possesses this repertoire.  We are eager to help you begin the journey that will culminate in one of the most satisfying careers available.

Stay tuned for more posts!

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