Behavioral Health Center of Excellence® (BHCOE®) is an international accrediting body created to meet accreditation needs specific to the delivery of behavior analysis. The BHCOE’s accreditation requirements undergo regular review according to international standards for organizations that grant accreditation. All BHCOE requirements and survey content are reviewed annually by content experts. BHCOE Accreditation ® is a certification given to an applied behavior analysis provider once it has demonstrated it has met and continues to meet an assortment of clinical and administrative standards as determined by an independent third-party evaluator.

The concept of accrediting Applied Behavior Analysis organizations began in 2009 when a large ABA organization became insolvent and left hundreds of families without services. As a response to this insolvency, a transparency committee was formed by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and began identifying quality measures for ABA providers through the California Regional Centers.

A five-year pilot project occurred between 2009-2014 to provide the state with additional information about quality assurance metrics for behavioral organizations. Subsequently, a group of behavior analysts originally involved in the DDS Pilot Project came together in August 2015 to formalize the BHCOE as an international accrediting body and began globally discussing and shaping the Quality Assurance Standards and BHCOE Accreditation Program.

Year Established

Patients Represented

BCBAs Represented

Organizations Accredited


Compliance with Funder Requirements

Laws may require certain health care providers to acquire accreditation for their organization. Those organizations already accredited by BHCOE may be compliant and need not undergo any additional surveys or inspections. Please inquire for information on your commercial insurance provider and whether BHCOE Accreditation is accepted for behavior services.

Benchmark Progress

What’s your impact? Businesses across the US use the BHCOE Accreditation to benchmark their performance and set goals for continuous improvement. The clinical audit is a great tool to help your organization become a more sustainable company. Think of it as a regular check-up to see how clinically and administratively healthy you are and how you’ve improved.

Attract Talent

BHCOE’s meet the highest standards of verified clinical quality, transparency, and accountability. Collectively, BHCOE’s lead a growing movement of behavioral health providers that aim to increase the collective quality of services across the United States. Through the power of their collective voice, one day all companies will meet quality standards to ensure effective treatment, and clinical quality for all consumers.

Differentiate from the Ordinary

A recent study conducted by Northwestern University, School of Business, surveyed parents of children with autism and/or related disorders about their satisfaction with their ABA services.

“Our research found that parents of children with autism and related disorders utilize on average six service providers for their child [before finding one that is effective].” The BHCOE distinction helps you stand out as a provider that cares about quality, consumer satisfaction, and staff satisfaction.

Negotiate Higher Reimbursement Rates

The BHCOE Accreditation is great for business owners who want to command higher valuations, achieve greater impact, and build a company that lasts. The BHCOE Accreditation represents a company that scales with integrity and sustainability, and that offers consumer satisfaction and effective treatment at the forefront of treatment. The BHCOE quality standards help ensure that BHCOE’s meet all three of these objectives. BHCOE’s stand out to funding sources or potential investors as more ethical and sustainable. Ask us about one of our BHCOE’s that was recently acquired.

Generate Press

Every BHCOE has a compelling story. We help tell it. Our providers span across the United States, serve hundreds of consumers, and employ thousands of employees. Our BHCOE’s were highlighted in local news sources across the United States and were represented in over 25 unique professional conferences just in 2015. By increasing your visibility as a quality behavioral health provider, your business can stand out amongst its peers and competitors. We help highlight your quality services to your local funding sources and partners in your region.

Lead the Field and Grow Your Business

Why Providers Choose BHCOE Accreditation

Why Providers Choose BHCOE Accreditation

We found our experience with the BHCOE invaluable.

We were able to obtain useful information about our service delivery from both caregivers and staff, and the results helped us recognize our strengths as well as areas upon which we can strive to improve. The audit process was thorough and we were pleased to see data on overall program satisfaction and caregiver involvement, as well as input from staff regarding feelings of competence and support.

Dr. McNerney, PhD, BCBA-D
Irvine, CA

It is exciting to see how BHCOE is setting a groundwork for industry standards.

We knew a critical piece of this would be parent and staff feedback but weren’t sure how to get this or how to analyze it if we did. The audit from BHCOE provided an opportunity for us to gain this information and allow us to compare ourselves against other providers throughout the country. The audit process itself was easy and straightforward for ourselves as well as our staff and parents.

Dr. Niki Thurkow, PhD, BCBA-D
Naperville, IL

The process was straight-forward and easy to navigate.

We are committed to the field of behavior analysis and are thrilled that the BHCOE has developed this much-needed program to evaluate the clinical aspects of companies that provide ABA. It is the reputation of the field as a whole that benefits. Regarding the audit specific to our company, the process was straight-forward and easy to navigate. It was thorough and we feel effectively identified many of the qualities that are critical for a company providing ABA services. It was an extremely useful process for us to organize our practices and procedures in a way that could be presented to someone else. Also, the staff and parent feedback surveys were extremely informative and gave us jumping off points for continuing to improve the way we do things. Our auditor was stellar and it was clear she knew exactly what she was looking for and how to ask the right questions. Everyone at the BHCOE was excellent to work with. We felt supported rather than audited and we are so glad we made the decision to pursue the accreditation!

Becoming a BHCOE is not just about getting a new logo for your website; it’s about ensuring high quality services, receiving objective feedback from outside of your agency, and setting goals for yourself and your staff.

The feedback that the BHCOE team delivered was extremely beneficial to us in improving the quality of our program, and we have experienced superior outcomes among our clients since implementing their suggestions. Becoming a BHCOE is not just about getting a new logo for your website; it’s about ensuring high quality services, receiving objective feedback from outside of your agency, and setting goals for yourself and your staff. Being part of the BHCOE community has been a wonderful experience as well. The BHCOE’s clincal leadership has been extremely helpful in providing insight into current trends in the practical application of ABA and how the field is evolving, including how to work effectively with health insurance while remaining ethical. The BHCOE also has a fantastic mentorship program, and has connected us with the owners of other BHCOE agencies. This program has broadened our network of relationships within the Autism and ABA communities, and has helped us to improve and grow our business through the sharing of ideas.

Abigail Bunt, MEd, BCBA, LBA
San Diego, CA

Working with the BHCOE was incredible.

Working with the BHCOE was incredible. While we were initially anxious, the process was smooth and easy […] It helped us identify and pinpoint specific metrics that we needed to put in place, to help us grow and sustain a healthy practice. Anyone can start up and get clients, but scaling a quality organization is much more rigorous and demanding. BHCOE helps with this. The insight that they provide will help you grow your business. The network they’ve developed will help you grow your business. The accreditation that could result will help you grow your business. I have one regret: I should have started the process back in 2015 when I initially talked with Sara and the BHCOE. It is an honor to be BHCOE Accredited, and I have nothing but great experiences in working with their staff.

Rob El Fattal, M.S., BCBA
El Paso, Texas

It is my pleasure to recommend BHCOE.

As a behavior analytic company run by behavior analysts, having an objective evaluation of our programming provided us with useful data to make practical changes to our processes and procedures. The audit process was useful and easy for our staff but invaluable as a tool to help pinpoint areas for our staff that otherwise would have been tabled.

Kathleen Bailey Stengel, MA, BCBA, LBA
Trevose, PA

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