Ethical Issues in ABA Practice

Ethical Issues in ABA Practice 

The practice of behavior analysis involves implementing technically accurate interventions at high degrees of fidelity in an ethical manner. Unfortunately, there were instances of neglect, abuse, and ignorance in the past, which not only tainted the field but also illustrated the need for ethical standards and oversight. Since 2001, the Behavior Analysis Certification Board has provided guidance to assist professionals in ethical decision making. However, in 2016, the BACB put into effect the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. Through this now enforceable code, behavior analysts can be reported and face sanctions for violations. This course will provide an overview of some of the historical events that underscored the need for more oversight of behavioral analysis interventions and offer learners an analysis of components of the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code through examples of some current issues facing behavior analysts today.   *Participant complaints regarding this or any other BACB CE event requirements violations must first be directed, in writing, to the Relias Learning ACE Coordinator, Rhonda Davin, PhD. Please contact Dr. Davin via email: [email protected] The ACE Coordinator will make every reasonable attempt to resolve participant complaints; however, should the ACE Coordinator be unable to resolve the complaint, the complainant may file a formal complaint directly with the BACB. 


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

Behavior Analyst Certification Board


This course is designed to meet Ethics CE requirements as outlined by the BACB.
CEU Type: Learning

Course Details

Course Code: REL-ABA-0-EIABAP
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 12/31/2022
Learning Objectives:
Identify historical events that underscore the need for ethical standards and oversight in the delivery of behavioral interventions.
Describe the purpose of human rights review panels.
Recognize risks that can occur when persons responsible for implementing interventions do not have adequate training and support.
Discuss the implications of an enforceable compliance code versus ethical guidance.
Identify up to 9 moral principles that inform the ethical code related to the practice of behavior analysis
Recognize common code violations, types of responses the BACB can take, and consequences the BACB can impose.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: A Rationale for Ethical Practice

A History Lesson in Ethics

Preventing History from Repeating Itself

Learning from the Past

Assuring Appropriate Oversight

Support is Necessary

Seeking Guidance from the Field



Section 3: From Guidelines to Enforceable Code

Moral Principles

Guidelines vs. A Code

Implications of an Enforceable Code



Section 4: Code Violations and Implications

Published Code Violations

Code Violation Data

Notice of Alleged Violations

Case Scenarios



Section 5: Conclusion



Instructor: Rhonda Davin, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Rhonda Davin is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 25 years of experience in the fields of developmental disabilities and autism. She has served the field as a teacher, college professor, consultant and expert witness. She started Behavior Consulting Services which provided direct behavior analytic services to children with autism and their families. She has supervised and mentored several behavior analysts and service providers currently practicing in the field today. Dr. Davin has also provided technical assistance for large scale organizational change efforts in the area of Positive Behavior Supports. Disclosure: Rhonda Davin, Ph.D., BCBA-D has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Behavioral Analyst; in the following settings: Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.