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Supervision Hours: Whats the Difference Between Unrestricted & Restricted Activities

Supervision Hours: Whats the Difference Between Unrestricted & Restricted Activities

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 conducting assessments such as the VB-MAPP, FA, preference assessments, also meeting with clients and families about behavior-analytic progress. Also, these activities include data graphing, analysis, and writing behavior intervention plans. Research is also key to ensuring all BCBA/BCaBA’s are staying current with the literature.

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 analyzing data, meeting with clients, conducting assessments, or researching literature.

How much of each do I need?

At least 50% of total supervision experience hours must be unrestricted activities. There is no limit to unrestricted activities, technically, you could have all 100% if you wanted to but that would take you a while! There are no minimum restricted hours, however, no more than 50% can be restricted or direct therapy hours.

Click here for our quick guide to supervision.

What are acceptable activities for experience standards?

Unrestricted activities:

At least 50% of total experience hours must be composed of the following unrestricted activities. 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

Restricted activities:

No more than 50% of total experience hours can be restricted

  • Direct therapy/working directly with clients

How does this apply to my current setting?

School:

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

Home:

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

Clinic:

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.

Feel free to reach out with any questions!

katherine@readysetaba.com

-Katherine

The 3 Types of Supervision: What Type is Right For You?

The 3 Types of Supervision: What Type is Right For You?

Deciding which type of supervision can be puzzling, until you learn what the difference between the three is. I decided to give a short description of each type of supervision, as well as the pros and cons so you can do your own evaluation by the end of this blog post. Hope this helps you narrow down the type of supervision that is right for you!

What are the types of supervision?

There are three options of supervision for pursuing your BCBA or BCaBA:

  1. Supervised Independent Fieldwork
  2. Practicum
  3. Intensive Practicum.

1. What is Supervised Independent Fieldwork?

Supervised Independent fieldwork is the most common supervision that requires 1500 experience hours required to qualify for applying for the BCBA exam, and 1000 hours to qualify for the BCaBA exam. This type of supervision is done with an experience setting and is the most common. One benefit to supervised independent fieldwork is you often can find a work placement that offers supervision, so you can get paid for restricted hours. The only downside to this type of supervision is it takes the longest. Sometimes, taking longer can work out better if it corresponds with your school program. You can also take this time to study for the exam!

What are some experience settings?

Well, if you have a BCBA available in your area, you may be looking at a clinic or home setting for ABA. If you are a behavioral aid in the school system, you may have a BCBA in your district that is willing to meet with you for supervision.  All of these experience settings would allow you to successfully complete your supervision, with an available BCBA who is willing to supervise you. 

If you are working in a school district, or at a clinic that has limited supervisor availability, it might be beneficial to contract a BCBA in your area, look at remote supervision, or look at practicum options.

2. What is Practicum?

The second type of fieldwork is Practicum which requires 1000 experience hours and requires more supervision (7.5% of all hours supervised instead of 5%) along with more contacts. Practicum is always through an accredited university approved by the BACB.  Practicum has benefits, as it allows you to move quickly through supervision, although it requires a more intensive approach. Depending on availability, it can be difficult to find practicum placements. Benefits to practicum include being able to finish your hours sooner, and guaranteed hours.  

I had experience teaching practicum and found the supervision to be very effective. All of the supervisee’s hours were remote. Our practicum was structured to include an hour of group sessions per week, which was a great way to collaborate on task list concepts and experience setting scenarios.

3. What is Intensive Practicum?

Lastly, the third option is intensive practicum which is similar to regular practicum but requires 8 contacts per supervisory period, 750 hours, and 10% of all hours must be supervised. This is the most intensive and is offered through universities approved by the BACB. Though a benefit can be finishing hours sooner, the intensive practicum may be difficult to juggle if you are also working on your coursework simultaneously.  

What is available?

Depending on what is available to you in your current area, depends on the type of supervision to select. If you do not have a supervisor in your area and are looking for remote supervision, we provide online supervision.

Our online supervision encompasses an individualized track that will give you the opportunity to develop the skills required to become a BCBA/BCaBA. This includes detailed concept reviews, practice with designing and implementing behavior analysis programs for clients, in-depth discussion about current ethical considerations.  Including test preparation in our supervision sets us apart from others. If you are looking for in-person supervision, you can search qualified supervisors on the BACB website.

Conclusion

Overall, I successfully completed my supervised independent fieldwork and felt that the 1500 hours gave me the time I needed to fully complete my Master’s program, along with gain the clinical experience needed. Taking the full two years to finish my independent fieldwork also gave me plenty of time to study and prepare for the exam. It worked for me!

Feel free to comment below your input, and email me with questions!

Katherine@readysetaba.com

Quick Start Guide to BCBA/BCaBA Supervision

Quick Start Guide to BCBA/BCaBA Supervision

What’s the point of supervision?

Whether you are just investigating this whole ABA track, or just beginning your supervision journey, this information will help you understand the nature of supervision.  Before I started supervision, I was overwhelmed by the number of options and didn’t know where to start. I created this quick start guide to help pave the way for an easy understanding of the purpose of supervision for BCBA/BCaBA certification. 

The purpose of BCBA/BCaBA supervision is to gain personalized experience with a BCBA and apply behavior-analytic concepts include in the BACB task list, and other applied behavior analysis principles in order to prepare to enter the workforce as a BCBA.

 

How much supervision do I need according to the BACB?

Individualized supervision for BCBA requires 1500 total experience hours, 5% of which are supervised by a BCBA. This equates to approximately 75 hours by the end of your supervision.

Individualized supervision for BCaBA requires 1000 total hours, 5% are supervised which equates to approximately 50 hours of supervision. 

 

How long does BCBA/BCaBA supervision take in total?

Supervision for your BCBA takes on average 1.5 – 2 years if you stay on track, a little less for your BCaBA. Students seeking BCBA can accrue 120 experience hours each month, and 6 hours of supervision, or time with supervisor (5%).

 

When can I start accruing hours?

According to the BACB, you can start supervision as soon as you start your ABA coursework through your accredited program. 

 

What are acceptable activities for supervision according to the BACB experience standards?

Unrestricted:

At least 50% of total experience hours must be composed of the following unrestricted activities. 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 on task list items and ABA principles
  • Communicating with caregivers and other professionals
  • Attending planning meetings, researching literature that is relevant to current client’s programs

Restricted:

No more than 50% of total experience hours can be restricted.

  • Direct therapy/working directly with clients

 

What does meeting with my BCBA look like?

Supervision meetings can be in person, or remote. Online supervision can be live video or recorded videos combined with live video meetings. 

These meetings will consist of a combination of observation review, and behavior analytic discussion of problem behaviors, skill acquisition related to specific clients, task analysis review, literature and research review, as well as and current ABA interventions specific to clients.

 

Your BCBA supervisor will:

  • Monitor skills of the supervisee
  • Give feedback on performance
  • Observe supervisee performance with clients
  • Problem solve, guide development of behavioral case conceptualization
  • Review supervisee written materials (data sheets, BIP, reports)
  • Oversee behavior-analytic service delivery
  • Review task list items
  • Evaluate the effects of supervision throughout

Now that you have a basic understanding of what supervision is like, you can search for a local supervisor in your area by looking at the board website.  You can also ask your current job if there is a BCBA on staff willing to supervise you. If you do not work in a setting where ABA is an option, look into remote supervision.

As always, reach out via email if you have any questions!

katherine@readysetaba.com

-Katherine