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APBA Issues Statement on Harassment, Discrimination, and Diversity

Thursday, April 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gina Green

In light of recent events and discussions in our field and the larger society around issues such as sexual harassment and discrimination, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) reiterates its commitment to creating a culture that promotes behaviors that are consistent with the highest standards of our profession and the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. The following Compliance Code standards are particularly relevant to the current context:

1.05 Professional and Scientific Relationships

(c) Where differences of age, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status significantly affect behavior analysts’ work concerning particular individuals or groups, behavior analysts obtain the training, experience, consultation, and/or supervision necessary to ensure the competence of their services, or they make appropriate referrals.

(d) In their work-related activities, behavior analysts do not engage in discrimination against individuals or groups based on age, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, socioeconomic status, or any basis proscribed by law.

 (e) Behavior analysts do not knowingly engage in behavior that is harassing or demeaning to persons with whom they interact in their work based on factors such as those persons’ age, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, or socioeconomic status, in accordance with law.

6.01 Affirming Principles

(a) Above all other professional training, behavior analysts uphold and advance the values, ethics, and principles of the profession of behavior analysis.

7.01 Promoting an Ethical Culture

 Behavior analysts promote an ethical culture in their work environments and make others aware of this Code.

8.0 Public Statements

 Behavior analysts comply with this Code in public statements relating to their professional services, products, or publications, or to the profession of behavior analysis. Public statements include, but are not limited to, paid or unpaid advertising, brochures, printed matter, directory listings, personal resumes or curriculum vitae, interviews or comments for use in media, statements in legal proceedings, lectures and public presentations, social media, and published materials.

8.03 Statements by Others

(a) Behavior analysts who engage others to create or place public statements that promote their professional practice, products, or activities retain professional responsibility for such statements.

APBA has taken or will take the following steps to fulfill the aforementioned commitment:

·       All members are instructed that they are expected to adhere to the BACB Compliance Code (

·       The organization works to educate members and the general public about the profession’s ethical standards through presentations, publications, social media posts, other communications, and at its annual convention. Its Convention Committee strives to ensure that the convention program includes presentations on contemporary ethical, legal, and professional issues facing ABA practitioners. There will be several such presentations at the 2018 convention (April 19-21, St. Louis), including a tutorial and roundtable on BACB ethics standards and reporting procedures and two panels on culturally responsive behavior analytic practice ( We have also added a roundtable discussion on diversity in behavior analysis during the Saturday luncheon.

·       Those who advertise at the annual convention are told that their advertisements and exhibits must be consistent with the organization’s mission and the BACB Compliance Code (

·        Prior to the 2018 convention, all presenters, advertisers, and attendees will be instructed to read the Compliance Code with particular attention to the standards cited above, and will be informed that failures to comply with those standards during the convention will not be tolerated and should be reported to staff.

·        At the convention and other sponsored events and on its social media sites, APBA encourages respectful, considerate discussion and debate grounded in an appreciation for diversity as well as healthy skepticism, facts, and scientific and ethical principles.  

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