Division of Professional Licensure Announces Availability of Behavior Analyst Licenses
License Applications Accepted Beginning June 5, 2015
BOSTON - The Division of Professional Licensure (DPL) announced today that effective tomorrow, June 5, 2015 the Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions will begin issuing Applied Behavior Analyst (ABA) and Assistant Applied Behavior Analyst (AABA) licenses. ABAs and AABAs treat individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and developmental disabilities by developing treatment plans to foster new behaviors, increase or decrease existing behaviors, and elicit behaviors under specific environmental conditions. They also work with families of diagnosed individuals and engage in behavioral coaching. The new licenses will be issued pursuant to 262 CMR 10.00, new regulations establishing the qualifications for licensure.
“The new licenses are great news for the behavior analysis profession. Having established criteria and standards of conduct will benefit the industry and the patients they serve,” said Undersecretary John Chapman.
The new regulations establish license eligibility criteria for ABAs and AABAs, centered on four areas: education; experience; examination; and good moral character. Individuals currently practicing in the profession who meet certain criteria are eligible for a ‘grandfathering’ process available until June 5, 2017. After that date, applicants will be required to meet other criteria articulated by the regulations. The regulations also establish standards of conduct for ABAs and AABAs that require adherence to the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts issued by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), a private behavior analysis credentialing association, as well as other provisions adopted by the Board.
“Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone for the behavior analysis profession in Massachusetts,” said DPL Director, Charles Borstel. “I thank all of our Board members, members of the Board’s Regulations Task Force, agency staff, and stakeholders, for their hard work and contributions to the development and implementation of these two new licenses.”
The Board anticipates that approximately 1,000 individuals will apply for an ABA or AABA license. Applications are currently available through the Board’s website. Prospective candidates for licensure should download and complete an application, and submit it along with any required supporting documentation and an application fee, in the manner noted in the application instructions.
The ABA and ABAA licenses were created by the state legislature pursuant to Chapter 429, enacted in January 2013, which directed the Board to license and regulate ABAs and AABAs, and added two new seats representing the industry, to the Board. Following the enactment of the law, the state legislature enacted Chapter 287 of the Acts of 2014 in August 2014, which further amended Chapter 429 and G.L. c. 112, § 165, the statute governing the licensure of ABAs and AABAs, by expanding the pool of applicants eligible for licensure and by extending the grandfathering period.
The Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Professions licenses candidates who meet the statutory and regulatory requirements developed for behavior analysts, educational psychologists, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, and rehabilitation counselors. In carrying out its mission, the Board administers and enforces the regulations related to the educational criterion necessary for a person to be licensed, and contracts with test vendors to provide the licensing examinations. Of equal importance, the Board seeks to protect consumers by exercising its authority to discipline those licensed individuals who violate licensing laws and regulations. Currently, there are more than 5,400 licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs), 690 licensed marriage and family therapists, 360 licensed rehabilitation counselors, and 320 licensed educational psychologists in the Commonwealth.
DPL is a regulatory agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process for more than 379,000 licensees in trades and professions under the jurisdiction of 28 boards of registration. Consumers are urged to visit DPL's website at www.mass.gov/dpl and select the “Check a Professional's License” link to determine whether a professional with whom they may wish to do business is licensed and in good standing. Follow DPL on Twitter @Mass Consumer.