Seeking the Right Supervisor: Finding Quality BCBA Fieldwork Supervision

Seeking the Right Supervisor: Finding Quality BCBA Fieldwork Supervision

In the journey to becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), the role of fieldwork supervision is critical. Supervision shapes your practical skills and professional ethos, however, it’s often difficult to find supervision. Either you don’t have access to a clinical setting, or you don’t have a BCBA in your school district, and if you do, there might not be supervision available. This is where remote supervision can play a key role in making quality supervision more widely available. This guide will navigate you through the process of finding the right online supervisor for your BCBA fieldwork, highlighting the unique benefits that such a mode of supervision offers.

The Rising Trend of Online Supervision in BCBA Fieldwork

After the world embraced remote work during the pandemic, online supervision in BCBA fieldwork is gaining traction for its flexibility, accessibility, and innovative approach to learning. It breaks geographical barriers, connects you with expert supervisors from around the globe, and offers a dynamic learning environment that can be tailored to your specific needs. After all, with today’s technology, your physical location in the world shouldn’t be the limiting factor to your education and impact in the field. A lot of supervisees want the option of keeping their full-time job while seeking supervision.

Key Benefits of Online Supervision

  • Accessibility to Expertise: Online supervision opens doors to a broader range of experienced BCBAs, irrespective of geographical location.
  • Flexibility and Convenience: It offers the convenience of scheduling sessions that fit your lifestyle and commitments.
  • Innovative Learning Tools: Leverages technology for enhanced learning experiences, including virtual observations, study resources, and interactive sessions.
  • Flexible clientele: Flexibility to choose clients such as neighbors, prior students, or current clients who would benefit from ABA interventions.

Steps to Finding the Right Online Supervisor

1. Conduct Thorough Research

Start by exploring providers, like ReadySetABA, that specialize in online BCBA supervision. These platforms often have detailed profiles of supervisors, including their areas of expertise, experience, and reviews from past supervisees. You can also search the BACB certificate registry for available candidates.

2. Align with Your Learning Style and Goals

Reflect on how online learning aligns with your style and professional aspirations. Are you comfortable with virtual interactions? Do you seek specialization in a specific area of ABA? Online platforms often provide diverse expertise that can cater to niche areas in behavior analysis. In addition, they typically include resources and curriculum to walk you through goals and milestones while incorporating the 5th edition task list.

3. Verify Credentials and Experience

Ensure your potential online supervisor meets all BACB requirements. Providers like ReadySetABA typically vet their supervisors, providing an additional layer of assurance regarding their qualifications and standing with the BACB.

4. Utilize Virtual Interviews

Conduct virtual interviews to gauge compatibility, discuss their supervisory approach, and understand their expectations. This is also a chance to experience the technology and communication tools that will be used during your supervision.

5. Clarify Practical Details

Discuss the logistics of online supervision, including session scheduling, platforms used, and any associated costs. Ensure these align with your preferences and needs.

6. Ask about Study Resources

Ask about what study materials are offered towards the end of supervision. For example, ReadySetABA offers a full practice test, study calendar, and ebook to help prepare students for the exam.

Making the Most of Online Supervision

Active Engagement

Online supervision requires proactive participation – you will get out of it what you put into it. Engage actively in sessions, ask questions, and utilize digital platforms for continuous learning and interaction.

Continuous Communication

Maintain open lines of communication with your supervisor. Regular feedback and discussions are vital for a fruitful online supervisory relationship and always ask your supervisor about monthly goals to be sure you are meeting milestones.

Address Challenges Promptly

If you encounter challenges, address them directly with your supervisor. Open communication is key to resolving issues and enhancing the online supervision experience.

Document Your Supervision

Keep thorough records of your online supervision sessions. This not only helps track your progress but is also crucial for meeting BCBA certification requirements.

Online Supervision Meets You Where You Are

Online supervision in BCBA fieldwork, as provided by platforms like ReadySetABA, offers a modern, flexible, and effective pathway to obtaining your certification. By carefully selecting the right online supervisor, you can enjoy a host of benefits that enhance your learning experience. Embracing online supervision is a step toward innovative, accessible, and quality education in the field of behavior analysis, paving your way to becoming a successful and well-equipped BCBA.

Breaking Down BCBA Supervision: Fieldwork Hours and Requirements

Breaking Down BCBA Supervision: Fieldwork Hours and Requirements

Fieldwork is one of the most critical steps in becoming a BCBA, a phase that not only enhances your understanding of behavior analysis but also prepares you for real-world application. However, we know it can be a bit confusing, so let’s break down the requirements and the hours needed to fulfill this crucial step.

Understanding the Fieldwork Requirements

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) stipulates specific fieldwork requirements that candidates must complete to be eligible for the BCBA examination. The fieldwork is an experiential learning process, designed to give you hands-on experience in applying ABA skills under the supervision of a qualified BCBA. This component of your training is essential in bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.

Types of Fieldwork

There are two primary types of fieldwork: supervised independent fieldwork and concentrated supervised fieldwork. Each type has its own set of requirements:

  1. Supervised Independent Fieldwork: This option requires you to complete 2000 hours with 5% supervision. It offers more flexibility and is often chosen by individuals who are working professionals or have other commitments.
  2. Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork: Requiring 1500 hours, this option involves more intensive supervision and is designed for those who can dedicate more time to their fieldwork experience, requiring 10% supervision.

Regardless of the type chosen, the fieldwork must be completed within a 5-year period and is intended to develop both your practical skills and ethical professionalism.

Supervision Requirements

The BACB mandates that during your fieldwork, you must receive regular, ongoing supervision from a qualified BCBA. The amount of supervision varies depending on the type of fieldwork:

  • For supervised independent fieldwork, you must receive supervision for at least 5% of the total hours you spend in fieldwork each month.
  • For concentrated supervised fieldwork, this requirement increases to 10%.

Supervision includes observation, feedback, and guidance on your practice and is crucial for your professional development. It’s important to choose a supervisor who is not only qualified but also a good fit for your learning style and professional goals.

The Fieldwork Hours: Breaking It Down

BCBA fieldwork hours are more than just a checkbox on your certification journey; they are an opportunity to apply and refine your skills. Let’s break down these hours to understand them better.

Direct and Indirect Hours

Fieldwork hours are categorized into direct and indirect hours:

  • Restricted Hours: These involve working directly with clients, and implementing behavior-analytic services. This hands-on experience is vital for understanding client interaction and the practical application of ABA principles. Restricted hours should make up no more than 40% of your total hours.
  • Unrestricted Hours: These include activities such as data analysis, report writing, research, and attending supervision meetings. Indirect hours are crucial for developing a broader skill set in behavior analysis. Talk to your BCBA about which activities count towards unrestricted hours. Unrestricted should make up at least 60% of your total hours and can be more than 60%.

Log and Track Your Hours

The BACB no longer requires specific forms and systems to document your hours. However, it is vital to log and track your fieldwork hours meticulously. We recommend using Ripley’s Fieldwork tracker – it’s free. Accurate record-keeping ensures that all your hard work is accounted for when you apply for the BCBA examination.

Maximizing Your Fieldwork Experience

Starting your fieldwork is a milestone phase in your journey to becoming a BCBA. It’s a unique opportunity to transform theoretical knowledge into practical skills. Here’s how you can maximize this invaluable experience:

1. Seek Diverse Experiences

  • Explore Different Settings: Explore the options of working in different environments such as schools, clinics, community centers, or in-home settings. Each setting offers unique challenges and learning opportunities.
  • Work with Varied Populations: Try to gain experience with different age groups and types of clients. Working with a diverse client base can broaden your understanding and adaptability in applying ABA principles.
  • Involved in Different Types of Interventions: Engage in a range of behavior-analytic services, from assessment and intervention planning to implementation and monitoring. This variety will enhance your versatility as a behavior analyst.

2. Be Proactive

  • Initiate Learning Opportunities: Don’t wait for experiences to come to you. Be proactive in seeking out learning opportunities, volunteer for projects, or ask to observe other professionals.
  • Ask Questions: Curiosity leads to deeper understanding. If something isn’t clear during your fieldwork, ask. That’s what your supervisor is for and this shows your commitment to learning and growth.
  • Seek Feedback Regularly: Regular feedback is essential for improvement. Request feedback from your supervisor not just in formal evaluations.

3. Reflect and Learn

  • Journal Your Experiences: During your fieldwork, your supervisor should set goals. Keep a reflective journal on your fieldwork experiences so you can manage your progress. Write about challenging cases, your responses, and what you learned from them.
  • Analyze and Adapt: After each experience, think about what went well and what could be improved. Use these reflections to adapt your approach in future sessions.
  • Learn from Mistakes: Mistakes are inevitable and are powerful learning tools. Reflect on them to understand what happened and how similar situations can be handled better in the future.

4. Build Professional Relationships

  • Network with Professionals: If you are able attend conferences, workshops, and local ABA meetups. Networking can lead to mentorship opportunities and future career prospects.
  • Collaborate with Peers: Engage with your peers during fieldwork. Sharing experiences and insights can lead to a deeper understanding and can help you reflect on your own practice.
  • Seek Mentorship: A mentor outside of your supervisor can provide guidance, support, and insight from their own experiences. Don’t hesitate to reach out to experienced BCBAs who you admire and respect.

5. Embrace Technology and Innovation

  • Use Technology: Familiarize yourself with the latest technology and software used in the field of behavior analysis. This can range from data collection tools to telehealth platforms.
  • Stay Updated with Research: Regularly read up on the latest research in behavior analysis. Applying current best practices ensures that your fieldwork is aligned with the most recent scientific findings.

6. Balance and Self-Care

  • Maintain Work-Life Balance: Fieldwork can be demanding. It’s important to balance your professional responsibilities with personal time to avoid burnout.
  • Self-Care: Engage in activities that reduce stress and rejuvenate you. Whether it’s exercise, hobbies, or spending time with loved ones, self-care is crucial for maintaining your well-being.
  • Seek Support When Needed: If you find yourself struggling, reach out for support. This could be from your supervisor, peers, or even professional counseling services.

Keep it Proactive

Navigating BCBA fieldwork requires a clear understanding of the requirements and a proactive approach to fulfilling these hours. Stay growth centered and you will not only meet the necessary criteria but also develop into a well-rounded, skilled behavior analyst. Remember, the fieldwork is not just a phase in your certification process; it is the foundation upon which you will build your professional career.

What are the Seven Dimensions of ABA?

What are the Seven Dimensions of ABA?

What are the Seven Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis?

The seven dimensions of ABA are important to consider when implementing behavior change procedures. One way to remember these is “BatCage.”


This dimension of ABA emphasizes the importance of behavior being observable and measurable. It is important when identifying a behavior needed for change, that we are selecting a behavior that can be observed and measured. 

 According to Cooper et al. (2019), “the behavior must be measurable; the precise and reliable measurement of behavior is just as critical in applied research as it is in basic research” (p. 16).


We want to ask ourselves, “How is this behavior socially significant for our client?” Why are we teaching this and how does it improve the life of our client? 

According to Cooper et al. (2019), “The applied in applied behavior analysis signals ABA’s commitment to effecting improvements in behaviors that enhance and improve people’s lives” (p. 16).

This is the most important dimension of ABA in my opinion since we are focused on the needs of our client. How will targeting this behavior improve the life of my client? We want to avoid targeting behaviors to appease others. This includes behaviors that might be disruptive or especially self stimulatory behaviors. Since these behaviors are often not harmful, we would not want to target these behaviors in intervention. Instead, ask yourself, how can we set up the environment to benefit my client? If they are engaging in a loud vocalization that another student in their classroom expresses is too loud for them, we want to try and position those students in a way that might be more comfortable. Our primary focus is the best interest of our client. There might be headphones that the other student can wear, or if the behavior is disruptive to the point that our client cannot complete basic tasks or learn in their environment, we can weigh our options and consider targeting the behavior at that point. This paragraph is not meant to give advice on specific cases, but rather to provide an example of how to assess the applied aspect of goals. 

If we are creating skill acquisition goals, we want to be sure to select targets that are directly applicable to our client’s daily life. For example, if we are working on visual perception skills with a 15 year old male, we want to consider having them matching and sorting laundry rather than matching and sorting colored shapes. Although colored shapes still work on the goal, it is not as applied as using laundry. Using laundry is more socially significant since this client will be able to apply this skill. 

When we discuss social significance, this does not mean what is best for social peers. That is important to recognize! Instead, how is this significant for our client? 


This states that behavior plans and definitions should be written clearly and concisely like a recipe. This is so these plans can be implemented by many others to keep consistency across environments. How many of you have read a plan and still had many questions? It is not uncommon to need to reread sections of the plan and ask questions before working with a client. However, this behavior intervention plan and skill acquisition plan should be written in a clear and concise way that can be easily replicated and understood by others. When training caregivers on the plan, it should be written in nontechnical language so they can understand how to implement the strategies. Considering technological as a dimension of ABA is also important for accurate data collection and measuring effectiveness. We want to be sure that all caregivers, teachers, therapists, and family members are being consistent to help with the success of our clients.

Cooper et al. (2019) states, “A study in applied behavior analysis is analytic when the experimenter has demonstrated a functional relation between the manipulated events and a reliable change in some measurable dimension of the targeted behavior” (p. 17).

Conceptually Systematic:

Research based interventions should be utilized. As we know, ABA is a science based on evidence and research. We want to be sure we are only using interventions that are evidence based and not recommending interventions that are heard. Continuing education is required to stay current and understand the most up to date interventions available. It is great to seek mentorship if you are unsure how to proceed when making decisions for a client. 

Cooper et al. (2019), “A study in applied behavior analysis is analytic when the experimenter has demonstrated a functional relation between the manipulated events and a reliable change in some measurable dimension of the targeted behavior” (p. 17).


Review data when making behavior decisions. It is important to make decisions based on data when reviewing progress. Of course, we consider all aspects of benefits to the client and review data to guide our decision making. Is there a reliable change based on the intervention? Is there a functional relationships?

Cooper et al. says, “A study in applied behavior analysis is analytic when the experimenter has demonstrated a functional relation between the manipulated events and a reliable change in some measurable dimension of the targeted behavior” (p. 16).


Can the skill be performed with a variety of people in a variety of different settings? We want to be sure we are setting our clients up for success by generalizing the skills to other environments. There are many ways to promote generalization including using a variety of materials, people, and settings while teaching a new skill. 

According to Cooper et al. (2019) “A behavior change has generality if it lasts over time, appears in environments other than the one in which the intervention that initially produced it was implemented, and/or spreads to other behaviors not directly treated by the intervention” (p. 18).


Ask yourself, has the intervention been successful? How can we review progress over time and in a variety of settings to ensure generalization and maintenance of skills.

Cooper et al. states, “A study in applied behavior analysis is analytic when the experimenter has demonstrated a functional relation between the manipulated events and a reliable change in some measurable dimension of the targeted behavior” (p. 17).

Use ethics to guide decision making and always consider the benefits and costs of an intervention before selecting a behavior change procedure. We also want to consider how we will fade these interventions when necessary. Especially for reinforcement! 

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2019). Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd Edition). Pearson Education (US).

Let’s Learn Together!

Fill out the form below to get more details about getting supervision or tutoring with ReadySetABA. 

Upcoming BACB Changes for BCBA® and BCaBA® Certifications

Upcoming BACB Changes for BCBA® and BCaBA® Certifications

What do I need to know regarding the BCBA® and BCaBA® certification requirements in 2026?

This blog summarizes the upcoming changes to the BACB regarding eligibility to BCBA® and BCaBA® certification.

No More BACB Task List! Now Test Content Outline (TCO)

Starting in 2025, the 6th edition Test Content Outline will be released. You can find it already available on the BACB website here.  In the BACB’s February 2022 newsletter, they describe the process of reconsidering the task list and creating this TCO title. Since the prior task list was designed to be essentially a study guide for the examination, the board feels that a test content outline is a better name for the document. These reasons make sense since this information on the task list/ TCO isn’t everything you need to know to practice as a BCBA/BCaBA. Additionally, this task list is not what universities base their curriculum on either. Of course, these task list items have been included in the courses through, but this document was created to be used to study for the examination. 

BCBA® Certification Eligibility

In 2026, there are slight changes to BCBA certification eligibility regarding coursework requirements, degree, and supervision.

There is a new 10 year rolling limit for coursework. The BACB has decided to remove pathways 3 & 4 for certification eligibility due to the low numbers of candidates applying under these pathways. Starting 2026, only pathways 1 and 2 will be options for candidates. Here is the chart directly from the BACB regarding these pathways.


BCBA® Supervised Fieldwork Requirements

There are only a few changes for the supervised fieldwork requirements in 2026. The BACB decided to keep the same 2,000-hour requirements for BCBA and 1300 for BCBA. The BACB did however increase the maximum hour limit from 130 to 160 per month which aligns better with full-time employment. This will make it possibly quicker for some candidates to obtain their supervision rather than drawing it out. It seems like supervisees who seek full-time employment as an RBT or ABA therapist have the best shot at obtaining the full 160 hours per month. There is still the 60% unrestricted and no more than 40% restricted hour requirement. See our blog on the difference between unrestricted and restricted ours for more information on this.

The number of supervisory contacts was eliminated but the 5% supervised hour requirements remain a requirement. Additionally, client observation requires 60 minute duration for regular individualized supervised fieldwork.

BCBA® Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork

This is all for the basic individualized supervised fieldwork requirements. For concentrated supervised fieldwork, there is a requirement of 1500 hours per month with 7.5% of hours needing supervision. Additionally, instead of the 60-minute client observation requirement, it is bumped up to 990 minutes, which makes sense. The other element that is the same for both types of fieldwork experience is that no more than 50% of these supervised hours can be group hours.

Here is the visual from the BACB website.


    I hope this information helped you prepare for the BACB changes in the future. This information can be found in the newsletter on the BACB website. As always, refer to the BACB website for the most up-to-date information. I highly recommend creating a gateway account to subscribe to their updates!


    Feel free to reach out with any questions.



    Let’s Learn Together!

    Fill out the form below to get more details about getting supervision, consulting, or tutoring with ReadySetABA. 

    What is BCBA®/BCaBA® Supervision Like with Us?

    What is BCBA®/BCaBA® Supervision Like with Us?

    What is BCBA®/BCaBA® Supervision Like with Us

    At ReadySetABA, you will receive individualized supervision that includes monthly goals, assignments for unrestricted activities, performance monitoring and feedback, study preparation, and real-life experiences. We strive to provide supervision based on the following guidelines: 

    1. Establish clear communication
    2. Create individual monthly goals
    3. Deliver positive reinforcement and feedback
    4. Provide examples of templates, assignments, and other documentation
    5. Prepare supervisee for exam

    Establish Clear Communication

    We refer to the Supervision Training Outline from the BACB website to structure our supervision. 

    Individual Monthly Goals

    Just how we individualize goals for our clients, we individualize goals for our supervisees. We allow for our students to collaborate with us as supervisors to help set personal goals each month to reach the terminal goal of learning about each of the items of the task list and of course, being a competent behavior analyst. 

    Deliver Positive Reinforcement and Feedback

    Similar to how we individualize monthly goals, we individualize our feedback to our students. We believe that preference assessments are good for everyone, not just our clients. We strive to provide our students with actual reinforcement for their hard work. We want the future frequency of their responses of completing their supervision hours with us to increase in the future. We provide positive reinforcement for our students and encourage them to take control of their supervision time with us. 

    Provide Real-Life Examples

    Here at ReadySetABA, we believe in pairing what we are teaching and supervising to real-life examples that we all experience every day. We believe in making our supervision as hands-on as possible. We want our students to get a real understanding of the “why” behind the analytical decisions that they are making, and in order to do that, we believe that we must help them generalize the science from their fieldwork setting to their worlds. 

    Prepare for Exam

    Instead of cramming for the exam after completing supervision hours, we encourage our students to study for their exams as they move through supervision. We provide students with slides, flashcards, a study plan, and practice questions along the way so they can feel well prepared by the time the test rolls around. 

    Templates for ABA Library

    We provide our students with a number of templates that you can practice using and save for future usage. These include but are not limited to BIP, toilet training, evaluation reports, assessment forms, FBA forms, graphs, and more.

    Contact Information

    Here at ReadySetABA, we KNOW that the best part about supervision is YOU! Please feel free to contact us with any questions and to sign up today! We look forward to supervising you! 

    RSABA Team

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