Behavior Analyst Leadership Council - Legislative Information

Currently, one of the main activities that Behavior Analyst Leadership Council is to to educate the behavior analytic community, recipients of behavior analytic services, and legislative bodies regard licensure of behavior analysis practitioners. Under a pending bill under consideration in the Connecticut Legislature, BALC would pave the way to ensure the establishment of licensure of behavior analysts within the state, that would protect consumers of services based upon an established scope of practice.


Important message

Two Bills Pass in the Connecticut General Assembly Making Licensed Behavior Analysts Mandated Reporters

We are pleased to announcew that two bills proposed by the BALC have now been passed. Last week, House Bill 244 passed on consent in the CT General Assembly, and HB 404 was passed unanimously in the House in concurrence with the Senate. Both bills are now on their way to Governor Malloy’s desk for signature.

Effective July 1, 2018 Behavior Analysts are designated as Mandated Reporters in CT.

What is a Mandated Reporter? Under Connecticut law, certain professionals are “Mandated Reporters”, including physicians, nurses, policemen, teachers, and many other professionals who have frequent contact with children. They are required to report known or suspected incidents of abuse or neglect of any child under age 18, or any child under age 21 under DCF care.

Why should Licensed Behavior Analysts be designated as Mandated Reports? Our profession regularly work with children and adults with significant disabilities such as those with Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, and Emotional Disturbances. Many Licensed Behavior Analysts work in family’s homes, community settings, or settings that are not covered by the current law.

The prevalence of abuse and neglect of these populations is far higher than that of typically developing children. Desiignated Licensed Behavior Analysts as Mandated Reporters will help protect some of the most vulnerable children in our state.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this new legislation.

Yours truly,
Suzanne Letso, M.A., BCBA
Licensed Behavior Analyst in CT, MA & NY
President, Behavior Analyst Leadership Council
sletso@mbs-inc.org



Important message

CT to License Behavior Analysts!!!!


Governor Malloy signed CT's budget into law earlier today. There are certainly aspects of the bill that are problematic, the good news is that the bill authorizes licesnsure of Behavior Analysts effective 7/1/18.

Thank you all who wrote, called, and came to hearings in support of this important legislation! We could not have done this without the support of so many people through out the state, but special thanks go to State Representative Cathy Abercrombie and Betty Gallo who have worked tirelessly on this for over four years.

Licensure of Behavior Analysts is a huge step for us as a profession, but even more importatnly it provides much needed consumer protections for those we serve. The language related to the licensure of Behavior Analysts can be found in section 187 of the Budget Implementer, or you can also access this on our website at www.balcinc.org in the legislative section.

Feel free to contact me if you would like any additional information: (203)376-6038 or sletso@mbs-inc.org.

Yours truly,
Suzanne Letso, M.A., BCBA
President, Behavior Analyst Leadership Council



Frequently Asked Questions Regarding CT Licensure

Dear BCBAs & BCaBAs working in Connecticut,

As you probably already know, the State of Connecticut passed a law last fall that requires that BCBAs working within the state must be licensed effective 7/1/18. We have received a number of calls and emails with questions and thought it might be helpful to provide our entire behavior analytic community with the following responses to some frequently asked questions.

Question: Who issues the license and how do I submit an application?

Answer: The CT Department of Health issues licenses to Behavior Analysts. Applications are only available for online submission, the department does not accept hard copy applications. To submit an application or learn more about the process go to:

http://www.portal.ct.gov/DPH/Practitioner-Licensing--Investigations/Behavioral-Analyst/Behavioral-Analyst-Licensing

Question: When and how can I apply for licensure? Should I wait until 7/1/18 to send in an application?

Answer: The Department of Public Health Portal is open, and accepting and processing applications. If you intend to practice in Connecticut from 7/1/18 onward you must obtain a license prior to providing services.

Question: When do I have to renew my license and how much does it cost?

Answer: Initial application for licensure is $350.00 per applicant. Once licensed, each person must renew annually and pay an annual fee of $175.00 each year to maintain your credential.

However, the first year you are licensed is different. Each applicant’s initial licensing period ends in the month of your birthday, which for many people means that the initial license period is less than a year. For example, if your birthday is in October, then you must pay the initial fee prior to 7/1/18, then pay the $175.00 fee again prior to your expiration date in October.


Question: I have heard that if I am employed by a public school district or DDS I am exempt from the law and do not have to get licensed. Is this true?

Answer: No. Anyone providing services that fall within the scope of practice of a Licensed Behavior Analyst must be licensed by July 1, 2018 to continue practicing within the state from that point in time forward. The actual language in the law (HB 7167) is as follows:

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) (a) No person may practice behavior analysis unless licensed pursuant to section 3 or 4 of this act.(b) No person may use the title "behavior analyst" or make use of any title, words, letters or abbreviations that may reasonably be confused with licensure as a behavior analyst unless such person is licensed pursuant to section 3 or 4 of this act.(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person who (1) provides behavior analysis or assists in the practice of behavior analysis while acting within the scope of practice of the person's license or certification and training, provided the person does not hold himself or herself out to the public as a behavior analyst, (2) is a student enrolled in a behavior analysis educational program accredited by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, or a graduate education program in which behavior analysis is an integral part of the student's course of study and such student is performing such behavior analysis or assisting in behavior analysis under the direct supervision of a behavior analyst, (3) is an instructor in a course approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, (4) is an assistant behavior analyst working under the supervision of a behavior analyst in accordance with the standards established by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, (5) implements an intervention based on behavior analysis under the supervision of a behavior analyst, or (6) is a family member, guardian or caretaker implementing a behavior analysis treatment plan under the direction of a behavior analyst.

Question: I am licensed in MA, RI & NY, how do I submit verification of these licenses (or past licenses) to the CT Department of Health?

Answer: Massachusetts has an online portal system where you can request that verification be sent, and can pay for this fee online with a credit card. NY and RI do not have an online portal system so you must download the request form and submit the form along with payment via regular mail. You will need the CT DPH email address or mailing address to have the form sent directly to the state. Please note that the CT DPH will not accept documentation submitted directly by applicants.

To request verification of a MA license go to: https://elicensing.state.ma.us/CitizenAccess/

You will need your user name and password to login to your portal and a credit card to complete the request and make payment.

To request verification of a NY license go to: http://www.op.nysed.gov/opcertvertinfo.htm

You then go to “Certification (Verify an New York State License) and click on the purple word “form”.

To request verification of a RI license go to: http://health.ri.gov/forms/recordrequest/LetterOfLicenseVerification.pdf

Question: Is there any impact on BCaBAs practicing in CT?

Answer: At the present time, BCaBAs cannot obtain a license. However, after 7/1/18 BCaBAs must be supervised by a Licensed Behavior Analyst for any services provided within the state. If a BCaBA is practicing in multiple states, they are not required to be supervised by a CT Licensed Behavior Analysts for services they provide outside the state of CT.

Question: I have heard that it takes years for licensure to go into effect in other states because there an oversight board must first be established, and then that board must write rules related to the provision of licensure before anyone can be licensed. Is this true in CT?

Answer: No. CT does not establish independent oversight boards any longer and there is not rule setting other than the legislation, or other statues relate to licensure in general that apply. The law will be in full force on 7/1/18, and the department began issuing licenses in March.

Question: If I am also licensed or certified in another profession do I need to obtain another license if I am already a BCBA?

Answer: If you are working with the scope of practice of another profession as: a.) defined by that profession’s official scope of practice statement; and b.) you have the education, training, and experience delineated by that profession to provide service in keeping with that definition of services you can continue to work under that professional designation. However, you cannot call yourself a “Behavior Analyst”, or operate soley under your BCBA designation for services provided in CT. If you are providing services delineated within the scope of practice of a Licensed Behavior Analyst, then you must be licensed.

Question: How they should refer to this license on reports, business cards and so forth?

Answer: Per DPH, we can simply refer to ourselves as “Behavior Analyst” or “Licensed Behavior Analyst” and some people are shortening this to either “BA” or “LBA”. The BALC has been recommending that people spell it out whenever possible because many consumers or other professionals may be unaware of what a “BA” or “LBA” is at this early stage of the roll-out of this new credential.

Question: Should I continue to include the designation of “BCBA”?

Answer: We recommend that people continue to include your designation as a “BCBA” because this is the credential most widely recognized by consumers of behavior analytic services.

Question: Do I need to indicate that this is a Connecticut license?

Answer: Indicating “CT” is not a requirement, however, the BALC recommends that people include “CT” whenever possible because we think this will help spread the word that this is now a requirement in the state. We have been using “Licensed Behavior Analyst in CT” instead of “Behavior Analyst Licensed in CT” because this is the format utilized most frequently in other states.

Question: Can I refer to myself as a “LABA” or a “ABA-L” as behavior analysts do in Massachussetts?

Answer: Some states such as the Massachussetts license reads “Applied Behavior Analyst” and these professionals are sometimes referred to as “LABAs” or “ABA-L”, but this not how the CT or NY license is issued. For the sake of simplicity when individuals hold more than one such license we recommend that the terminology be used that is consistent with the nexus of service.

Question: I heard that BCaBAs will no longer be able to supervise RBTs in CT, is this true?

Answer: No, that is not correct. The CT licensure law does not modify the BACB’s supervision standards of RBTs in any way. However, BCaBAs must be supervised by a CT licensed Behavior Analyst when practicing within the state. The relevant language from the new law is as follows:

"Assistant behavior analyst" means a person who has been certified as an assistant behavior analyst by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board to assist in the practice of behavior analysis under the supervision of a behavior analyst.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person who (1) provides behavior analysis or assists in the practice of behavior analysis while acting within the scope of practice of the person's license or certification and training, provided the person does not hold himself or herself out to the public as a behavior analyst, (2) is a student enrolled in a behavior analysis educational program accredited by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, or a graduate education program in which behavior analysis is an integral part of the student's course of study and such student is performing such behavior analysis or assisting in behavior analysis under the direct supervision of a behavior analyst, (3) is an instructor in a course approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, (4) is an assistant behavior analyst working under the supervision of a behavior analyst in accordance with the standards established by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, (5) implements an intervention based on behavior analysis under the supervision of a behavior analyst, or (6) is a family member, guardian or caretaker implementing a behavior analysis treatment plan under the direction of a behavior analyst.

Question: Where can I find the new licensure law online?

Answer: Go to www.balcllc.org and click on the button on the homepage entitled “Legislation” then click on the blue link.

Question: How can I find out if a person is licensed at a Behavior Analysts in the state of CT?

Answer: Go to https://www.elicense.ct.gov/Lookup/LicenseLookup.aspxand search by the person’s name.

Question: How can I contact the CT Deptarment of Health and what is the email address I should use to have verification letters or other documents sent in support of my licensing application?

Answer:
Connecticut Department of Public Health
Behavior Analyst Licensing
410 Capitol Ave. MS# 12 APP
PO Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134
Fax: (860) 509-8457
email: dph.counselorsteam@ct.gov



Question: What should I do if I believe someone is practicing behavior analysis without a license?

Answer: The Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts (7.02) states as follows:

"(a) If behavior analysts believe there may be a legal or ethical violation, they first determine whether there is potential for harm, a possible legal violation, a mandatory-reporting condition, or an agency, organization, or regulatory requirement addressing the violation.

(b) If a client’s legal rights are being violated, or if there is the potential for harm, behavior analysts must take the necessary action to protect the client, including, but not limited to, contacting relevant authorities, following organizational policies, and consulting with appropriate professionals, and documenting their e orts to address the matter.

(c) If an informal resolution appears appropriate, and would not violate any con dentiality rights, behavior analysts attempt to resolve the issue by bringing it to the attention of that individual and documenting their e orts to address the matter. If the matter is not resolved, behavior analysts report the matter to the appropriate authority (e.g., employer, supervisor, regulatory authority).

(d) If the matter meets the reporting requirements of the BACB, behavior analysts submit a formal complaint to the BACB. (See also, 10.02 Timely Responding, Reporting, and Updating of Information Provided to the BACB)”.

If you are not, or if the person you are concerned about is not a BCBA, BCaBA, BCBA-D, or RBT, or has made application to become one of these professional designations, this Compliance Code may not be directly applicable. However, the steps outlined above can still be utilized.

As a practical matter, if you are concerned that someone is practicing behavior analysis without an appropriate license or other professional credential that encompasses the provision of behavior analysis within that profession’s scope of practice, and/or are concerned that the individual of concern does not have the specific training and experience in keeping with that alternative professional designation, contact the CT Department of Public Health at the contact information provided above. We would also encourage you to first speak with the individual directly if you are able to do so.

If the person is a BCBA, BCaBA, RBT, or has made application to become one you can submit a formal complaint to the BACB, as well as to the CT Department of Public Health.


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this new law.

Yours truly,
Suzanne Letso, M.A., BCBA
Licensed Behavior Analyst in CT, MA & NY
President, Behavior Analyst Leadership Council
sletso@mbs-inc.org





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