The BACB has strict guidelines and requirements for supervision documentation. Although the BACB provides plenty of advanced warning prior to changing requirements, they do change from time to time to ensure professionals entering the field have the skills needed to maintain high standards of performance. Stay current with the BACB newsletter and check the BACB website for the documentation requirements each time you start a supervisory experience.
The BCBA Candidate Supervision Contract
Before diving into the specifics of documenting the fieldwork, make sure that you sign a contract with your supervisor that meets the needs of both parties. The contract should specify the expectations discussed in the previous lesson. This contract starts the supervisory relationship so make sure this is done before moving on.
Let’s face it few of us are entering the field with a background in legalese. The purpose of the contract is to clearly define the expectations of supervision prior to beginning. Operational definitions are something we can handle! Make potential points of contention clear for both roles.
The tables below show examples of points that you should include in the contract that clearly define what the expectation is for each role. The table shows only a sample of what could be included for each expectation. Take the time to thoroughly outline each of the expectations you include in the contract. If you’re going to use a supervision curriculum like RISE Supervision , specify expectations for lesson completion.
|Appropriate activities||~Trainee will conduct behavioral assessments including FBAs, FAs, and PFAs.|
~Trainee will complete documentation of behavioral assessments, write BIPS, write skill acquisition programs.
~Trainee will complete 1 RISE lesson per month prior to the group session and will be prepared to present at the group session.
|Document submission expectations||~Trainee will complete the Unique Documentation System daily and save in Dropbox.|
~Trainee will complete the MFVF by the 7th of the month following the experience and submit to Dropbox. Trainee will email the supervisor to alert that the document is ready for review.
|Payment expectations||~Trainee will submit payment via PayPal in the amount of $65/hour within 3 days of the supervision meeting.|
~If the trainee is unable to meet the above expectation, the trainee will alert the supervisor at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.
|Performance feedback||~Supervisor will provide verbal feedback during each supervision session.|
~Supervisor will provide written feedback after every 100 hours of supervised experience via a Google Form.
~Following corrective feedback, supervisor will provide BST if appropriate and support the trainee in improving in the identified skill area.
|Document signature expectations||~Supervisor will review Unique Documentation System monthly to check for errors and provide feedback.|
~Supervisor will review and sign MFVFs within 7 days of submission if no corrections are needed.
~Supervisor will sign corrected MFVFs within 7 days of submission.
|Consequences for nonpayment||~Following nonpayment (>3 days after the session) for supervision session, supervisor will send an email to trainee asking for payment.|
~If no response within 3 days following the email, supervisor will send a follow-up email alerting trainee that sessions will not continue until payment is made.
The BACB offers a sample contract that can provide a guide, but you don’t need to use their sample. You can create one of your own or use your supervisor’s contract, as long as it clearly defines the expectations for both sides. In addition to the points above, the contract should include clauses that address important information and potential points of conflict including:
- Names and roles of each party
- Specifics of when and how the contract can be modified
- Individualized training objectives based on the trainee’s personal and professional goals
- When and how the supervisory relationship may be terminated
- Any additional agreements that should be included depending on the specific circumstances of the trainee
- Signatures for both parties
The BACB recommends having an attorney review the contract to ensure it covers important considerations such as mediation, consequences for failure to pay, and rights to client documentation. The sample provided by the BACB is not to be taken as a complete document. If you choose to use it as a guide, you must adapt it to your specific circumstances.
In the event of an audit, the BACB may request a copy of the signed contract.
BCBA Supervised Fieldwork Documentation
The BACB’s documentation requirements seem daunting, but if you take them one step at a time they are manageable. Keep in mind that this documentation is how the BACB will verify your supervision experience in the event of an audit. You must retain all documentation for 7 years following certification.
Currently, the BACB requires the following documentation for each supervision experience:
- Monthly Fieldwork Verification Form (Monthly-FVF)
- Unique documentation system
- Final Fieldwork Verification Form (Final-FVF) at the end of the supervision experience
Be aware that the BACB is no longer supporting the use of the Fieldwork Tracker. See the BACB’s Fieldwork FAQ for more information.
Monthly Fieldwork Verification Form
The BCBA offers 2 versions of this form, the individual supervisor and the multiple supervisors within an organization. Use the individual supervisor form if you are working with only 1 supervisor. Use the multiple supervisors within an organization form if you have multiple supervisors at the same organization. If you are working with multiple supervisors in different organizations, use the individual supervisor form for each supervisor.
The form must be filled out completely and signed every month. The form calculates the Percent of Hours Supervised automatically. Ensure that this is at least 5% for Supervised Fieldwork and 10% for Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork. Forms missing or with inaccurate information may lead to challenges if the BACB ever conducts an audit.
When completing the form, make sure that your total experience hours fall within the BACB’s current minimum and maximum hours. This is currently 20-300 hours per month. Hours that fall outside this range will skew your total hours on the final verification form.
Unique Documentation System
The BACB requires that you fully document all your experience to account for the information included on your Monthly Fieldwork Verification Form. In the past they have referred to this as a Unique Documentation System. Currently, they don’t name the form, but still expect that you thoroughly document all your experience.
You have many options for creating a Unique Documentation System. In the BCBA Handbook the BACB specifies what needs to be included in this documentation system. This form is essential in the event the BACB conducts an audit following your certification.
Currently, they require the following information for independent hours:
- •start time
- end time
- fieldwork type
- setting name
- supervisor name
- activity category: restricted or unrestricted
They require the following information for supervised hours;
- start time
- end time
- format (e.g., in person, online)
- fieldwork type
- supervision type: individual or group
- activity category: restricted or unrestricted
- whether the supervisor observed the trainee with clients
- summary of supervision activity (e.g., discussion of activities completed during independent hours, feedback provided, progress toward goals discussed)
The easiest way to document this information is in a spreadsheet like the one pictured here. The information listed above is the minimum information required by the BACB. They avoid providing too much guidance with this to allow enough flexibility to meet the needs of each unique situation.
Download the spreadsheet below or create your own Unique Documentation System.
Final Fieldwork Verification Form
Complete this form at the end of each supervised fieldwork experience. The BACB encourages you to gain experience in multiple settings and with multiple supervisors. This provides a robust experience. This form summarizes your supervision experience. Again, there is one form for an individual providing supervision and a different form when you receive supervision from an organization with multiple supervisors.
When applying to take your exam, you might have several Final Fieldwork Verification Forms if you gained experience in multiple settings. The total number of experience included in all the forms should equal the total to meet the fieldwork type you’re accumulating (Supervised Independent Fieldwork or Concentrated Supervised Independent Fieldwork).
Getting all this documentation filled out correctly can feel overwhelming and confusing. The video below provides a walkthrough for each of the forms.
Can I Sign My Supervision Documents Electronically?
The BACB accepts electronically signed Monthly Fieldwork Verification Forms and Final Fieldwork Verification Forms. Any digital signature is accepted including:
- Adobe Sign
- Adobe Fill & Sign
- JPEG of a signature
The BACB also accepts hand-written signatures. Any alterations to the document including whiteout or strike-throughs must be initialed.
How Do I Keep Up With Supervision Documentation?
You must keep up with your documentation throughout your experience. Failure to complete documentation in a timely manner leads to inaccuracies and unethical practices. Although many people find maintaining electronic documentation easiest, there are many other options.
The BACB will accept hand-written documentation so if you’re a paper-and-pen kind of person, keep your documents on a clipboard within easy reach. The most important thing is that you stay current on your documentation.
Each day, update your Unique Documentation System with the activities you engaged in that day. This ensures that your memory is fresh so your documentation will be accurate. If you’re a morning person and you like to plan your day, fill out the entry for the previous day in the morning and reflect on any goals you have for the day ahead. If you’re one who prefers to reflect on the day as the sun sets, complete the documentation for the day each night. Whatever system works best for you, make sure you complete this daily.
At the end of each month, fill out the Monthly Fieldwork Verification Form. If you have maintained your Unique Documentation System daily then it’s simply a matter of adding up some numbers and should only take a few minutes to complete. The document should be signed by both parties in the month following the supervision period. For example, if the supervisory period was January 2022, then the MFVF should be signed by the end of February 2022.
How Do I Store My BCBA Supervision Documentation?
Even if you fill out your documentation by hand, you should scan the documents into a cloud-based platform. This provides the greatest security against loss or damage. Imagine relying on a paper-based documentation system that gets destroyed in a flood or fire.
The BACB accepts scanned copies of all documents no matter to form of signature. There are many apps available that will scan a document and turn it into a PDF. Simple Scanner is a free app available in the iOS market. Although you have to deal with pesky ads, the app itself is easy to use.
Even though your supervisor will have a copy, don’t rely on being able to reach your supervisor in the event of an audit. While it’s unlikely, devastating events may prevent your supervisor from being able to provide you with copies of your documentation when needed. Do everything you can to protect your documentation.
It’s often best to keep redundant copies of your documentation. This ensures if one system fails you have copies within another system. Both the supervisor and the trainee should maintain copies of the documentation.
Electronic Storage Options
There are many cloud-based document sharing options available that make it easy to exchange and store your supervision documents. Many of these also offer a HIPAA compliant option so you can exchange client-specific information and store supervision documents within the same system.
The following options are among the most common. Keep in mind that each option might require you to take some additional steps to ensure HIPAA compliance.
Most options require a paid subscription to ensure HIPAA compliance, so make sure when you choose an option you know whether it meets HIPAA requirements.
“Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Handbook – Bacb.com.” Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Jan. 2022, https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/BCaBAHandbook_220110.pdf.