The IBAO: Providing International Behavior Analyst Certifications Online
Hello friends and supporters,
Some of you may remember this post from way back in February 2020 (pre-COVID-19!) as we mourned the closing of the BACB's international BA certification opportunities outside of North America. From the ashes sprung the IBAO: The International Behavior Analysis Organization. As a professional advisory board member (PAB), Adair has spent 2020 toiling away with a wonderful team of international professionals to help the IBAO build a program that will be compatible for all those who would like to pursue certification, no matter the ABA infrastructure available within their current country. All they'll need is an internet connection, access to clients, and the ability to enroll in online coursework within their language. At the moment prerequisites stand at a Bachelor's degree equivalent in any subject. (Those holding Masters degrees will be placed on an accelerated route).
The success of the IBAO is absolutely vital for the success of ABA as a field in Senegal and other francophone African regions for several reasons:
1. Masters degrees within a related field (a requirement for other certification providers) is not possible here. They simply do not exist as programs within the country of Senegal in particualr, nor do they exist fully online in the French language from France, Belgium, or Canada. A prerequisite of a Bachelor's degree in any subject will make this certification feasible for the 14 million who live here (not to mention the 250+ million people living in the entirety of francophone West Africa).
2. International travel is difficult-to-impossible for most citizens of Senegal due to visa and financial restrictions for most Africans. Travelling even for a few days to take an in-person exam would simply not be possible. The IBAO has solved this problem with an entirely-online exam platform available in many languages. Internet access has been increasing rapidly in Senegal since 2016 or so, meaning individuals may be able to navigate through the process themselves without the help of an outside organization providing computers and connectivity (though that would of course help!).
3. Most BA certification programs require a supervised practicum of a minimum of a year in length full-time (around 2000 hours). In the past, there was no structured help in finding an appropriate hours supervisor for those working towards certification, and some candidates floundered in trying to find a mentor within their speciality or who spoke their language. For those in Africa and elsewhere, supervision normally needs to be done online distance (and at great discount), since many countries lack working ABA professionals. Though distance is not ideal, it is unfortunately the only option until these countries build up qualified professionals. The IBAO will provide a supervisory directory that will pinpoint specialities and languages spoken to aid in this process.
4. The IBAO shifted their supervisory requirements so that half the hours (1000) will be completed before the exam, and the other half after the exam (another 1000). This is because there will be no in-person supervision and guidance on the ground in most countries where ABA therapy does not exist. Instead of supervisees being "let loose" immediately after the exam to find mentors and fend for themselves (assuming little to no ABA infrastructure available), supervision will be able continue for up to 2 years after the exam, before the next recertification period.
Adair and a small team of francophone ABA practitioners are working hard on translating the IBAO's current guiding documents, website, and exam from English to French. This is a quite a large project and we could use your help!
If you would like to help pay for professional translation and get this fast-tracked (to be checked over by our team), 501 Commons in Washington State is hosting a GiveBIG event May 4th and 5th - Early donations are open! All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to contribute.
If you would like to aid in English -> French translation yourself, please contact Adair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For alternative donation means, our Paypal is here.
Affordable online French coursework and CEU opportunities will be needed down the line. For now, ABA Senegal will need to rely on external funding to get these educational objectives paid for, for many Senegalese candidates. We are confident that together, our team will succeed in building what is needed for our behavior analysis students!
You can read detailed information on the new IBAO program at their website here. Since it's still early, exams are currently open in English at request for those who have met the coursework and practicum requirements (see their IBA and contact pages). More information, a brand new website, and all needed forms will be available soon!