Purpose of these Standards

One of the most critical aspects of an assessment program is the establishment of content and performance standards that provide a frame of reference for assessing the level of Competent Subject Matter Knowledge (CSMK). Standards relate assessment performance directly to CSMK in terms of what students are expected to learn by the completion of approved coursework and determine the competency areas assessed in the credentialing exams.

These Standards also serve as the guidelines for education and training providers who are seeking QABA Credentialing Board approval for QASP® and ABAT® credential coursework.


Standard 1

Autism Core Knowledge

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, essential characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Rationale: Understanding the essential characteristics of an individual diagnosed with an ASD provides the foundation for making informed decisions about how to apply Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) most effectively.

  1.1 Describe why Autism is considered a spectrum disorder
  1.2 Identify the historical definitions of Autism
  1.3 Identify the currently accepted prevalence rates of Autism
  1.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the possible causes of Autism
  1.5 Identify the common characteristics of Autism
  1.6 Demonstrate an understanding of all the aspects of Autism

Standard 2

Education, Training & Self-Development

All candidates will complete required training education/certification, continue professional development, and keep abreast of relevant resources and information including legislative and educational requirements as it relates to individuals with Autism.

Rationale: Candidates who continue professional development, keep abreast of relevant resources and information including legislative and education requirements can educate those receiving services, family members, co-workers and community members about issues by providing information and support and facilitating training. A working knowledge of current educational and legislative standards ensures practitioners develop and implement support and treatment plans that meet the legislative and educational.

  2.1 All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, current educational and legislative requirements and best         practices for those working with individuals who have been diagnosed with an ASD.
  2.2 Candidate will complete a minimum number of continuing education units per year.

Standard 3

Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

All candidates will comprehend the principles of ABA and how these form the basis of the mechanisms for support and treatment of modern practice.

Rationale: Candidates who understand the well researched mechanisms that form the basis of why behavior occurs and what increases and decreases the probability of reoccurrence of behavior is best prepared to develop effective support and treatment plans.
  3.1 Identify the common functions of Behavior
  3.2 Identify the Main Causes of Behavior
  3.3 Describe what is a Target Behavior
  3.4 Describe what is an Observable and measurable behavior
  3.5 Identify the difference between Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning
  3.6 Identify the difference between primary and secondary reinforcers.
  3.7 What is meant by the three-part contingency. How ABC analysis can be applied.
  3.8 Identify the two main types of behavior.

Standard 4

Instructional Interventions

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, the mechanisms and strategies for effectively supporting people to learn new behaviors and skills.

Rationale: By understanding and having the ability to support people to learn new skills and behaviors as well as supporting them to gain general and life skills, people are best placed to maximize self reliance and independence in order to increase overall quality of life and community involvement.

  4.1 Identify the difference between skill deficits and performance deficits
  4.2 Implement strategies to overcome skill and performance deficits
  4.3 Implement naturalistic teaching methods
  4.4 Identify the steps for an ABAT® in preparing for a session
  4.5 Implement implementation strategies;
       Task Analyzed chaining procedures
       Discrimination training
       Stimulus control transfer
       Stimulus fading
       Prompt and prompt fading

Standard 5

Principles of working with Autism Effectively

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, the evidence based ways of how best to support and treat people diagnosed with an ASD.

Rationale: By understanding those influences that affect a person diagnosed with an ASD, a practitioner is best able to understand what aspects can be manipulated in order to achieve the best outcomes and improve communication and quality of life.

  5.1 Identify the different sources of sensory information.
  5.2 Explain the impact of different sensory challenges for people with Autism.
  5.3 Identify events that can increase anxiety for people with Autism, and techniques they can use to manage this.
  5.4 Define restrictive problem solving.
  5.5 Evaluate the validity of different biomedical approaches to mitigate the effects of Autism.
  5.6 Identify appropriate indicators to use to signify transitioning.
  5.7 Identify ways to enable smoother transitions between activities.
  5.8 Explain what visual supports are, and how they are used.
  5 Demonstrate understanding of the goal of visual supports.
  5.10 Identify the different types of cards that can be used, and the purpose of each.
  5.11 Recall what you need to remember when creating visuals

Standard 6

Treating Individuals with Challenging Behaviors

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, how to apply ABA practice to support and treat people who exhibit challenging behavior.

Rationale: All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, how to apply ABA practice to support and treat people who exhibit challenging behavior. By understanding how to analyze the meaning of a behavior and the purpose it serves, a practitioner can implement those ABA treatment options that will best provide an individual with alternative ways of communicating his/her needs in appropriate, non-challenging ways

  6.0 Identify and evaluate the concepts of Proactive and Reactive Models of Behavior Support
  6.1 Identify the Phases of Behavior
  6.2 Describe the role of the therapist during any of the Phases Of Behavior
  6.3 Explain the concept of Episodic Severity and apply these skills to a scenario
  6.4 Identify primary and secondary reinforces
  6.5 Demonstrate a understanding on how to implement different types of Reinforcement
  6.6 Demonstrate an understanding of a 3-Part Contingency

Standard 7

Data Collection and Evaluation

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, data collection and evaluation methods specifically related to behavior analysis.

Rationale: Data collection and evaluation is critical for establishing baseline rates of responding and forms the basis for evaluating the effects of treatment and intervention plans. Effective data evaluation allows for continuous modification of treatment plans in order that they can be most effective.

  7.1 Demonstrate an understanding on how to prepare for data collection
  7.2 Analyze the reliability of data that is gathered.
  7.3 Explain how to collect and utilize data in effective and reliable ways.
  7.4 Demonstrate how graphs can be used in behavioral support.
  7.5 Identify why we gather data about challenging behaviors
  7.6 Explain the methods used to gather information about challenging behaviors.
  7.7 Implement continuous measurement procedures
  7.8 Implement discontinuous measurement procedures

Standard 8

Positive Behavior Supports

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, how to apply the principles of non-aversive treatment models ahead of aversive options.

Rationale: It is important in terms of social validity and to ensure respect and dignity, to maximize an individual’s social and personal value by developing and implementing positive, non-aversive treatment options before considering aversive alternatives.

  8.1 Describe what Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is
  8.2 Identify what makes up the foundation of PBS
  8.3 Explain A-B-C relationships
  8.4 Identify the function of behavior
  8.5 Identify proactive, teaching, and reactive strategies used in PBS

Standard 9

Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT)

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, how to use DTT when teaching individuals new skills, behaviors and competencies.

Rationale: DTT is an evidence based approach to working with individuals diagnosed with a range of developmental disabilities including ASD’s. DTT is a proven method for teaching a range of skills, behavior and competencies.

  9.1 Identify the purpose of Discrete Trial Teaching.
  9.2 Explain how Discrete Trial Teaching is conducted.
  9.3 Compare and contrast the benefits and limitations of Discrete ways.Trial Teaching
  9.4 Recall how to deliver appropriate consequences.
  9.5 Identify the different types of prompts, and explain the hierarchy ways.of prompts.

Standard 10

Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT)

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, how to use PRT as an integral part of a multi-elemented ABA treatment plan.

Rationale: PRT is one of the best studied and validated behavioral treatments for autism. PRT is play based and child initiated. Its goals include the development of communication, language and positive social behaviors and relief from disruptive self-stimulatory behaviors. The use of PRT as an integral part of a multi-elemented ABA treatment plan and can better assure improved outcomes.

  10.1 List and describe the components of Pivotal Response Treatment that target motivation.
  10.2 Describe what a pivotal behavior is.
  10.3 Identify the four empirically supported pivotal behaviors?
  10.4 Distinguish between good and poor examples of the components of PRT

Standard 11

Person Centered Planning

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, how to develop treatment plans using a person centered approach.

Rationale: Person-centered planning is a unique, individually-focused approach to planning for persons who are in need of services and supports. It is an important vehicle for empowering individuals to have a voice in the planning process and to actively shape their futures. It is a structured way of organizing planning that focuses on the unique values, strengths, preferences, capacities, needs, and desired outcomes or goals of the individual.

  11.1 Describe how Person Centered Planning works to help to enable individuals with disabilities to increase their self-determination and            independence.
  11.2 Demonstrate the understanding of Self Determination
  11.3 Identify how traditional models have disempowered individuals with disabilities
  11.4 Explain why there is a need to move towards patterns that support individuals to have a more positive connection with their community.
  11.5 Explain why self-determination is important to all individuals

Standard 12

Functional Analysis

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of, how to conduct effective functional analysis as an integral element of the behavior analysis process.

Rationale: Functional analysis is employed to determine the reason, purpose or motivation for a particular behavior occurring. A functional analysis of behavior requires that data be collected on changes in behavior that occur as a result of the direct treatment intervention. By conducting an effective functional analysis, a practitioner can better ensure a treatment plan is meeting the individual’s needs.

  12.1 Define positive behavior supports.
  12.2 Identify and explain strategies we can use to help address behavioral problems.
  12.3 Define Functional behavioral assessment, and explain how this can help people with challenging behaviors.
  12.3 List the techniques of Indirect and Direct Assessment.
  12.4 Analyze given data.
  12.5 Demonstrate an understanding of a hypothesis statement.
  12.6 Explain why FBAs are conducted.

Standard 13

Philosophy, Values and Advocacy

All candidates will understand current philosophies of treatment and the importance of adopting values based approach to developing support and treatment plans. All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate a working knowledge of what advocacy is and is not.

Rationale: Although applied behavior analysis as a science includes a variety of conceptual mechanisms that influence behavior, not all are appropriate within the context of treating people in the pure sense. By understanding socially valid philosophies and values, a practitioner can better assure human dignity and the value of people is preserved. By understanding what advocacy is and is not, a practitioner can be sure to be most effective and maintain professional boundaries while maximizing an individual’s independence and self reliance.

  13.1 Identify the principles that underpin the philosophy and values of developmental disability support services.
  13.3 Define professionalism.
  13.3 Demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities regarding professionalism
  13.4 Contrast what advocacy IS and IS NOT

Standard 14

Legal and Ethical Considerations

All candidates will comprehend, and demonstrate the ability to develop (as appropriate) and implement treatment plans accounting for legal requirements and are ethically robust.

Rationale: By taking account of legal requirements and ensuring treatment is conducted within an ethically robust framework, practitioners and treatment plans will be legally safe and will better assure people in receipt of treatment are protected and valued.

  14.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the scope of practice. (Code of Ethics)
  14.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  14.3 Identify those conducts and acts which can be construed to be unprofessional by general ethical standard of practice
  14.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the objectives of HIPAA, in particular the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule
  14.5 Summarize the legal and ethical requirements regarding client confidentiality.
  14.6 Demonstrate an understanding of confidentiality in practice.
  14.7 List exceptions to client confidentiality.
  14.8 Explain obligations in regard to reporting suspected or known child, elder adult, and dependent adult abuse or neglect.
  14.9 Define and compare the “duty to warn” and the “duty to protect”.
  14.10 Demonstrate an understanding of unethical relationships and how those relationships may occur.