Standard Development

Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) works to strengthen the nation’s use of Applied Behavior Analysis by facilitating the development of technically sound Applied Behavior Analysis standards and by promoting the adoption of those standards by the Applied Behavior Analysis community.

These standards are written documents that define minimum requirements, best practices, standard protocols, and other guidance to help ensure that the outcomes of applied behavior analysis are reliable and effective.

BHCOE is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and BHCOE’s standard-setting subject matter experts serve on the BHCOE Commission. The BHCOE Commission members represent a variety of stakeholders including government agencies, faculty, clinicians, consumer-advocates, payers, employers and administrators.

These BHCOE Commission members have expertise in a variety of specific behavior analytic disciplines, as well as general expertise in applied behavior analysis research, healthcare, measurement science, statistics, law, and policy.

ANSI Accredited Standards Developer

BHCOE commission members work together to develop and evaluate ABA standards via a transparent, consensus-based process that allows for participation and comment by all stakeholders.

BHCOE’s Policies and Procedures state that “Notification of standards development activity shall be announced in suitable media as appropriate to demonstrate an opportunity for participation by all directly and materially affected persons.”

Current Standard Development Activities Include:

BHCOE Standard 101: Standard for the Documentation of Clinical Records for Applied Behavior Analysis Service Providers

  • Title of Standard: Standard for the Documentation of Clinical Records for Applied Behavior Analysis Service Providers
  • Abstract: This standard describes appropriate documentation for Applied Behavior Analysis Service delivery and how to provide accurate and supportive medical record documentation.
  • Project Need: Clinical record keeping is an integral component in clinical best practice and the delivery of quality clinical services. Regardless of the form of the records (i.e. electronic or paper), appropriate clinical records should enable continuity of care and should enhance communication between all parties impacted by the delivery of services.
  • Note: Directly and materially affected interests wishing to receive more information or to submit comments are requested to contact BHCOE within 30 days of the publication of this announcement by emailing compliance@bhcoe.org. The deadline to submit comments for the proposal of this standard is June 9, 2019.

BHCOE Standard 201: Standards & Guidelines for Effective Applied Behavior Analysis Organizations

  • Title of Standard: Standards & Guidelines for Effective Applied Behavior Analysis Organizations
  • Abstract: The BHCOE’s Standards & Guidelines for Effective Applied Behavior Analysis Organizations (the “BHCOE Standards”) includes 7 sections relevant to the professional and ethical behavior of organizations providing Applied Behavior Analysis therapy, along with suggested evidence of compliance.
  • Project Need: To date, there are no standards and guidelines for organizations that provide Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. These standards and guidelines focus on areas needed to deliver and sustain high-quality services, manage treatment costs, and reduce risk and liability. The areas of the standards include areas such as operations and compliance; liability and risk; intake and hiring; ethics and consumer protection; staff qualifications; training and oversight; treatment programming; outcome measurement; employee engagement and more.
  • Note: Directly and materially affected interests wishing to receive more information or to submit comments are requested to contact BHCOE within 30 days of the publication of this announcement by emailing compliance@bhcoe.org. The deadline to submit comments for the proposal of this standard is June 16, 2019.

Operating Procedures for Standards Development

Read the operating procedures for the development of BHCOE consensus standards.

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