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  • Acts
  • 2012
  • Chapter 429 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE LICENSURE OF BEHAVIOR ANALYSTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 88 of chapter 13 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 4, the word “eleven” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 13.

SECTION 2. Section 89 of said chapter 13, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 3, the word “Eight” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 10.

SECTION 3. Said section 89 of said chapter 13, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “psychologists”, in line 7, the following words:- 2 of whom shall be behavior analysts who meet the qualifications in the last 2 paragraphs of section 165 of chapter 112.

SECTION 4. Said section 89 of said chapter 13, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 14, the word “six” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 10.

SECTION 5. Section 90 of said chapter 13, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 4, the word “seven“ and inserting in place thereof the following words:- a majority of the appointed.

SECTION 5A. Said section 90 of said chapter 13, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 5, the word “seven” and inserting in place thereof the following word:- members.

SECTION 6. Section 163 of chapter 112 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following 3 definitions:-

“Licensed applied behavior analyst”, an individual who, by training, experience and examination, meets the requirements for licensing by the board and is duly licensed to engage in the practice of applied behavior analysis in the commonwealth.

“Licensed assistant applied behavior analyst”, an individual who, by training, experience and examination, meets the requirements for licensing by the board and is duly licensed to engage in the practice of applied behavior analysis under the supervision of a licensed applied behavior analyst or a physician or psychologist qualified to practice applied behavior analysis if it is consistent with the accepted standards of their respective professions.

“Practice of applied behavior analysis”, the design, implementation and evaluation of systematic instructional and environmental modifications, using behavioral stimuli and consequences, to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior, including the direct observation and measurement of behavior and the environment, the empirical identification of functional relations between behavior and environmental factors, known as functional assessment and analysis, and the introduction of interventions based on scientific research and which utilize contextual factors, antecedent stimuli, positive reinforcement and other consequences to develop new behaviors, increase or decrease existing behaviors and elicit behaviors under specific environmental conditions that are delivered to individuals and groups of individuals; provided, however, that the “practice of applied behavior analysis” shall not include psychological testing, neuropsychology, diagnosis of mental health or developmental conditions, psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, sex therapy, psychoanalysis, psychopharmacological recommendations, hypnotherapy or academic teaching by college or university faculty.

SECTION 7. Said chapter 112 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 164 the following section:-

Section 164A. Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent qualified members of other professions or occupations including, but not limited to, physicians, psychologists, teachers, occupational therapists, members of the clergy, authorized Christian Science practitioners, attorneys-at-law, social workers, guidance counselors, clinical counselors, adjustment counselors, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, rehabilitation counselors or professional employees meeting the requirements of a public or private school or agency’s licensure standards from practicing applied behavior analysis if it is consistent with the accepted standards of their respective professions or to an individual who implements applied behavior analysis services to an individual served in a public or private school setting or service agency licensed or approved by the commonwealth to provide residential, habilitative, vocational or social support services when performed as part of an Individualized Education Program or Individualized Service Plan supervised by a professional employee meeting the requirements of the school or agency’s licensure standards; provided, however, that no such physician, psychologist, teacher, occupational therapist, member of the clergy, Christian Science practitioner, attorney-at-law, social worker, guidance counselor, clinical counselor, adjustment counselor, speech-language pathologist, audiologist, rehabilitation counselor, professional employee meeting the requirements of a public or private school or agency’s licensure standards or individual who implements applied behavior analysis services to an individual served in a public or private school setting or service agency licensed or approved by the commonwealth to provide residential, habilitative, vocational or social support services when performed as part of an Individualized Education Program or Individualized Service Plan supervised by a professional employee meeting the requirements of a public or private school or agency’s licensure standards shall use any title or description stating or implying that such person is a licensed applied behavior analyst or licensed assistant applied behavior analysts without holding such license.

SECTION 8. Section 165 of said chapter 112, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following 2 paragraphs:-

The board may issue a license to an applicant as an applied behavior analyst; provided, however, that each applicant, in addition to complying with clauses (1) and (2) of the first paragraph shall provide satisfactory evidence to the board that the applicant:

(1) has successfully completed a doctoral degree program from a recognized educational institution in which the doctoral program included a minimum of 60 graduate credit hours in courses related to the study of behavior analysis or a master's degree program from a recognized educational institution wherein the master's program included a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours in courses related to the study of behavior analysis, combined with the successful completion of an approved course sequence formally approved by the board;
(2) has successfully completed a practicum or supervised experience in the practice of behavior analysis that meets the standards established by the board; and
(3) has successfully passed a board-approved examination related to the principles and independent practice of applied behavior analysis.

The board may issue a license to an applicant as an assistant applied behavior analyst; provided, however, that each applicant, in addition to complying with clauses (1) and (2) of the first paragraph shall provide satisfactory evidence to the board that the applicant:

(1) has successfully completed a bachelor's degree program from a recognized educational institution wherein a minimum of 135 classroom hours of instruction specifically in behavior analysis or possesses a bachelor's degree combined with successful completion of a board-approved course sequence or course work which otherwise meets professional standards, as determined by the board;
(2) has successfully completed a practicum or supervised experience in the practice of behavior analysis that meets the eligibility requirements established by the board; and
(3) has successfully passed a board-approved examination related to the principles and practice of applied behavior analysis.

SECTION 9. Section 171 of said chapter 112, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “psychologist”, in line 5, the following words:- , licensed behavior analyst, licensed assistant behavior analyst.

SECTION 10. Notwithstanding section 165 of chapter 112 of the General Laws, an applicant who applies to be licensed as an applied behavior analyst within 4 months after the promulgation of rules and regulations under section 12 may be granted status as a licensed applied behavior analyst, subject to the approval of the board of registration of allied mental health and human services professions, if:

(i) the applicant is a board-certified behavior analyst certificant of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board; (ii) the applicant has graduated with a doctoral degree from a recognized educational institution and the doctoral program included a minimum of 60 graduate credit hours in courses related to the study of applied behavior analysis; or (iii) the applicant has graduated with a master's degree from a recognized educational institution and the master's program included a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours in courses related to the study of behavior analysis and can demonstrate that the applicant has practiced as an applied behavior analyst full-time or equivalent part-time for a minimum of 5 years. An applicant who is granted a license under this section may renew the license biennially if the applicant completes and, when requested, provides evidence to the board of such completion of the prescribed minimum number of hours of continuing education.

SECTION 11. Notwithstanding section 165 of chapter 112 of the General Laws, an applicant who applies for a license as an assistant applied behavior analyst within 4 months after the promulgation of rules and regulations under section 12 may be granted status as a licensed assistant applied behavior analyst, subject to approval by the board of registration of allied mental health and human services professions, if the applicant is a board-certified assistant behavior analyst certificant of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

SECTION 12. The board of registration of allied mental health and human services professions shall promulgate rules and regulations and implement licensure for applied behavior analysts and assistant applied behavior analysts within 18 months after the effective date of this act.

Approved, January 8, 2013.