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Want to read the entire proposed legislation? Download it here:

House Bill 19


Letters of Support:

          Professional-Letters of Support for Behavior Analyst Licensure

             Parent- Letters of Support for Behavior Analyst Licensure


The Big Picture

•Today 31 states license Behavior Analysts, and more states are quickly moving in this direction. (Border States include: NY, MD, & OH.)

•This act will promote an increase in Behavior Analysts working in PA and improve access to treatment for people struggling with Substance Use Disorders, chronic mental illness, feeding/eating disorders, and others.

•This act will set a minimum training and experience standard for licensed professionals within the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) field, offering protection for the public.

•This act will develop a Behavior Analyst oversight board to protect the public, administer disciplinary action, and license new pro


The Problems

•Unlike other helping professions (e.g., Occupational/Speech Therapists, Social Workers) in Pennsylvania, ABA
remains unrecognized as an independent profession and lacks a freestanding, professional license with a governing board for licensure of professionals to protect the public from fraudulent and unethical practitioners.

•Qualified professionals cannot distinguish themselves without a license from underqualified practitioners who can cause harm to patients and ultimately increase cost to the system.

•In Pennsylvania, despite ABA’s broader application on a national scale (effectiveness to treat neurodevelopmental disabilities like ADHD, addiction (e.g., opioids, alcohol, gambling), obesity and other eating disorders, and problems related to aging, ABA in Pennsylvania has become artificially restricted to treating autism which has an insurance mandate (Act 62).


A Path Forward

•Licensing professional Behavior Analysts addresses these key problems for Pennsylvanians.

•The goal is not to limit or restrict the practice of other effective interventions. In fact, some professional overlap may exist with other helping professions (e.g., Psychologists). Licensure would simply recognize the unique expertise of Applied Behavior Analysts.

•Specifics will follow successful models from other State laws and the national model set forth by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB), an accredited, non-profit credentialing organization.

•In setting the standards of licensure, recommendations from BACB will include:

⋅Adopting the training, experience, testing, and continuing education requirements.

⋅Mandating an ethical code for all licensed professionals.

⋅Setting standards for each certification level including regular job analyses by subject matter expert panels.

⋅Establishing specific standards of practice, which offers improved protection to consumers.