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Posts Tagged ‘BACB supervision’

Last night in our journal club, we had lively discussion regarding the 2016 article on Competency-Based, Ethical, and Socially Valid Approach to Supervision. Laura Turner served as the lead author and Aaron Fischer & James Luiselli served as co-authors. You can read the article yourself here.

If you haven’t read this article, you absolutely should. There are so many important points in the article it will surely improve your supervision services. If you are a BACB Candidate, then you should also read this as it may help you in selecting your supervisor and/or giving feedback to your supervisor regarding the quality of your supervision. Quality supervision experiences will more than likely lead to quality BCBAs which should lead to quality services for clients.

The first topic of discussion revolved around the need to establish a good relationship between the parties. Keep in mind, the BACB suggests that multiple supervisors be used so the good relationships and communication should cross all parties. A key point in having a good relationship is to be sure to establish rapport. This of course led to the jumping off point on the new training curriculum for supervisors. The BACB recently made the 2.0 Curriculum available and you can find it here.

We also discussed the authors’ point of how payment for services may affect the relationship between parties. In most professions, the trainee is responsible for funding their learning. This includes payment for college coursework but also payment for internships, practica, and/or supervision of professional competencies. It seems that the ABA industry, in a desperate attempt to mass produce BCBAs, companies are offering supervision at no cost or no cost in return for a year or two of payback employment. Unfortunately, due to the demand for BCBAs, this has led to many candidates taking their free supervision and leaving their supervisor high and dry for payment. We all know this is unethical behavior in that it violates the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code #1.04a, 1.04c, and 6.01a. This, of course, led us to the BACB latest newsletter regarding the contract and what the BACB will do if the contract is broken. We will save my opinion on that for another day.

The authors made an important point to discuss just how much time quality supervision requires of both parties. For example, the authors point out that a supervisor may think they have time to supervise because it is only a few hours every other week. However, the supervisor has to travel to complete observations, make time to read assignments, make time to read articles, and make time to plan feedback. Essentially, for every hour of supervision, the supervisor can expect to spend at least 2 hours of work. Similarly for the candidate who is already working and possibly taking classes, the candidate will need to find time to meet with the supervisor for feedback, complete readings assigned by the supervisor, and complete homework such as program development. This is not an easy process and it certainly shouldn’t be rushed so the candidate can get out and immediately start work. This is where the key skills are learned and practiced and it must be completed with precision rather than speed.

Next we discussed the importance of collecting data on the supervisee skills. First, this requires the supervisor and supervisee to develop measurable objectives. Then it requires the supervisor to collect baseline data on those skills followed by additional data collection and progress monitoring. This led to a discussion of how BIP Track data collection tool would be great for this! The developers of BIP Track have created options for collecting IOA data as well as fidelity data. What better way to monitor supervisee skill development! Note that not all behaviors need to be observed in practice. The supervisor can also ask tough questions during the supervision meetings to see if the supervisee is retaining information from coursework, using their SAFMEDS to become fluent in terminology, or being proficient in problem solving strategies.

Performance feedback is always a key piece of providing quality supervision experiences. In discussing performance feedback, we came back to the BACB 2.0 Curriculum and noted that behavioral targets are included for supervisees during feedback. These include: “i) Engagement in active listening (eye contact, posture) and engagement (question
asking, paraphrasing) strategies; ii) Taking notes during feedback meetings; iii) Restatement of feedback to check for understanding; iv) Requests for clarification, examples, or models as needed; v) Acknowledgement of responsibility for errors (take responsibility).

I believe that one area where BCBAs can improve is in the area of evaluating their own supervision outcomes. There are many ways to do this. The authors recommend using their form, Supervision Monitoring and Evaluation Form, which you can download here. (Follow the link, then download the appendix.)

And finally, don’t forget to continue your own professional development on supervision. Read, take workshops, attend your state conference, or attend a national conference! Check out our list of continuing education courses here.

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