New Certification Program Differentiates Professionals Treating Individuals with ASD

First-ever program credentialing Autism Professionals in a Progressive Approach to ABA launches

Leaders in the field of Progressive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have long yearned for additional training and indicators of quality in the area of applied behavior analysis. In response to the rapid expansion and inadequate standards in the  field of ABA, the Progressive Behavior Analyst Autism Council® (PBAAC®) was established to provide credentialing programs that preserve and promote a progressive approach to ABA as a treatment method for ASD.


Today, the PBAAC®  opens applications for its Certified Progressive Behavior Analyst-Autism Professional® (CPBA-AP®) credential – an autism-specific high-level certification. This certification program identifies individuals who have met a high standard of expertise regarding the research and dissemination of Progressive ABA intervention for individuals diagnosed with ASD. 


Progressive ABA is an approach in which interventionists, supervisors, and applied researchers employ a structured yet flexible approach to behavior change. All efforts are contingent upon and responsive to the individual’s progress. To do this, a CPBA-AP® uses the best available evidence in combination with advanced knowledge of basic principles and constant in-the-moment assessments to inform effective and caring intervention. This results in an approach that is grounded in science, socially valid, compassionate, and always progressing.


More than 30 subject matter experts contributed to the development of the CPBA-AP® over the past four years in a collective effort to help individuals diagnosed with ASD and their families nationally and internationally. “I became a behavior analyst at a breathtaking point in our field. Children with autism were making unimaginable progress. That progress propelled the growth of our discipline, resulting in widespread efforts to remain effective at scale. This hasn’t been easy. I am involved in this project because it is a viable response to large scale problems: The creation of performance and effectiveness based certification for behavior analysts in autism intervention.” says Shahla Alai, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, At-Large Member of the PBAAC®. 


To be eligible for this certification program, professionals worldwide must have: 

  • A substantial amount of experience in ABA with a concentration on individuals diagnosed with ASD. This high-level certification requires a minimum of 10,000 hours of experience, consisting of:
  • 8,000 hours accumulated after obtaining master’s degree; and 
  • 8,000 hours providing supervision, training, or education to others working with individuals diagnosed with ASD 
  • A master’s or doctoral degree in ABA or related field (e.g., Psychology, Social Work, Special Education). Non-ABA degrees must have a minimum of 12 hours/credits focused on ABA content.


The initial application and assessment fee of $350 US dollars is waived for the first exam administration in December 2021. To apply, create an account at

For more information, go to and follow PBAAC® on Facebook.

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