Implementing Staff Training in ABA Therapy Clinics

Staff training is integral to increasing the effectiveness and safety of ABA therapy. As a provider, making progress often relies on innovative but technically sound treatment plans. When the team fails to implement or properly execute the plan, it weakens client services and assistance.

The Demand for Training in the Field of ABA Therapy

Since ABA providers are in great demand, you may experience staffing challenges. Bringing on additional staff members can help you serve more patients, but without proper training, these individuals may not be effective in their efforts.

Damaging Practices

Most practices follow a tiered service delivery model with the credentialed providers supplying most of the care. However, expanding services means adding inexperienced therapists. Without the right tools, these individuals could do more damage than help.

Injury Liability

One of the general liability concerns with ABA therapy providers is personal injury or property damage to those on the premises. Poorly trained staff can increase the potential for accidents or incidents that lead to a liability claim. It’s essential that all team members, whether credentialed or not, receive thorough training to support the safety and health of anyone engaging with the provider.

The Minimum Amount of ABA Therapy Training

The Behavior Analysis Certification Board sets recommendations for hiring and training ABA therapists. Following these provisions for hiring and ABA therapy staff training can improve the quality of the services you deliver and patient outcomes.

Minimum Hiring Standards

Those working as a therapist should hold at least a high school degree, but the preference is for a minimum of an associate degree. The individual should pass a criminal background check and TB test.

Minimum Training Standards

The training standards should cover oral and written elements and meet expectations under direct observations. Some of these expectations include:

  • Demonstrating a correct response to treatment protocols
  • Demonstrate skills or articulate responses according to their experience and skill level

Content for training therapists should address HIPPA privacy laws, mandated reporting, CPR, ASD knowledge, basic ABA procedures, ethical behaviors, development milestones, and data collection or record keeping.

These are minimums for incoming therapists, and even though these standards seem comprehensive, additional training is often necessary.

The Benefits of In-Depth Training Programs

The field has a high turnover rate with estimates of 45% to 75%. There are reasons why this is a trend, but staff burnout is a leading factor. Poor training contributes to burnout, as therapists aren’t ready or capable of handling the situations they encounter.

They exert too much energy, experience too many negative and frustrating emotions, and see too little progress. Investing in training gives staff the tools and resources needed to make a difference and take care of themselves in the process.

The Final Word  

When working on ABA therapy training procedures, include lecture-based and hands-on learning experiences. Use pre and post-tests to evaluate how effective the training is and conduct training regularly. Ensure supervisors oversee training and follow up with staff observations after the fact to ensure the effectiveness of learning and implementation.

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