Behaviour Analysis Practicum
Run by School of Human and Behavioural Sciences
30.000 Credits or 15.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Rebecca Sharp
Overall aims and purpose
The purpose of this module is to provide students with supervised practicum hours working in settings in which behaviour analysis and positive behavioural support is used to improve people’s lives. Students will be placed in settings in which they will work alongside direct care staff to provide behaviour analytic and PBS assessments and interventions to clients. Students who complete this module and the second practicum module (PLP4030) will have completed the hours of supervised practicum required for eligibility to sit the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB) exam (as long as they have also completed the coursework requirements). Supervision will be provided compliant with the BACB’s and Association for Behavior Analysis International’s (ABAI) regulations.
Students will acquire practical skills congruent with the current BACB Edition Task List, and subsequently the Fifth Edition Task List when the taught modules are updated based on the updated professional standards. Students may work across a range of settings, but cannot find their own placements (i.e., they must be evaluated and approved by the MO / Course Director). Students will be required to complete all practicum documentation including placement agreements, supervision records, and the log book. There is a practicum manual in which all requirements are detailed. Students submit a portfolio of their clinical work for assessment that demonstrates competency in a range of core behaviour analytic skills (all identified competencies evidenced to pass the practicum). Additionally, students must evidence and demonstrate competencies in-situ that are observed and approved by their university supervisor.
As per the criteria for passing, but student will possess a very high level of both academic and clinical skills. Comprehensive and accurate application of behavioural concepts to applied problems. Depth of insight into theoretical and applied issues.
Pass / Fail
To pass, a student must:
Complete at least 1000 hours of work in the applied setting, signed off by their mentor and university supervisor.
Throughout the practicum modules, students must demonstrate their competence in a range of behaviour analytic skills. Students must show competencies in the three sections of the BACB® 4th edition task list): 1. Basic behaviour analytic skills (BACB® 4th edition task list, A to F). 2. Client-centered responsibilities (BACB® 4th edition task list, G to K) 3. Foundational knowledge (BACB® 4th edition task list, FK-01 to FK-48).
The portfolio will be comprised of a number of behaviour change programmes and will contain information on the process of assessment, intervention, and links to behaviour analytic literature and concepts. Students will be required to include programmes that demonstrate their competency across the range of essential behaviour analytic skills (current BACB Edition Task List), and evidence at least one programme to increase a behaviour and at least one to decrease.
As part of the portfolio, students will complete a Competencies Record Book (see attached). Students must carry this on them during their practical work, and submit as part of their portfolio at the end of the module. As part of their supervision and demonstration of their competencies, students should ask supervisors to observe tasks in the setting in order to sign-off each task. At the supervisor’s discretion, multiple tasks may be signed off during one programme. In the record book, there are a number of tasks that have been determined by the course team as be essential in which to demonstrate competency in the practicum setting. Students must have these signed off EACH year / module. A further number of tasks are considered to be important and should be attempted depending on clients’ needs, practical constraints etc. These tasks may be demonstrated in either year / module.
All work presented in portfolios must align with the seven dimensions of applied behaviour analysis as outline by Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968).
Student has not completed the required number of hours of practical work or supervision. Portfolio and / or practical does not align with the seven dimensions of applied behaviour analysis as outline by Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968). Concerns regarding professional conduct were raised during the placement and not resolved to the supervisor’s satisfaction. The portfolio does not meet the criteria for passing (e.g., does not contain at least one programme in which behaviour was increased and one in which behaviour was decreased).
Demonstrate competency in essential behaviour analytic practical skills from the BACB Fourth Edition Task List.
Use methods derived from the behaviour analytic literature to produce behaviour change (both increases and decreases in behaviour) and synthesise the methods to develop and apply socially significant programmes.
Describe methods derived from the behaviour analytic literature to produce behaviour change (i.e., demonstrate mastery of all knowledge items from the current BACB Edition Task List) and critically analyse their use in applied settings.
Describe behavioural terms and concepts in both every-day and technical language.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Seminars will be conducted once per two months during semester time (total of six across a year, two hours in duration each time).
Supervision as per the BACB guidelines on supervision. Students must complete 2000 hours in total to meet the BACB's requirements across two years (PLP4029 and PLP4030). 1. Practical hours – the student will spend a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 30 hours per week working practically in a setting (across all weeks – including non-semester time). They will be conducting behavioural assessments, implementing interventions, attending meetings, and conducting staff training. These hours also include preparatory work such as developing programmes and researching the literature. Students will be required to undertake all mandatory training in the services in which they are placed. Students are REQUIRED by the BACB® to pass their online training on the supervision standards BEFORE they start accumulating experience. Students will need to register through the portal (www.bacb.com) and will find the training under the ‘training’ tab. It should take no more than 90 min to complete.
Supervision – the duration of required supervision is 5% of the practical hours worked in each fortnight period (e.g., for 20 hours worked in a fortnight, 1 hour of supervision is required). Supervision sessions will be conducted individually and as a group (supervision time divided equally between individual and group supervision). Supervision will occur both onsite in the settings, and off-site (i.e., office-based).
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- Understand the scientific underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.
- Apply multiple perspectives to psychological issues and integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in psychology.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in written form.
- Communicate psychological concepts effectively in oral form.
- Be computer literate for the purpose of processing and disseminating psychological data and information.
- Retrieve and organise information effectively.
- Handle primary source material critically.
- Engage in effective teamwork for the purpose of collaborating on psychological projects.
- Be sensitive and react appropriately to contextual and interpersonal psychological factors.
- Use effectively personal planning and project management skills.
- Work effectively under pressure (time pressure, limited resources, etc) as independent and pragmatic learners.
- Problem-solve by clarifying questions, considering alternative solutions, making critical judgements, and evaluating outcomes.
- Reason scientifically and demonstrate the relationship between theory and evidence.
- Understand and investigate the role of brain function in all human behaviour and experience.
- Carry out empirical studies by operationalizing research questions, generating hypotheses, collecting data using a variety of methods, analysing data using quantitative and/or qualitative methods, and present and evaluate research findings (under appropriate supervision).
- Comprehend and use psychological data effectively, demonstrating a systematic knowledge of the application and limitations of various research paradigms and techniques.
- Employ evidence-based reasoning and examine practical, theoretical and ethical issues associated with the use of different methodologies, paradigms and methods of analysis in psychology.
- Use a variety of psychological tools, including specialist software, laboratory equipment and psychometric instruments.
- Be aware of ethical principles and approval procedures.
Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed.): Pearson.
Bailey, J. & Burch, M. (2006). How to think like a behaviour analyst: Understanding the science that can change your life. New York, NY: Routledge.
Bailey, J. & Burch, M. (2009). 25 Essential Skills and Strategies for the Professional Behavior Analyst: Expert Tips for Maximizing Consulting Effectiveness. New York, NY: Routledge.
Bailey, J. & Burch, M. (2011).Ethics for behaviour analysts (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Mayer, G. R., Sulzer-Azaroff, B., & Wallace, M. (2013). Behavior analysis for lasting change (3rd ed.). Sloan Publishing.