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A comparison of the requirements for ongoing professional certification with registered bodies between Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), Speech and Language Therapists (SaLTs) and Occupational Therapists (OTs): A Scoping Review

Author: David Anthony, Director of Research, Learning and New Business Development

Submitted as part of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Applied Behaviour Analysis in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University, Belfast

Behaviour analysts, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists all engage in continuing professional development. Through a six-part scoping review, this study compares the ongoing professional development requirements of these three professions and their own accrediting bodies. The study reviews the requirements for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board; The Health and Care Professions Council; as well as The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, The Royal College of Occupational Therapists, and the UK Society for Behaviour Analysis.

The study gains insight into the different perceptions of continuing professional development of each profession, as well as the views of professionals in relation to which forms of professional development they perceive to increase their competence. It also explores the barriers encountered by professionals and the considerations given before committing to a piece of continuing professional development.

A scoping review was conducted, following the Arksey & O’Malley (2005) scoping review framework, and embedding recommendations for each stage published by Levac, et al., (2010). A consultation stage was included as part of the review and surveyed 40 professionals working either as a behaviour analyst, speech and language therapist or occupational therapist. 15 articles were included in the review for analysis.

It was found that all three professions face similar barriers and challenges when engaging with continuing professional development. The Health and Care Professions Council, Behavior Analyst Certification Board, and UK Society for Behaviour Analysis all have systems in place for ensuring professional development is part of their ongoing accreditation process for registrants. Future recommendations are suggested in line with monitoring the impact of continuing professional development for service users, clients, or learners.

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