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:
- Establish clear communication
- Create individual monthly goals
- Deliver positive reinforcement and feedback
- Provide examples of templates, assignments, and other documentation
- 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.
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!
FREE BCBA®/BCaBA® Study Calendar:
We hope to provide some relief by offering free resources during this pandemic for those studying for BCBA®/BCaBA®. Stay inside and healthy everyone.
Check back for more resources soon.
How to Find the Supervisor that is Right for You:
Finding a supervisor that is the right fit for you can be challenging. You may have questions such as, “How will supervision be structured? Does my job offer supervision? How long will it take? Will this supervision prepare me for the test and the ABA world?”
There are a few questions to ask yourself when searching for the right supervisor.
Does my current job offer supervision?
- If you are working in an ABA clinic, your job might include supervision as a part of your benefits. If they do, make sure you ask the right questions about supervision to ensure you are getting quality supervision.
- If you are working for the school system, you may not have access to a supervisor. In this case, you may need to search for a local or remote supervisor.
Remote or in person-supervision?
- Remote supervision is a convenient way to obtain supervision hours while working in your current job.
- Remote supervision includes videos, weekly video calls, and sharing documents.
- In-person supervision can be great if you can find a local supervision near you. Here is where to search for local supervision: BACB Supervision Search
- Check out this link if you are interested in remote supervision to see if I have openings and to see if we are a good match: Remote Supervision
How will supervision be structured?
- The supervision structure is determined by your supervisor. Ultimately, they can choose how to set up meetings and work through concepts. I recommend establishing goals each month to stay on track and ensure you are getting the most out of your supervision.
- Here is a sample of goals you and your supervisor could write together:
|Month ||Topic ||Goal ||Met ||Theory ||Practice |
|1 ||ABA overview; 7 dimensions; 6 attitudes of science; ABC data |
Assignments: ABC data collection, pairing protocol, preference assessment
|The Student will understand the foundational knowledge of ABA to begin to apply these concepts to the clinic/school setting. || || || |
|2 ||Functions of behavior: Assignments: FBA, ABC data continued, QAFB, measurement, data recording, what problem behaviors to consider? |
|The student will identify the functions of behavior based on ABC data collection and determine which plans would be appropriate to track in a behavior intervention plan. |
| || || |
Now, let’s talk about quality supervision
Here are a few things that define quality supervision:
- Quality supervision should incorporate applied experiences, task list examples, and ethical considerations that prepare you to pass the test and prepare for the field.
- This supervision should include goals, expectations, and clear guidelines
- You should have the opportunity to practice behavior analytic procedures
- Your supervisor should provide you with unrestricted tasks that fill your unrestricted hour requirement. These include podcasts, assignments, research articles, etc.
- I highly recommend study prep included in your supervision so you don’t have to cram!
- Here are some topics that are not limited to but should absolutely be included in supervision:
- BIP writing
- VBMAPP assessment
- Writing evaluations
- FBA practice (ABC data collection, QAFB, FAST etc.)
- Parent training information
- Writing reauthorization reports
- Protocols (potty training, token economy system etc)
- Intake process
- Test prep!!!
I wrote this blog to help others find the applied experience they need in order to be successful BCBA/BCaBA’s in the future and pass the test in order to get there! I wish someone would have guided me through the process. Email me with questions!
Katherine Kellogg, M.Ed., BCBA
While studying for the BCBA exam, I found it extremely helpful to write my own flashcards. I thought to myself, “if only I had pre-made cards that had the term I needed to know, I could still get the practice of reading and writing my own definitions.” So, here you go! I want to go over how to get the most out of these flashcards by considering fluency and terminology grouping.
As you know, the BCBA exam is timed, so the faster you are able to identify the ABA terminology, the more likely you are to get the question correct. Moving quickly through the flashcards, and increasing your response time will increase your pace. After you write all of the terms and feel confident in their definitions, you should mix them up. Running through the cards mixed will give you a shorter latency, and build fluency!
One benefit to these flashcards is that all of the terms are categorized by related concepts, specifically by Cooper chapters. Studying the terms grouped by chapter will allow your brain to make the connection between concepts. Also, writing down the definitions in this order (rather than alphabetical) will keep you organized as you continue on your studying journey.
I found it extremely helpful to conceptually group the terms I was studying. After you finish writing all of the cards, then you can mix them up for a bigger challenge. Remember, the test is not categorized by terminology or chapter. The test will randomize all concepts, so to get the most out of these flashcards make sure you mix up all concepts so your brain gets used to switching around!
One study tip I like to share: Instead of focusing on how the terms are different from one another, try to discover their relationship. I realized ABA terms are all related in a giant web. Yes, some terms are different from one another, but conceptually they have more relations. Once I realized this the second time studying, concepts began to stick and I was able to apply the terms fluently.
How to use
- Print out the flashcards.
- Use a paper cutter (or scissors) to cut the flashcards. Keep them grouped by page! I recommend cutting them out as you go to help stay organized.
- Start at the beginning, which will start you on Cooper chapter 1.
- After you complete the flashcards, run through them in order several times.
- Once you feel comfortable with all of the concepts, mix and shuffle them to build fluency.
- Carry the flashcards with you and run through the flashcards any chance you get!
I hope you find this free tool useful in your studies! I recommend pairing these flashcards with Cooper readings when finding the definitions. I also recommend utilizing these flashcards with our course and 30 or 60-day study plan. In this study plan, you are given the Cooper page numbers that are associated with each task list and a clear study guide to follow.
All of the terms you need to study for the exam are downloadable here.
Reach out if you have any questions!
What’s the difference between unrestricted and restricted experience hours for BCBA and BCaBA supervision?
Before beginning supervision, it is important to understand the nature of supervision including the difference between unrestricted, and restricted experience hours. It can be tricky to understand until you relate it to your applied setting. This post will give you an overview of experience hours and provide examples of unrestricted and restricted activities. I wish I had this type of breakdown when I began! I hope this helps.
What are unrestricted activities?
Unrestricted activities are those that resemble what a BCBA does on a day to day basis. These unrestricted activities include a variety of tasks such as observation and data collection, training staff and caregivers on behavior-analytic programs or content, conducting assessments such as the VB-MAPP, FA, preference assessments, meeting with clients and families about behavior-analytic progress, graphing, and researching the literature relevant to a current client’s programming. See the BACB 2022 Eligibility Requirements for the most current guidelines.
You cannot count school assignments, conferences, university courses, meetings, or any other workshops unrelated to ABA.
What are restricted activities?
Restricted hours are the delivery of direct therapy and instruction procedures with clients. Basically, anytime you are with your client directly and are not participating in unrestricted activities like analyzing data or researching literature.
How much of each do I need?
If you are applying to test under the 4th edition task list (Before December 31st, 2021), at least 50% of total supervision experience hours must be unrestricted activities. If you are applying for the exam under the 5th edition task list (After January 1st, 2022) you must acquire at least 60% unrestricted hours of your total supervision. There is no limit to unrestricted activities, technically, you could have all more if you wanted to but typically students find it easier to work in an ABA agency to balance both restricted and unrestricted. There are no minimum restricted hours, however, no more than 50% (4th) and 40% (5th) can be restricted or direct therapy hours.
Click here for our quick guide to supervision.
What are the acceptable activities for experience standards?
For the 4th edition exam, at least 50% of total experience hours must be composed of the following unrestricted activities. For the 5th edition exam, at least 60% of your hours must be unrestricted. There is no limit to unrestricted activities.
- Conducting assessments related to ABA (preference, FA)
- Design, implement, systematically monitor skill-acquisition and behavior reduction programs
- Writing behavior treatment plans, progress summaries, clinical notes, transition summaries
- Oversee the implementation of behavior-analytic programs by others
- Training others
- Communicating with caregivers and other professionals
- Attending planning meetings, researching literature that is relevant to current client’s programs
No more than 50% (4th) 40% (5th) of total experience hours can be restricted
- Direct therapy/working directly with clients
How does this apply to my current setting?
In the school setting, there are many opportunities to gain unrestricted hours under the direction of your BCBA supervisor. Here are a few ideas for gaining unrestricted hours in the classroom setting:
- Observation and data collection on problem behavior
- Composing a behavior intervention plan with ABA principles for a specific student
- Conduct a preference assessment for a student and take data, graph and analyze
- Graph behavior data and analyze
- Research literature for problem behaviors you are seeing from students in your classroom
- Train paraprofessionals on ABA strategies, treatment plans, and oversee these programs being implemented
- Write transition summaries related to ABA
- Meet with parents and train on specific ABA topics
If you work in an in-home setting as an ABA therapist, here is a list of unrestricted activities that you could participate in to gain the indirect hours all under the direction of your BCBA supervisor.
- Train parents and caregivers on specific ABA intervention
- Conduct FBA or parent and caregiver interviews to evaluate the function
- Observe the caregiver implementing a strategy and record data, graph and analyze
- Write clinical notes, treatment plans, or progress summaries
- Research literature related to home-based services specific to your client’s behaviors
- Graph behavior data, and analyze trends
- Compose and/or edit behavior intervention plans with your BCBA
There are numerous ways to gain unrestricted hours if you work in a clinic setting. From my experience, the clinical setting provided me with the most options for unrestricted activities. Here is a list of unrestricted activities to do in the clinical setting:
- Create task analyses, preference assessments, behavior tracking sheets, or other data collection sheets for acquisition targets
- Conduct a preference assessment
- Assist in the implementation of the VB-MAPP
- Conduct an FBA with caregivers, other therapists, and analyze the hypothesized function
- Train new hires on ABA principles
- Research literature related to specific clients
- Meet with parents, caregivers, and teachers and train on behavior-analytic programs
- Assist with progress reports, reauthorization reports, and treatment plans
- Observe other staff members implementing specific ABA interventions and provide feedback
How do I track supervision?
The BACB provides an excel experience tracking form that you will utilize to help track unrestricted/restricted activities. I would also recommend watching the 30-minute video on how to track supervision before beginning.
Here is another resource from the board answering frequently asked questions on the monthly tracking system.
Feel free to reach out with any questions!