QBA® Certification

Qualified Behavior Analyst (QBA®) Requirements & Procedures

In order for a candidate to be eligible for our QBA credential, they must meet the following requirements:

  • Pay the $350 non-refundable application and exam fee ($225 for the retake fee)
  • Possess a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited university in a related field
  • Must have completed 270 hours of approved coursework (18 semester credits), including 20 hours of supervision coursework (master’s degree in ABA, Psychology, Special education, or a related field). 20 hrs. of coursework must be in ethics and 20 hours in autism core knowledge.
  • 1500 Hours of Supervised Fieldwork with a minimum of 900 indirect hours in the role of oversight or supervision (FBA, reviewing data, training staff or parents, etc.) and a maximum of 600 direct hours
  • Recommendation from their supervisor
  • Background Check Attestation Form completed by the candidate’s employer indicating that there have been no changes to the candidate’s background. If the candidate does not have an ongoing background check, one will be conducted by the QABA Credentialing Board through our 3rd party company.
  • Successful passing of the accredited QBA exam proctored by Examity
  • Agree to the Code of Ethics and renewal requirements
  • Final review of all eligibility criteria at QABA® Credentialing Board of Directors meeting before formal credentialing
  • Placement on our Public Registry
  • Bi-Annual Renewal required – Verification of required 32 CEUs, criminal background check and agreement to code of ethics

The QBA certification requires 1500 hours of fieldwork. The QBA is required to meet with his or her supervisor for 5% of the time they provide behavior analytic services every 3-month period. Beginning January 1, 2024, the QBA’s supervision periods may not extend beyond a 30-day period. Within the supervision period the supervisor must provide supervision for 5% of the total hours the supervisee accrued during that period. Supervision must be synchronous in format using software that meets privacy requirements such as HIPAA-compliant video conferencing program. During the supervision period, direct and indirect hours may be accrued. During an individual supervision period a maximum of 50% of the total supervision hours may be accrued in a group setting. Group participant totals for each setting are at the discretion of the supervisor.

The supervisee may not initiate fieldwork hour accrual until they have started their first day of class for their 270-hour coursework.

  • Example: If a candidate has obtained a master’s degree but does not start their QBA coursework until after the completion of their master’s program, they may not retroactively accrue hours nor can they start hour accrual until they have started their QBA coursework.
  • If a candidate’s coursework is built into their master’s program, they may begin accruing hours after their first day of their first coursework class. (Hours do not include first general academic class(es).)

Candidate’s coursework and onset of their fieldwork supervision is subject to audit and denial if the date and documentation are not in alignment per the QABA policies.

Valid Supervisors:

  • QBA®
  • Certified Behavior Analyst from an accredited certifying body
  • Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA), and/or Licensed Psychologist who demonstrates they have ABA within their scope of practice (LP)

All supervisors must be in good standing with their perspective boards. Supervisors must have an active and valid certification and/or license during the onset and for the duration of the supervision agreement.

Once the QBA candidate has passed the exam, they are an independent practitioner and no longer require supervision.

Contract Agreement:

The supervisee and supervisor must implement a contract agreement prior to the onset of supervised fieldwork and must maintain and adhere to that agreement for the duration of the supervised fieldwork. If the supervisor and supervisee terminate the contract, the final verification form must be completed by that supervisor and maintained by both parties. A new agreement must be implemented once a new supervisor is identified. All contracts are subject to submission at the request of the QABA. Contracts should outline the following criteria:

  • Clearly identify the supervisor and the supervisee.
  • Include each person’s credentials, certification and/or licensure, and their number.
  • Expectations of both the supervisor and supervisee are clearly stated.
  • Include a statement where both parties agree to follow the QABA mission, code of ethics, rules, policies, and competency standards as it relates to the fieldwork supervision.

All documents submitted will be sent to the QABA board for review. The QABA board reserves the right to reach out to the supervisor for further investigation. The QABA board reserves the right to approve or deny the application based on sufficient or insufficient evidence and proof.

  • Supervision activities may include the following:
    • Performing assessments such as functional assessment, preference assessment, staff performance assessment; or assessments used for evaluating behavior intervention and person-centered planning
    • Implementing and comprehensively monitoring skill-acquisition and behavior reduction programs through data collection
    • Creating behavior and/or treatment plans, clinic notes, progress reports, etc.
    • Creating treatment plans which address skill deficits
    • Attending planning meetings regarding the behavior analytic program and person-centered planning, and talking to individuals about the program
    • Collecting data for the assessments related to the need for behavior intervention
    • Training others, designing behavior plans, performance management
    • Overseeing the implementation of behavior analytic programs
    • Communication with stakeholders, parents and/or caregivers, and other professionals
    • Review of peer reviewed research which directly corresponds with client treatment

    Fieldwork hours that will NOT count as supervised hours include:

    • Participating in meetings that are not specific to the person-centered planning process
    • Implementation of plans that are not based in evidenced based practice
    • Documentation other than data collection, progress notes, graphs, and other necessary paperwork related to the person-centered planning process
    • Clerical or administrative work such as filing client forms, entering client claim information, etc.

    Direct Fieldwork Hours:

    Direct fieldwork hours are accrued during the fieldwork supervision and are direct in nature. These hours allow the supervisee to deliver direct therapy and/or instruction during their fieldwork. This requirement can be no more than 40% of your fieldwork experience. These hours do not require a supervisee to engage in this requirement during every supervision period.

    Indirect Fieldwork Hours:

    Indirect fieldwork hours are accrued during the fieldwork supervision and are indirect in nature. These hours demonstrate skills that would be performed independently once fully certified. These include:

    • Data analysis
    • Training with stakeholders and other client team members
    • Conducting assessment and reports
    • Conducting research and/or programming
    • Ensuring client program fidelity and/or continuity.

    This requirement can be a minimum of 60% of your fieldwork experience and may be 100% of your hours. This requirement does not require a supervisee to engage in this requirement during every supervision period.

Hour Accrual Requirements:

Supervisees must actively be working in or practicing ABA in some capacity. Supervisees can accrue no less than 20 hours per month and no more than 140 hours per month.

Fieldwork hours must be accrued within a 7-year time period.

Hours cannot be accrued prior to a candidate taking their first course in their coursework sequence.


Supervision must be documented using the QABA supervision log completed every 90 days (log to be completed a minimum of one time per month beginning January 1, 2024), and the Final Verification Form. If a supervisee has multiple supervisors during their fieldwork, each supervisor must complete this form. It is prohibited for a supervisor to sign off on the final verification form for all hours if they did not directly supervise the candidate for the full duration of the fieldwork.

It is the responsibility of the supervisor and supervisee to accurately track and maintain all supervision documentation. Further it is both party’s responsibility to complete the fieldwork supervision document form within each supervision period and maintain it for a minimum of 7 years. The fieldwork supervision document is not submitted to the board during the application process, although it may be subject to review at the QABA board’s discretion. It is the responsibility of both parties to complete the final fieldwork verification form at the completion of the fieldwork contract, or at the end of the fieldwork completed under one supervisor. It is the responsibility of both parties to maintain the final fieldwork verification form for 7 years following the submission of the supervisee’s application.

All QABA candidates must use the official QABA forms for documenting ongoing supervision and final verification. No substitutes or modified forms will be accepted.

One professional recommendation is required – one from your evaluator/supervisor/administrator of choice focusing on your qualifications and experience working with and supporting individuals diagnosed with autism.

You will be required to agree to the eligibility agreement which includes:

  • Government issued photo ID
  • Certificate of completion for 270 hours of QBA coursework from a pre-approved coursework provider; or the completed QBA Competencies Worksheet along with your university transcripts from an accredited university for higher education
  • Current background check or background attestation form signed by your employer/supervisor
  • Copy of your master’s degree diploma or the equivalent
  • Submission of your supervisor’s name and email address. An electronic form to verify fieldwork hours will be emailed to your supervisor.
  • Submission of your supervisor/evaluator/administrator’s name and email address. An electronic form will be emailed to your supervisor to complete the recommendation form.

Prior to accessing the examination, coursework and training requirements, recommendation, fieldwork and supervision requirements will need to be completed, verified, and approved through the online process. Click Here to find out more information about how our exams work.

Allotted Time

Candidates are given three (3) hours to complete the exam. If you require more time to take the exam due to a disability, please complete the EXAM ACCOMMODATIONS application.

Exam Description:

The examination consists of 125 questions. 100 questions are live and scored, while 25 of the questions (pretest questions) are not scored. The unscored questions will not be marked, so it is very important to answer all 125 questions to the best of your ability.

Unlike scored live exam questions, unscored pretest questions are newly created pilot questions that provide helpful information regarding difficulty level and overall question quality. Pretest questions are not used for scoring purposes. Instead, they are analyzed for psychometric performance and provide verification that newly developed questions are performing acceptably within defined parameters prior to be being implemented as live exam questions.


The Cost of the QBA certification is $350 USD, which does not include the cost of the retake fee should you fail the exam. See if you qualify for discounted pricing for residents of developing countries.


  • If an applicant fails to pass the QBA exam, they may schedule to retake the exam after 30 days.
  • If a fourth attempt is needed, 30 days must elapse between the third and fourth exam attempt.
  • Candidates may not test more often than 4 times within one calendar year of their first exam attempt.

Click HERE to find out more information of the retake fees. Discounted pricing available for those residing in developing countries.


To maintain your certification, you are required to renew every 2 years and complete at least 32 CEUs. Click HERE to find out more information of the renewal process.

Examination Development for the Qualified Behavior Analyst (QBA)

The Job Task Analysis (JTA) serves as the foundational method for developing rigorous examinations for the Qualified Behavior Analyst (QBA). This process involves several key steps:

1. Competency Standards Development: Initially, a draft task list is formulated based on comprehensive research and input from subject matter experts (SMEs) in the field of behavior analysis.

2. Content-Validation Survey: A content-validation survey is conducted within the profession, inviting active behavior analysts certificants from accredited certifying entities to participate. This survey ensures that the proposed tasks are relevant and comprehensive.

3. New Examination Blueprint: Based on the findings from the content-validation survey, a new examination blueprint, also referred to as competency standards, task list or test content outline, is created. This blueprint outlines the specific domains and tasks that QBA candidates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in.

The QBA examination is periodically updated to reflect current practices and advancements in behavior analysis, ensuring that certified QBAs are well-prepared to meet the evolving demands of their profession. This is determined by QABA’s Exam Committee, consisting of SMEs.

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