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​CSPG 203 - Behavior Analyst (PK-12)

August 1, 2016

Behavior analysis is the scientific study of principles of learning and behavior. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a systematic approach for influencing socially important behavior through the identification of reliably related environmental variables and the production of behavior change techniques. The Board Certified Behavior Analyst certificate or PA Behavior Specialist license is required to perform behavioral intervention and support services for students with autism and other identified disabilities, as well as for regular academic students.

Grade Level Scope

A person employed in the position of Behavior Analyst is qualified to consult, train and provide services for students in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12.

Required Credential(s)

  1. A Behavior Analyst must hold a current Board Certified Behavior Analyst certificate obtained through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB); or
  2. Hold a current license for Behavior Specialist in the State of Pennsylvania.

Staffing Assignment

A Behavior Analyst is qualified to:

  • Develop and implement functional behavior assessments and positive behavior support plans.
  • Assist in the design and implementation of educational programs based on:
    • Principles of behavior analysis (including motivating operations, stimulus control, behavior definition, reinforcement); and
    • Relevant practices such as discrete trial instruction, natural environment training, an analysis of verbal behavior, mand training, group contingencies, token systems, modeling techniques, activities of daily living, habit change, direct instruction and precision teaching.
  • Be involved in the development and assessment of effective intervention training including staff training, program specification, treatment fidelity, data calibration (such as inter-rater agreement), production of treatment manuals, data collection procedures, and analysis of accumulated data.
  • Evaluate treatments through appropriate experimental design such as case study formats and single subject designs.
  • Provide consultative and direct support for students with a wide range of disabilities including autism, social emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, multiple disabilities, and other categories of eligibility.
  • Engage in activities relevant to problem behavior prevention and school-wide systems of support.

Special Considerations

A Behavior Analyst may:

  • Provide professional development and serve in the role of mentor or advisor in the area of their credential.
  • Provide services to individual students or groups of students, or implement district-wide systems for developing behavior plans based on Applied Behavior Analysis.
  • Serve as a member of the Evaluation and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team.
  • Provide parent training.


A Behavior Analyst is restricted from performing duties unique to those provided by the certified school counselor, school psychologist, and special education certified educator.


Chapter 49: §49.11, §49.18 (a), §49.101§ 49.102 (b) (1) & (2)

49 PA Code, Chapter 18, State Board of Medicine – Practitioners Other than Medical Doctors,

Subchapter I Behavior Specialists: § 18. 521, § § 18.522, §18.523, §18.524, §18.524, §18.524, §18.525, §18.526, §18.527

This supersedes all earlier CSPG’s carrying this number. No previous printing dates on this subject.