A behavior analytic supervisor navigates you through a competency-based curriculum

Throughout our discussion on behavior analytic supervision, we suggest that the best behavior analytic supervisor is a MENTOR.  We’ve listed six characteristics for you to look for when selecting a supervisor and have provided details about the first two characteristics.   The third characteristic of an excellent supervisor is:

Navigates you through a competency-based and structured curriculum.Close up of woman hands holding clipboard

If you are following our series on behavior analytic supervision, you may have noticed how the term “competency” tends to be repeated throughout the discussion.  Well, here it is again!  We at BAM Network want to emphasize the importance of supervision that focuses on developing your reportoire so that you are a quality behavior analyst.  In order for you to be able to provide the best services for you clients, your supervisor must ensure that you can effortlessly perform the required behavior analytic skills.  Hence, our focus on competency-based performance.

You might be thinking – Is this going to be another discussion about how a supervisor teaches a skill to competency?  Our answer is – not exactly.  This discussion will focus on the addition of an important piece to the provision of competency-based instruction.  A great supervisor will add a form of strategy to your supervision experience in the form of a structured curriculum.

Why is structure so important to the supervision process?  A structured curriculum that is also competency-based ensures that you not only learn to perform a target skill proficiently, but also that you do so in regard to all of the necessary skills.  That is, a supervisor’s use of a curriculum makes it more likely that all relevant skills will be assessed, addressed, and evaluated, and reduces the likelihood that important skills will get overlooked.  You want structure in your supervision experience.  You don’t want the skills targeted throughout your supervision experience to be left to chance.

The provision of a structured curriculum also permits your supervisor to more adequately evaluate your overall performance throughout the supervision experience.  In this case, the curriculum may guide the supervision process through relevant competencies to be assessed and targeted.  Progress throughout your supervision experience in this manner will be indicated simply by you demonstrating more competencies over time.  In addition to the curriculum acting as a guide throughout the experience process, the provision of structure will also enable the supervisor to evaluate your progress against a specific objective goal.  With the use of a structured curriculum at the onset of the experience, both you and the supervisor essentially set a competency-based goal to meet at the completion of the experience.  That is, all of the skills indicated throughout the curriculum should be performed competently by the end of the supervision experience.

Can you believe that we have already covered three of six characteristics present in an excellent supervisor?  We are halfway there and soon enough, you will be fully informed on selecting the best behavior analytic supervisor!  Look out for BAM Network’s next post, as details regarding the fifth characteristic are soon to come.