A Call for Discussion About Scope of Competence in Behavior Analysis

Abstract

The field of behavior analysis has defined its scope of practice through credentialing and licensure efforts. However, scope of competence in behavior analysis has received little discussion. Scope of competence refers to activities that the individual practitioner can perform at a certain criterion level (e.g., the functional analysis is conducted accurately and safely, a skill acquisition program includes critical program components and establishes accurate stimulus control). Given the successful efforts of behavior analysts in growth and recognition of the field, it is time for a robust conversation about scope of competence for the field of behavior analysis. This discussion can clarify how behavior analysts self-evaluate their own scope of competence and how they might expand their scope of competence if the needs of consumers require practitioners to expand into new areas.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    A review of the literature that describes credentialing and/or licensure efforts in behavior analysis is beyond the scope of this article. However, we strongly encourage anyone interested in credentialing and/or licensure efforts in behavior analysis to read the articles cited within this paragraph.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Dr. Linda LeBlanc and the five anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments, edits, and suggestions on multiple versions of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Matthew T. Brodhead.

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Brodhead, M.T., Quigley, S.P. & Wilczynski, S.M. A Call for Discussion About Scope of Competence in Behavior Analysis. Behav Analysis Practice 11, 424–435 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-018-00303-8

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Keywords

  • Behavior analysis
  • Ethics
  • Scope of competence
  • Scope of practice