Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 299–308 | Cite as

Taking Full Responsibility: the Ethics of Supervision in Behavior Analytic Practice

  • Tyra P. SellersEmail author
  • Shahla Alai-Rosales
  • Rebecca P. F. MacDonald
Special Section: Supervision Practices


The supervision of professionals in the field of behavior analysis is multifaceted. The BACB® Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysis provides guidance for effective supervisory practices, as supervision impacts both the supervisee and the consumers. The purpose of this article is (1) to discuss rationales and consequences relative to supervision issues, (2) to provide directions for professional development in each of the seven identified supervisory areas within the code, and (3) to set the occasion for critical discourse relative to supervision. Case examples are used to illustrate each of the seven supervisory subcomponents of the “Behavior Analysts as Supervisors” section of the Code. A rationale is provided for each component, as well as a discussion of possible undesirable consequences resulting from not following the rule. While the code provides clear expectations of the desired behavior, this article explores more of the subtle nuances inherent in each section of the supervision code, with the goal of achieving a better understanding of the Code and enhancing supervisory skills.


Ethics Mentoring Supervisee Supervision Supervisor Supervisory 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


No funding was received for this project.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tyra P. Sellers
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shahla Alai-Rosales
    • 2
  • Rebecca P. F. MacDonald
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Special Education and RehabilitationUtah State UniversityLoganUSA
  2. 2.University of North TexasDentonUSA
  3. 3.The New England Center for ChildrenSouthboroughUSA

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