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with Heather Gilmore, MSW, LLMSW, BCBA

RBT Ethics Code

Registered behavior technicians are required to complete 40 hours of applied behavior analysis training. This training must include 3 hours of ethics training.

The RBT Ethics Code covers the categories of responsible conduct, responsibility to clients, and competence and service delivery.

Review the RBT Ethics Code at the BACB website.

A few of the items in the responsible conduct category include:

  • Be familiar with principles of applied behavior analysis
    • There are many principles of ABA which includes items listed on the RBT Task List and the 7 Dimensions of ABA.
  • Be familiar with the code of ethics for RBTs
    • Specifically, this refers to the RBT Ethics Code.
  • Avoid multiple relationships with clients and supervisors
    • RBTs should not develop personal relationships or provide services other than ABA to a client. They should not develop inappropriate relationships with supervisors.
  • Do not provide services when the RBT’s personal issues could have a negative impact on the service delivery
    • Although personal difficulties happen, it is important to understand that personal situations can have a negative impact on implementing quality services. An RBT should take appropriate action to prevent their personal life from having a negative influence on their work.
  • Only make commitments that can be kept
    • RBTs should only agree to work on cases and take shifts in their employment that they are able to keep.

A few of the items in the responsibility to clients category include:

  • Support the rights and preferences of the client
    • It is important to support the legal rights of clients. Also, taking the client’s preferred goals, activities, and methods into consideration is part of providing quality services.
  • Do not share information about clients (including on social media)
    • Client information should not be disclosed to anyone other than those who are required to have the information (such as an RBTs supervisor). RBTs must not share pictures or information about clients on social media.
  • Respect confidentiality of the client
    • Similar to the previous item, RBTs must maintain confidentiality for their clients.
  • Handle paperwork (including data) in a way that allows for transition of the client at any time
    • RBTs are to complete their session notes and data in an organized and timely fashion that will allow for effective review by a supervisor and to allow for any situation that may require a change in behavior technicians or transfer of the case.
  • Obtain consent for any recordings of the client
    • Client photo or video should only occur if the client or a designated caregiver has given consent.

A few of the items in the competence and service delivery category include:

  • Practice under a supervisor
    • An RBT must have a designated supervisor (such as a BCBA, Board Certified Behavior Analyst) to monitor their work and support their growth in the field of ABA.
  • Collect and display data in a way that allows for effective program modification
    • RBTs collect data on client skills and behaviors. This data should be taken accurately and be presented in a way that allows the supervisor to evaluate progress in order to make accurate modifications as needed.
  • Communicate with clients in an easy to understand manner
    • When discussing services with a client or caregiver, an RBT should communicate in a simple and easy to understand way.
  • Be competent in the services being provided
    • RBTs should be appropriately trained and able to provide the services that they have agreed to provide.
  • Follow directions from a supervisor
    • RBTs are monitored by a supervisor. They should follow directions and appropriately respond to feedback from their supervisors.

A Registered Behavior Technician must be trained in general ABA concepts and also be competent in the RBT Ethics Code. This is to ensure ethical behavior is being completed by the direct service worker who is completing the ABA session to the client.

References:

Ethics for Behavior Analysts, 3rd Edition

RBT Ethics Code

APA Reference
Gilmore, H. (2019). RBT Ethics Code. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/child-therapist/2019/01/rbt-ethics-code/